29 December 2015

Transforming Through Conflict

Single Parent Dating UK

Conflict is a natural stage in the development of relationship between two people, or between members of a group. But because most of us have been taught to avoid conflict, when we encounter it in groups, we retreat to the safety of shallow relationships with one another. Conflict is often a healthy sign that participants are getting "real" with one another. Its effective resolution results in increased intimacy and trust, which equates to superior group performance. 

In all fairness, it does takes a fair degree of intestinal fortitude to walk through the fire of conflict. To skillfully make this journey, you must have developed, to some degree, a certain degree of self-mastery so that you can walk "through" the conflict with the group and not retreat!
Where does conflict come from? Most conflict is the result of inaccurate assumptions made by the conflicting parties. To resolve conflict, it's necessary to uncover these assumptions while maintaining an atmosphere of respect. 

A major impediment to conflict resolution is our need to be right. If we can embrace a desire to "understand" the other, or in Steven Covey's words, "Seek first to understand, then be understood," this will go a long way in resolving or avoiding conflict all together.
Here's an example of what one might do to facilitate conflict resolution in a group. Say you're in a working group and Sally is mad at Joe because she doesn't feel he's pulling his weight. The first step in resolving conflict is to get consent from the parties involved to work through it. You ask, "Sally and Joe, would you be willing to work this issue through with our support right now?" If they agree, get each of them in turn to explain their perspective, assumptions, and feelings, without blaming the other.               Single Parent Dating UK

Since emotions are usually charged during conflict, the challenge for you will be to get each side to stay with the facts, to own their own feelings around the history of the conflict, and to hear each other. When you get to the bottom of most conflicts, you'll usually find that both sides want something or have something in common that can form the beginning of an understanding between them. Getting them to break through the emotion to get to this place and to hear the perspective of the other side will be your task.
Things to keep in mind for conflict resolution: trust that the parties involved can work through the conflict, maintain mutual respect between conflicting parties, facilitate ownership language, make sure everything is spoken and heard by each party, have each party make requests of the other, then check for resolution.

18 December 2015

Dating after Kids: How to Ensure it goes a smoothly as possible

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

You’re a single parent. Whether divorced or widowed, eventually you’re going to want to start dating. One of the most common questions is “How and when do I introduce my new partner into my child’s life?” Here are the top ten tips on dating after kids:

1) Is your new partner a keeper or just a fling?
Don’t introduce your kids to anyone new if they’re not going to be around for the long haul. Remember you already got divorced once, so make sure you’ve dated for at least 6 months before introducing your kids to a new partner. Yes, that’s right, 6 months of solid commitment. If this is just a summer romance or a rebound keep the kids out of this. See your fling when your kids are with their other parents or sleeping over at their friend’s homes.

2) Is your new partner too eager to meet your kids or too eager to introduce you to their kids?
Being too eager to meet our kids after a few dates can be a warning sign. What’s the rush? Yes, it’s important for your new partner gets along with your children but keep your children’s best interest at heart and ensure this romance is going to last. It’s too painful for your kids to meet a string of people coming and going in and out of their lives.

3) Time Lines
Remember your children don’t recover from change the same way you do. Unless there was a lot of divorce discussion, your children probably did not hear about your divorce until just before it occurred. Your kids have had less time to adjust to the idea that their world is changing. You can’t expect your kids to be ready for someone new in their life just because you’re ready. Proceed with caution.

4) Take advantage of your shared custody
Schedule your dates when your children are with their other parent. This gives you the privacy you need to develop a relationship, be intimate and have adult sleepovers without getting your kids involved. Be creative, schedule dates when the kids are at after school programs, school trips, sleep overs at friend’s homes or trade off “play dates” with another parent to give yourself time to socialize.

5) One Mom, One Dad
Reassure your children that no one will replace either of you. Kids do worry that your new partner will replace their Mom or Dad or that you expect them to call your new partner “Mom” or “Dad”. Your kids need your reassurance that it’s OK for them not to love your new love but they need to be respectful. This is especially true if your children are older and have become accustomed to have you all to themselves. 

6) Talk to your new partner about each other’s children
Both you and your partner may have kids. If you’ve decided this person is a keeper, now is the time to talk about how you raise your children, what are your house rules (his and hers), and your expectations for a future life together. When two families get together it’s more like an amalgamation then a blending of families. It’s important for you both to understand the dynamics of each family. Have a long talk about family expectations, discipline, money, education, holidays, vacations, and anything else you believe is important. It’s a big deal merging kids and families together.

