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Single mom coping with a new man in my life, how does it affect your children?

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

Hello all,

I'm sure you all been in this situation at one time or another. I've always raised my daughter with strong manners and a polite attitude. Whenever a new guy comes into my life she takes on an extremely different attitude. Lets just say she drops her manners. Mind you she's nearly 9 years old and her father has not been in her life for about 4 years now. She has no male role models other than unfortunately the failed relationships along the way.

I am finally with a great guy... yet my daughter seems to be more loud obnoxious etc. Its a long distance relationship at the moment. With intent to locate to same area.

But my daughter actions are alarming, he is very pleasant with her, asks her how her day was etc... talks to her and gives her attention as well as myself..

I guess i'm looking for advice or what have you done if you have been in this situation, and how do you balance serious relationship while maintaining that your child is the most important thing in your life..

We already do just girls outings dinner,shopping, i get her a special outfit or something like that but i just dont know where i went wrong.. i raised her not to burp and be loud and obnoxious in front of other people..

or is this just a phase for her age?


Ericka - posted on 04/11/2011




I been there and I believe your first mistake was introducing her to other men who have dated. She is acting that way because she excepts him to leave like the others did. It's now up to you and him to reasure her that he is in ti for the long haul and that he will not try and take her mother away. And you need to put your foot down she is 9 not 19 you are the adult and she is the child and if she can't act accordingly then some of her privelges will be downsize or even taken away. You can't stop living, you deserve happiness to but just let her know that no matter what happens with this new man she will always be your daughter and you her mother and that your love for her will always be there and that you have enough love for the both of them... I hope this helps because he sounds like a good guy for the both of you.

Sharon - posted on 04/10/2011




I feel uncomfortable when you say 'Whenever a new guy comes into my life she takes on an extremely different attitude.' In the space of 8 years my son has only met on man in my life apart from his dad. This may be the reason she has an attitude with the men. If she keeps seeing men come and go in her life why should she make any effort with the men in your life, from her perspective they are not going to be around for much longer anyway!. She will be a child for another 9 years put your love and effort into your relationship with her, which is the most important one. Men come and go but she will always be your daughter.

Carey - posted on 03/30/2011




I will say that I chose not to introduce any of my children to the man I started dating after their father and I separated, for 6 months, and debated waiting even longer than that. I explained to him and to my family that I did not want to have men coming in and out of my children's lives after the devastation of a divorce.

Part of this behavior is age-appropriate for a 9 year old, part is trying to see what she can get away with in front of someone else. Part of it may be that she does not want someone else in your life, as she has already lost her father and is afraid that you will want to start spending more and more time with him and away from her or even with her and him together. She may have trust issues when it comes to men as one is already gone from her life at such a young age. be firm, stand your ground, but keep in mind that she may be scared of losing you too.

Loren - posted on 04/12/2011




Hello Alana,

I know it's tough being a single mom as I am one and I know it can get lonely sometimes. That being said, many of the responses you've received from other mom's do have merit. When my son was young I dated a few different men but soon realized that what I was doing by introducing him to them too soon did more harm then good. For a female child this can be that much more detrimental because she can grow to believe that men can not be depended on to stay put for very long and may eventually have problems developing attachments to any man in her life thereby having difficulties in her own personal relationships with a potential life partner.

I am not saying this because to be hurtful but to clarify. Statistically speaking many long distant relationships don't usually work out because they are very difficult to maintain. I don't wish to sound like I am trying to tell you what to do one way or the other; however, I would like to caution you if it is you who intends on relocating because if it happens that it doesn't work out for what ever reason, you may find yourself in a very precarious situation. I have seen far too many women who have done this in the past, have found a man that they believed was their soul mate and picked up their roots and those of their children and relocated to where the man was only to later find that the relationship is not what they thought it was and unable to find a way out; or, they chose to move to another city altogether only to have the man abandon them for someone or something else even after a long period of time again leaving them stranded. This has happened to several women very close to me and many of them found it very difficult to recover from the shock not to mention the effect it had on the children.

I myself am a single mom, I have 3 children 12, 19 and 24. Although my children each have different fathers I was with my 19 year old's father co-parenting for 10 years before I came to the realization that I wanted a relationship and he simply wanted to play the role of dad and did not wish to have a romantic relationship with me (we were not married nor were we living together). Initially I was fine with that and remained chaste for the entire time, however, there came a point where I needed more. I wanted a relationship that would eventually lead to marriage and I thought I found that with my ex...I was wrong. I had the opportunity to move to his city but decided against it and I am glad I did because had I done so it would not have ended well as I soon realized. I can only say THANK GOD I listened to my instincts. My youngest daughter is now 12 and I've dated only one man for a short period of time but as far as my little one was concerned he was just a friend that lived in the neighborhood.

The only thing that I can suggest to you is that you take some time with your daughter and talk with her. Take her to the park or do an activity at home and just talk to her. Show her that you really do love her and care about how she feels. Ask her what she's feeling about the things that are going on in her life and listen, I mean really listen. I know at the best of times for a single mom it is very difficult with everything we are responsible for but communication is soooooo important with your kids especially when you are a single parent. I know because I made the mistake time and time again with my older two despite my honest efforts. I find myself sometimes doing the same with my youngest but she's spunky and does back to me what I did with her when I was trying to get her attention lol. She will come close to me and put her hands on my cheeks gently and say "mom, I need you to hear what I am saying"....God love her lol.

