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Parents who get into these relationships may have very different expectations for how things should be than the men and women who they’re bringing home.
S., Ireland and Canada on mothers, stepparents and kids. First, parents are cycling in and out of romantic relationships at a higher rate than ever before.Parents figured that a new adult in the home would help them put some much needed distance between the family and the last romantic partner who was there, whether that person was the children’s biological parent or not.Second, parents expected a new romantic partner to help firm up the hierarchy in the family, putting the children back in their place and mom or dad back to being less of a child’s friend and more a parent with rules and expectations.As if that’s not complicated enough, parents are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
Telling kids about a new romantic partner doesn’t guarantee that kids aren’t going to be resentful either. Like Hadfield, I’d be inclined to suggest that despite the risks, parents shouldn’t talk with their kids about every date they go on.
When it works out, the kids benefit from having more adults in their lives.