7) Introduce your new partner slowly and in small doses
The day has come for your special someone to meet your children. Choose an event where no one has to be not the centre of attention. Choose to have the kids meet at an event that involves other adults, visit a children’s museum or a kid friendly attraction or event, or head out for a yummy treat. It’s best to keep it short and sweet for the first few visits. Limit PDA or public displays of affection for the first 5 or 6 visits. You want your kids to get to know this person as your friend first. Ensure your date knows your kids’ needs come first, so you may have to head home if someone gets tired or sick and your attention will be on your children and their enjoyment first. 

8) Manage your expectations
Junior may not be enamored with your choice. Remember you don’t need your child’s approval. If you’ve been single for a while, your child may experience feelings of jealousy and anger. Go slowly so our children can adjust to changes in your life and their lives. It really is up to your new partner to build up the relationship with your child. Don’t except your older child to be crazy over your partner right away. They are old enough to express themselves. All children may feel conflict between being loyal to their other parent if they “like“ your new partner. It takes time for people to create new relationships. Give them time and space to adjust to your new partner and to get to know them. 

9) Be open with your children
Communicate to your children in an age appropriate manner. Communication with your kids involves both talking to your children in an open and honest manner, and listening to their feelings and opinions too. Listen to how they feel about your partner. If they are uncomfortable about your partner, no matter how painful it is to hear the news, take the time to understand how your child feels.

10) Time, patience & love
Make sure now that you have a new love, you don’t disappear on your children. Yes, love is infatuating and we know how great it feels to be held by someone who loves us. But make sure you spend quality time with your children. Don’t be spending hours on the phone while your kids are still awake. They still need you. Spending time with your kids reminds them how special they are to you and helps your children feel that your new partner is not there to steal you from them.

Remember it took time for you to build this relationship with your new partner and it will take time for your children and your partner to develop a special relationship as well. When it comes to introducing your kids to your new love interest, wait, wait, wait. Proceed slowly and give your children the time and attention they need from you.

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

13 December 2015

Save Yourself - Get Over Somebody Who Doesn't Love You

If someone loves you then they do. If they don’t then they don’t. That’s it. 

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

However, it is utterly painful to forget someone who doesn’t love you.
It’s hard to see that your LOVE is not returning the feelings to you.
If someone doesn’t have any feeling for you, it is hard to make them love you at all.
Moreover, if that person loves someone else then it is truly hard to make them love you.
Therefore, it is better to forget them and move on. 

So how can you forget someone who doesn’t love you? Follow these tips.
1) Forgive yourself and then love yourself –
The first step you need to take is to forgive yourself. It may be possible that your LOVE made you feel bad about yourself because you loved them.
However, it is not your fault to love someone. You need to make yourself believe that you didn’t make any mistake by loving that person.
Thereafter, you need to forgive yourself if you believe that you made some mistakes which made that person not to love you back.
Once you forgive yourself, you need to start loving yourself for what you are. At first, it will not be that easy.
However you can come up with a list of your good traits which will help you to feel good. 

2) Learn the correct way to deal with romantic rejections –
Rejections from the loved ones normally trigger a response which is very similar to withdrawing symptoms of a drug addict.
Loving someone who doesn’t love is also like taking a drug. You take drugs which weaken your body and willpower.
Likewise, you love that person just to make you feel worse.

3) Understand that you can’t control them –
It is important to understand that you can’t bully someone to like you back, can you? The other person has the same freedom as you have.
There is only one person in this world on which you can have full control. And that person is you.
Instead of trying to control the other person, you should try to control your own emotions.
Don’t allow yourself to think about THAT person. Don’t dwell over past. Control your emotions and then you will be able to forget THAT person. 

4) Invest your time on something else instead of seeing that person –
It is advised to avoid that person as much as possible. Give yourself some space and invest your time on the other activities which don’t require THAT person.
You have made them a part of your life. Now you need to take steps to cut them off from your life. That’s the way to forget them and become happy. 

5) Give a good channel to your emotions –
Don’t make yourself full of bad emotions. This is an unhealthy act considering psychology.
Most people feel a great relief right after crying. Crying is a method of your body and mind to release some unwanted and bad emotions.
Don't keep unwanted and bad emotions with yourself for a long time. Instead, give them a channel to come out from you.
For this you can express your real emotions to yourself. Or you can also express your emotions to someone who loves you like your relatives and friends. 

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

14 July 2015

5 Tips for Men Who are Dating Women with Kids

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

When dating women with kids, there are a few things you have to realize. Not only does she have other priorities, you also have to realize you won't always be the first thing on her list. Soccer games, ballet, taking them to trips; these are just a few of the things a single mom has to do, when she is caring for her kids alone. For men who are dating women with kids, these are a few tips that can help you out, especially early on in a relationship, to ensure things will work out, and to ensure jealousy isn't a problem in your relationship. 