Yes sometimes being a single mom can be very lonely at times but my children are my life and in my man comes even close in least not until they are able to care for themselves....and with God's help.....
I can wait! My love goes out to you hun and I truly with you all the best in your relationship with your daughter and with the new man in your life. I pray that he is the "ONE" for you and that it all works out.

Alicia - posted on 04/01/2011




I just got into a serious relationship & even though my kids love my boyfriend my oldest child who is a 12 year girl is acting out too. My daughter tries to see how I am going to react to her acting out & to see his response as well. It took me awhile to realize what she was doing but now that we know it is all about consistancy with her. She has gotten better but every now & than she will see how far she can push. I wish you the best of luck


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AlyCat - posted on 11/25/2013




I'd like to reply to this from a different perspective as I am a child of this situation. Throughout my life, my mother has had several serious boyfriends and has started going online whenever she feels upset to encourage her that she can be loved (she's had depression for around a decade now). Since then, my trust for her has depleted and now I can't even seem to talk to her about anything as I now she'll go on about it to her newest 'friend' (a term she has used and something I personally wouldn't use if the child already knows what's going on). Now I'm unable to make any connections with anyone, as trust issues and social anxiety get in the way. I feel possessive of my mother because I feel she'll make another mistake and fall into a failed relationship that'll lead to several years of pain for her and myself. Since I should be thinking about going to college and passing my GCSE's, (I'm from the UK) I don't have time nor stability to 'get to know' a new boyfriend, which I obviously feel will end in tears and that there is no point to doing it anyway. If anyone 'from the other side' of this scenario maybe give me tips to what I need to do, please, I'm all ears.

Ashley - posted on 04/14/2011




It took my son almost a year to warm up to my boyfriend i couldent even leave the room without my son following me so it can take a ton of time but now my son loves him and they have a great relationship its going to take this guy making her trust that he is going to stick around could take a ton of time. good luck

Tabbatha - posted on 04/11/2011




Hi Alana,

I think the issue that caught my attention in your post was when you stated "Whenever a new guy comes into my life she takes on an extremely different attitude." I am a single mom to an 11 year old daughter. I choose not to bring men I meet or date around her because you just never know if it's going to last. That being the case I don't want her exposed to several different men, not that I date alot...I've had two boyfriends in her 11 years of life and she only met one of them and that was after we'd dated for approximately 6 mths. I'm currently in a long distance relationship (she knows about this relationship, only because she overheard me talking about him to a friend of mine)...needless to say she's never met him and does not know anything about our relationship...however she was very angry and upset that "mommy has a boyfriend", she acts out whenever he texts me or calls me, she doesn't want me to date, or ever get married, she doesn't even want me and her dad to get back together (she wasn't even born when I decided to leave him). However my boyfriend and I both have chosen not to meet one anothers kids until we are certain that this is going to be something long term or permanent. I am very careful to not expose my daughter to certain things, children are exposed to enough stuff this day and age as it is. I did sit her down and had a talk with her explaining that it's important for mommy to have friends and time out for myself...just like she does things with her friends and has fun, mommy needs the same thing. I told her it's very important that she and I do things together like we always have (I spend alot of quality time with her, so she isn't lacking attention) and it's also important for us to spend time apart and interact with others. I think it's a normal thing for kids to act out because in some aspects they feel threatened that you're being taken away from them but it's also important to teach them respect and to know their place as a child.

Marjorie - posted on 04/10/2011




Hi Alana,
That's an interesting situation here:-) Am a single mother with two boys of 7 & 9 years there's a difference of 21 months between them...I have been separated for 3 years now and obtain my official divorce last year. Thru out this difficult situation my two boys was of great support to me and hug me take care of me lots of time. The first year i went thru similar situation with a new boyfriend who was taking care of them and me at the same time but they were rude to him and very unpolite. So we decided to give them the liberty of doing whatever they like but when it comes time for home rules & regulations i couldnt skip this with them. But at the end i was fed up of their reaction and choose to live alone with them BUT had always had an open conversation like an adult with them explaining my needs and want to have someone taking care of me as i do for them. I came to realise that kids in fact are scared to loose their precious only parent and that an ideal boyfriend would be someone having the same liking as them without forcing the nature of doing too much. The kids now choose from my whole list of friends who can be my boyfriends because this one brings me flowers,this other would watch movie with them and make fun around. So my advise to you is to let it go with the flow but always have an adult conversation with ur child it help sometimes putting them in your shoes and it work cause don't think that Kids of 9 are too young,you will be amazingly surprised to see that they are indeed smarter than we would be at their of luck Marj

[deleted account]

thank you carey- and yes its been about 6 months, and i agree she is possibly seeing what she is getting away with. That is why i do girls nights and stuff like that, and the only stable male in her life is my father, who she will occasionally spend a week with just because ever since she was born he was always a huge part of her life :) i will have to make sure to show her that, and she is seeing a school counselor so im thinking of possibly bringing it up with her they meet once a week and its a safe environment for her to talk to someone, who always lets me know if theres anything to have concern for.. i will have to keep an eye tho as always shes definitely a smart child for sure :)

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