Divorced parent and dating

Ahrons found that the children she studied had five views of stepfathers: Stepmothers typically do not live with their stepchildren.

Ahrons says only 8 percent of all stepmothers live with their stepchildren.

Children age 5 to 10 are more possessive of their mother than older children.

They may feel threatened or resentful at having to share their mothers with new men.

Older children resent seeing their mothers showing affection to other men.

Dealing with their mothers’ overt sexuality can be troubling and confusing for teens.

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Ahrons found that most children prefer not to be involved in their fathers’ dating lives.

Cohabitation and marriage A parent’s cohabitating with or marrying a new partner is a major adjustment for children of divorce.

The child’s opinion of the new relationship depends largely on the opinion of the other parent.

For example, one child in the study said he thought his mother was “behaving like a teenager.” Older children who have witnessed their parents’ bad marriages are more receptive to their parents’ new relationships.

Still, few teens accept a new partner as a parent figure.

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