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Introducing Kids to Dates After Divorce

By Jodie Lynn


My daughter just turned ten. Although her mom has remarried, I barely date. However, when I do, it seems like it is my daughter's goal to run her off. What is the best way to introduce my daughter to someone I may be dating without making her jealous? Once I start seeing someone on a regular basis, is there a certain amount of time I should wait to introduce the two?


In my experience, it seems as if boys are more favorable to their dads dating than girls. My sons were fine with me meeting and getting to know women but my daughter picked apart every woman I introduced her to. She would be borderline rude to every date and sort of put them through the third degree, especially if they also had a daughter. The more one-on-one time I offered, the more she wanted. Once her mom remarried, things got worse instead of better. My ex-wife and I went to counseling with her and discovered she was afraid that she would be replaced should I get too serious about anyone and she would lose me all over again. The therapist suggested that I not introduce her to anyone I was dating unless we had been doing so for at least six months. When my daughter finally realized I wasn't going anywhere, she was easier to get along with and even looked forward to spending time with me and my girlfriend. - B. C. in Baltimore, MD


There are many factors to consider. If you have a good relationship with your daughter and can be honest with her, talk to her about the divorce and remarriage of her mom and the relationship between your ex-wife and yourself. Hopefully, you have a healthy friendship with her mom and the two of you do not talk negatively about each other. This is a big plus and she will be in a better position to accept a new person in your life. With that being said, it's not a good idea to introduce her to every single lady that you are dating. By doing so it just makes things more confusing for her. After you get into a long-term relationship with someone, take it slow and try to get the two of them together in a normal setting, like a barbecue at home where everyone helps to prepare the food, instead of going to a movie or out in public where it's more difficult for them to get to know each other. Perhaps if she understands that you are not trying to replace her or trying to find a new mom to replace her own, she will get a better grasp on the dating scene for you. For now, give her a little time, love her unconditionally and prove to her there is no reason for jealousy. Practice lots of patience.

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To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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