1 Know you aren't her first priority -
Sometimes, you are going to come second, or even third. If the kids play sports, if they are young and need attention at all times, if they are in special activities or have a doctor's appointment, she has to tend to these things first. By realizing you aren't the only person in her life, and giving her room to take care of and be with the kids (better yet, helping out when possible), will allow you to keep a happy, healthy relationship. 

2. Patience is a virtue -
You have to realize things will go wrong; when she has kids, this means:
- Doctor appointments.
- Babysitter cancelling last minute.
- School recitals and plays.

These are only a few of the many things a single mom has to deal with; when you are dating women with kids, you must be patient. If you get mad every time she has to cancel a date, or can't go out on a trip you planned, the relationship is going to be short lived. Over time, you will get used to these things. But, early on, you have to be patient, and not get angry, when things don't go your way. 

3. Don't be her second (or third) child -
A single mom has to move quickly, adapt, and already has children to take care of; don't act like a child, and expect her to do the same for you. Show her you can take care of things; help prepare dinner with the kids if she is running late, offer to pick the kids up if she gets stuck at work. Doing these small things not only shows you care about her (and the kids), but also shows you are committed to making it work, and want to be with her, regardless of what else is going on in her busy life. 

4. Talk about the kids -
You don't have to answer to dad, but you do have to show you have an interest in kids, especially hers. When dating women with kids, it is important to do things, and plan your dates and activities around them. Invite them to a ball game, go out to the park with them, and plan weekend dates, which include the kids. You have to understand she is a mother first; when you show her you like kids, and have built a bond with her kids, it will really help the relationship flourish, and will allow you to move forward as a happy couple. 

5. Give her space -
If she says she needs to take a few days off, or can't see you for some time, let her have that space. Don't coerce her to get a babysitter, or stay away from the kids; this will cause a divide. Sometimes, she needs to spend time with her kids, and you need to allow her to do that. When you start asking her to choose between you and the kids, this is going to mark the beginning of the end of a relationship that you want to be in. 

It takes time, practice, and things won't always come easy, when dating women with kids. But, if you really want to make it work, if you want to be with her, and if you care about her, these are a few tips which can help you out, especially early on in a new relationship. Not all relationships are the same, but it is going to take some time to get used to having the kids around, especially if you don't have, or have never wanted, to have kids of your own.

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

8 July 2015

Dating After Divorce: How To You Tell Your Kids

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

We all know divorce creates havoc in any family’s life, especially when children are involved. Moving on after divorce can also be challenging. It’s a time to be very gentle, both with yourself as well as with your children.
Chances are, you made a considerable emotional investment in your marriage. Having seen that relationship fail can make you insecure about facing new relationships ahead. But if you take the time to go within, learn from your mistakes, understand the lessons from your marriage and determine new ways to approach future relationships, at some point you will feel ready to step back out into the dating world again. Then you face the challenge of breaking the news to your children. 

Be Sensitive and Empathic!
Of course the age of your children will play a big part in how to talk to them about your starting to date. The rapport you have with them and closeness within your own relationship with the kids will also play a part in this difficult conversation.
Remember, your children are smarter than you think. They can pick up on your emotions and when you’re telling untruths. It’s best to be honest about your feelings regarding bringing another potential partner into your life. But be very sensitive about their emotions on this topic.
Let your children know you’re healing, feeling better about yourself and are now ready to explore meeting new friends. Remind them how much you love them, how important they are in your life, and that dating has nothing to do with replacing them – ever! Explain that you will still be the attentive parent you’ve always been and that they always come first in your life. Be very clear that no one will ever replace their other parent either!
You may need to have this conversation many times over several weeks or months to give your kids time to digest the concept and express how they feel about what you are saying. Encourage them to ask questions and share their opinions. Be patient and understanding of their perspective, even if you don’t agree with it
Be Selective in Choosing Partners!
Don’t introduce your children to every new person you date. You can let them know that you are going out with friends every once in a while, if they ask, but don’t bring causal relationship partners into their world. This can be confusing for children and disappointing for them if the new partner they meet disappears or gets replaced a few weeks or months later.
When you do find a person you are seriously involved with, prepare the children in advance for the first meetings. Spend short intervals together and let the exposure build over time. Ask the kids for their feedback. Discuss their feelings. Watch how your partner behaves with them. Make sure the kids never feel threatened by the thought they are losing their Mom or Dad to a stranger. How you approach adding a new partner into your life will affect their long-term relationship with the children. So be careful, considerate and empathetic in all your actions. Needless to say, make sure you choose a partner who treats your children well.
Children who have close relationships with both biological parents are more likely to accept a new parent partner into their lives without distress. Because they feel safe in their relationship with Mom and Dad, they are less likely to be threatened by a new adult entering the picture. When one biological parent disrespects and disparages the other parent, it puts the children on the defensive, making them much more likely to reject a new relationship partner entering the family dynamic.
So take your time when transitioning into dating after divorce. Move slowly when opening the door to new relationships that will be affecting your children. Putting yourself in their place will give you insight into what it can be like to find Mom or Dad with a new partner. Talking with a therapist or relationship coach can be quite helpful as you transition into this next phase of your life.

