Resources for helping children adjust to widower dad dating?
January 10, 2018 10:27 AM   Subscribe

There are a lot of resources about talking to children about a parent dating after divorce, but a friend is having trouble putting her hands on information about 1) talking to children about a parent dating after the other parent dies; 2) parenting and step-parenting under these circumstances.

A friend is dating a man in his late 40s whose wife died suddenly a few years ago. My friend is the first person he has dated since and they've been together nearly a year. They would like some information about how to approach the kids about their relationship getting more serious. One child is away at college and is supportive of his dad dating, the other is still in high school and probably needs more time/process. Any online or print or in person recommendations for resources targeted to dating while parenting kids who have lost their other parent?
posted by *s to Human Relations (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Dougy Center specializes in working with children and teens on grief. I'm not seeing anything specific on their website, but I would be willing to bet that if you contacted them asking for help, they would have some ideas.
posted by goggie at 10:52 AM on January 10, 2018

This isn't much use, because it's based on watching one widowed friend with kids date, but as an anecdote: it seemed easier and less fraught than dating after divorce. The other parent isn't still around interacting with the kids in any complicating way, dating isn't associated with the end of the parents marriage, no one did anything bad to anyone else, death just happened which was sad but not a blame sort of thing.
posted by LizardBreath at 5:24 PM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was curious to see the kids’ ages when I saw your question. My mom dropped dead 11 years ago and my dad has been seeing other people. Perhaps it takes a certain amount of maturity to develop this perspective but my dad was devastated when my mom died. He might have lost 70 lbs in the year that followed. I was seeing my future husband when my mom died and I thought of how lost I’d be without him. And then I thought how my parents had been together like 8x as long. I thought, as awful as my mom’s death was for me, it must have been way worse for my dad and I want him to be happy. Sometimes it still feels weird seeing him with other people, even if I like them. But he seems happier and healthier and that’s what matters most to me. So I think it really just takes time. I will add that it’s unlikely my dad will remarry so that makes it a little easier in some ways, feeling like my mom will never be replaced like that.
posted by kat518 at 5:37 PM on January 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

« Older To read before getting a dog   |   Help me apply to grad school Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.