A divorce and a subsequent re-marriage isn’t just a stressful transition for you but also for your child. At a point in life, when you need utmost support and consideration from your loved ones, you need to be able to give the same to your child as well. This is especially true if you have a young child upset about your new husband/wife.
It is not easy for kids to become comfortable with a new person in their lives, especially a person who is going to have a more authoritative role in their lives going forward. Your last partner was their father or mother for a long time, and shifting that focus to a new person can be strange, uncomfortable, and stressful. Remember, you might be immensely joyful at the prospect of a new beginning of your life, but your child might not be ready for this new adjustment.
If you are constantly telling yourself and your loved ones ‘my child doesn’t want me to re-marry’, you must give this more thought. Where is there reluctance stemming from? How could you make your child more comfortable in the new situation? Here are some of the most important considerations you must keep in mind for the happiness and comfort of your child.
Be honest with your child
Having a child upset about your new husband/wife can be very sad and unsettling. However, remember that their reluctance to accept your new partner is not something they are doing out of spite. Things have been utterly confusing and unclear to them, and it is up to you to change that.
- Keep age appropriateness in mind.
- Be honest and have a discussion with them about what’s going on in their family.
- Reassure them that it wasn’t their fault.
- Explain to them if your ex-partner is going to be in the picture now or not.
- Talk to them about how they feel about your new partner.
- Encourage them to tell you what they like and don’t like about your new partner.
Keeping these things hidden from them will only backfire in the long run. They might hear something from an aunt in your family or from someone else’s kid at their school. Learning about your family’s business from someone else can severely undermine your child’s sense of security and make them feel as if you are not their best companion anymore.
To avoid all of this, be very honest about why your marriage failed and do not bad mouth your ex-partner. This is especially important if your ex-partner is going to be actively bringing up your child even after re-marriage. Other than this, be prepared to answer questions such as –
- Where will I live now?
- Can I still visit Mom/Dad?
- Can I still do my favorite things?
- Will I move someplace else?
- Can I still keep my room?
- Where will Mom/Dad live?
- Can I still meet my best friend?
- Will you send me to a new school?
- Will we celebrate Christmas?
- Will my new Mom/Dad scold me for this?
Reassure them that you are still their rock
Upon hearing that one of their parents will not be living in the same house as them anymore, children tend to blame themselves for the unrest. Make sure that you let them know that your divorce was not their mistake. Accept your own mistakes as well and help them understand that both their parents still love and care for them.
It is also common for children to talk about how their parents yell at each other or vividly remember the night one of their parents left the house without saying goodbye to them. Protect your child from such negativity and ensure that they do not blame themselves for the circumstances. If your ex-partner is not going to be in the picture anymore, help your child understand that the reason of re-marriage that has nothing to do with them.
Give your child time to adjust
There are numerous things your child is trying to get adjusted to.
- Your re-marriage is solid proof for your child that his or her parents are never going to get back together.
- If you have been divorced for a long time, your child might become insecure about sharing you with a new person.
- Your child might think that you are leaving them for a new person and that they do not belong with either of their parents anymore.
- He or she might believe that learning to love your new partner is some form of disrespect to their own parent.
- Your child might begin comparing your ex-partner and new partner by excessively focusing on your new partner’s faults.
Parents often push their children too hard to accept a new person in their life. Rather than forcing them to do so, give your child time to address their concerns and help them do away with their insecurities. Do not force them to call your new partner ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’. Do not force them to spend some time with your new partner. Let them set their own pace and allow their relationship with your new partner to grow rather than forcing it.
Be there for your child first and foremost
Things are changing around your child rapidly, and you must ensure that you are constantly there for your child. Answer their questions honestly, do not fight with your ex-partner in front of them, and ease your kid to your new partner slowly. Let them spend time with each other on their own accord and do not push their relationship. Be patient with your child and ask your new partner for their patience and understanding. Lastly, if your child is still becoming violently opposed to your re-marriage, seek professional help.
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