23 June 2015

Trying to Move On After Divorce

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

Few things in life are as difficult to recover from as divorce. This is especially true when there are children involved. Whether you wanted it or not, there are things you have to tackle if you want to ive a happy and fulfilled life after your divorce. While the road to happiness may seem long, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  These five tips will help you cope and start the next chapter of your life.

Take Time to Grieve
It is alright to grieve the loss of your marriage. Many people try to gloss over this grief with distractions such as shopping, throwing parties, spending time at clubs, etc…but it is difficult to cover up the feeling of loss with momentary distractions. Take the time to grieve and process your feelings. Unaddressed emotions tend to bottle up and spill over down the road. Crying is OK, and you will be able to move on more quickly if you have taken time to grieve.

Go To Therapy
There is no shame in seeking some help. When you seek help you are actually demonstrating strength.  You may need someone to talk to after your divorce who will help you tackle your issues once you are single. A professional counselor may help to uncover issues that led to your divorce, and they can give you coping tips for life.

Focus on Something Useful
If you have a job, you need to focus on your work. If you have kids, you need to focus on your kids. You need to have something in your life that is going to allow you to focus for at least a part of the day. However, it’s important to make a distinction between doing something useful and beneficial to your recovery and something that can ultimately be destructive. Drugs and alcohol will only temporarily mask your pain and may lead to potential addiction.   

Do Not Lose Contact
If your ex-spouse is the mother or father of your children, you need to keep in contact with them on some level. You have to do everything you can do to remain amicable so that you can have a good relationship for the sake of your kids. There are therapists who specialize in this area of counseling, and you must remember that this investment in your relationship with your ex can help you heal.

Feelings of unworthiness sometimes creep in after a breakup, but there is always someone out there who will love you for you. You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and head back out on the dating scene. Now, no one is suggesting that you should go on a date the day after you get divorced, but you should be willing to put yourself out there. When you are dating, you are taking a chance on yourself that you might not have taken before. Often, it is your children and friends who are urging you to put yourself out there because you may find love again.
When you are recovering from divorce, it’s important to realize that the pain you are experiencing is temporary. While the light at the end of the tunnel may appear dim, it’s indeed there, waiting for you. Implementing these 5 tips will go a long ways to aiding in your recovery.

20 June 2015

Three Ways You Can Become a Great Stepfather

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

At times being a stepfather can be a rewarding, challenging and disappointing experience. Like with any other endeavor worth pursuing you have to be intentional about being a great stepfather. To be a great stepfather requires maturity, perseverance and commitment. Underlying these attributes must be a strong marriage where there is unity of purpose regarding raising the children between the husband and wife. Anything less than singular agreement will weaken the stepfather's role within the family. While each stepfamily has its own unique dynamics and circumstances there are three things you can do to ensure you're a great stepfather.

Focus on Your Marriage. Statistics show one of the main causes of divorce in blended families is the stress of step parenting. As much as possible focus on your wife and marriage and not the children. This will ultimately benefit everyone including the children. If the children see love, respect and open communication between you and your spouse, they will feel more secure and may even learn to model those qualities. Keep in mind early on this might not necessarily be considered a positive by your stepchildren. In fact, they may be threatened by it. Some children who hold a strong fantasy their parents will reconcile will find your commitment a barrier to life as they would have it. Taking good care of their mom will help get the children to like you and maybe even love you the fastest. Set aside "alone time" with your wife by making regular dates. Take their mother out to do the things she loves doing and once in a while invite the children to join in. A fun and enjoyable event for everyone is a great catalyst for developing your relationship with the children. Be sensitive to your wife is also mom and there will be times when she will have to help or spend time with her child when you would really like her to be spending time with you. Finally, never put your wife in a situation where she has to choose between you or her children. She will always choose her child.

