Some parents may pressure children to choose sides, which can leave them feeling guilty or abandoned [source: Bromfield]. Single parents are more likely to move or experience other disruptions that can affect children.A parent may remarry, for example, or live with a succession of partners. Uncertainty and emotional turmoil can increase the chance of psychological pitfalls.Navigating multiple new relationships can be overwhelming. Yes, not liking the fit between the person you are dating and your kids is a deal breaker, even if you love him or her as a partner. Getting smarter means learning all you can about how stepfamilies function, operate best, and why they have the unique complexities that they do.Breaking the two families into parts can be helpful initially. Liking a parent’s dating partner sometimes creates a loyalty problem for kids: They don’t know how to embrace everyone and not hurt feelings (especially the other biological parent). You may know how to drive a car, but driving in snow and icy conditions requires a different knowledge and skill set.
You might, for example, engage in an activity with your friend and their children one weekend and then have your friend join you and your kids the next. If the person you are dating isn’t good parent material (with your kids or theirs), for example, you ought to move on. Nearly 20 years of counseling, coaching, and training blended families has revealed to me this secret of successful blended family couples: They work harder at getting smarter about stepfamily living.The single parent can help family members face these difficulties by talking with each other about their feelings and working together to tackle problems.Support from friends, other family members and the church or synagogue can help too.And everyone has strong emotions and opinions about who is involved and what the outcome might be. Here are a number of dating “best practices” for single parents: 1.Realize that you’re not just forming a relationship; you’re creating a family.