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DK Simoneau often receives questions on how to handle situations.  She addresses readers questions about shared custody, parenting, and split family living situations.  To submit a question, please use the form below.

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June 25, 2007
June 2007

Dear DK,

I've been divorced for over two years now.  I have started dating someone new and I don't really know how to approach the kids about it.  They've met him, but they think he is just a "friend".  What should I do?

Frustrated in Florida


Dear Frustrated,

It's hard for kids to understand that Moms and Dads have emotional needs that need to be fulfilled too.  Since your kids have already met the new person, I would say that honesty is the best policy.  If you are open to sitting down and discussing it with them I'd let them know that Mom really likes this friend and that you plan on seeing more of him on a more routine basis.  Let the kids guide the conversation.  If they ask if he's your boyfriend, tell them that you're not sure but you'd be open to that being a possibility.  Ask them how they feel and why.  I know that I recently went through a breakup and my kids made it very clear they didn't like that.  When I got down to the bottom of why they didn't want the breakup it was because they were afraid that my dating someone new might take up even more of my time with them.  That could be the same for you.  Their reaction will most likely come from their own insecurities of how your dating will affect them.  If you can assure them that things won't change about how you feel toward them, and stick to your word, all should be well. --dk



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