Practice Patience and More Patience. Take your time when joining a blended family. It is a complex family built out of a loss from death or divorce resulting in the breakup of the first family. Don't expect your stepfamily to work like a biological family. Given time close loving relationships between all family members may develop but it also might never happen. It takes time to develop common goals and values and establish family history and traditions. Don't set yourself up by expecting a close loving relationship with or acknowledgement and appreciation from your stepchildren. This may not happen for many years if at all. While you cannot expect instant attachment or love you can expect to be treated respectfully. Model respectful behavior towards your step children and let them see you set the example. Encourage trust by never making negative comments about the biological parent or siblings around your step children. Many stepfathers make the mistake of establishing authority over their stepchildren too early and the children will resent it! Let their mother handle the issues early on, but be on the watch for opportunities where you can step in and allow them to build some trust in you. This can transpire through casual conversations where you can allow them to open up and share their feelings with you. Present a unified parenting approach to the kids - arguing or disagreeing in front of them may encourage them to try to come between you.

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

Relationship with Your Stepchildren. Talk to the children's mother about your role and ensure both parties understand and are in agreement. At least initially your role is more of a friend or mentor rather than a disciplinarian. Communicate to your stepchildren you're not their dad and won't try to take his place. Let the biological (custodial) parent remain primarily responsible for discipline until you developed solid bonds with the kids. Create a list of family rules. Discuss the rules with the children and post them in a prominent place. This may diminish custodial parent-stepparent-stepchild tension. Try to understand what the rules and boundaries are for the kids in their other residence, and, if possible, be consistent. A great number of stepchildren will have a hard time accepting you and will often defy your decisions and cause all kinds of problems within your blended family during these times it's important to remember it's not about you. Your stepchildren's negative reactions to stepparents are really about the child's losses and not you. Keep your expectations low -your stepchildren may not respect you or hold you in high regard. Remember they didn't have a choice as to divorce and remarry. The drastic changes they are going through need to be met with realistic expectations and understanding. Be approachable and accessible to your stepchildren. Being a great stepfather will probably require you to have your own support and feedback system. You shouldn't expect your stepchildren to thank you for the role you played in their life. Suggest viewing being a stepfather as a job where you establish measures for your effectiveness. Additionally, suggest finding another stepfather you can be accountable with and support each other.

16 June 2015

Want A Happier Life? Learn to Forgive

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA

If we truly want to live a happier life, we must dig deep and learn to forgive. Forgiveness is the most precious treasure that we can give ourselves and each other.
When we are willing to take responsibility for forgiveness, we are guaranteed a life of peace, gratitude, wisdom, expansion and growth.
If not, we are destined to a life of blame, resentment, pain, self pity, guilt and anger.

To be truly happy, forgiveness begins with our self first. Each time we beat ourselves up for the past, for mistakes or bad choices that we have made, we stay trapped in a shell of toxic shame and self–abuse.
Somehow we think that we deserve this. Maybe we were told that we were bad as a child by a parent or a teacher and part of us believes this. We believe that punishing ourselves will make us a better person or a more humble person.
But this lie will never make us a better person. It will only keep us prisoner to the shame that we continue to carry. Whether in the privacy of our own minds or out loud for all to hear, each time that we criticize ourselves for our own faults and mistakes, we are participating in our own self-abuse. We are telling ourselves that we are bad. We, in fact, become our worst enemies.
If what we desire is a love filled life, we must learn to love ourselves first. That can only happen with forgiveness.

“Although forgiveness often looks like a generous gift we are giving to someone else, it is ultimately an act of self-love and a gift we give to ourselves.”

Our resentments hold onto us like a ball and chain, keeping us prisoner to our anger and to the person that we are so angry toward. We think that we will show them by continuing to make them suffer. But we are the ones who are truly suffering!
We continue to try and prove that we are right and ‘they’ are wrong.
Our righteous attitude keeps us locked up in our own misery.
We find a sick kind of comfort in this.
Our freedom begins with taking full responsibility for our part and…
… letting go of blaming others.
The power of forgiveness does not require that we agree with, condone or tolerate abuse or bad behavior. We forgive the sinner, not the sin.
By forgiving, we set ourselves free to create and receive so much more.
By forgiving others, we do not become doormats for them to wipe their feet upon. It is important that we create and set strong boundaries for those who would continue to try to take advantage of us.
True forgiveness allows us to stop being victims and helps us to step into our power and authority so that we will not make the same mistakes again.

Single Parent Dating UK
Single Parent Dating AUSTRALIA
Single Parent Dating - SOUTH AFRICA