#DearTRP: I will try not to be so wordy. From the separation till divorce was final took about a year. My ex is getting remarried on May 6 of this year. We have a 4 year old daughter who is beginning to ask questions like “Daddy do you still love my mommy? Mommy, daddy is going to be your prince and walk you down the isle! Do you still love daddy, mommy?” For the most part my lil girl has adjusted well. She does pretty good with her soon to be step dad as well. My question is, at what point do I sit my four year old daughter down and explain to her that some day daddy will have a girl friend. FYI I do not currently have a girl friend. Moreover, I explain to women that we may date but you may not ever meet my daughter. Not to be mean, but just to say that I am not going to introduce you to my lil girl if we are not “serious” if we just kicking it, then thats just that.
P.S. she will be four April 27, but is very smart.
You are Late
In any type of transition children can see what is going on. Children are highly adaptive especially at 5 years and younger; however when you make a change to their environment it has to be intentional because their comprehension of the world around them is a reflection of how they see situations affecting them.
In other words, while you and your ex provided your child with a visual and actual change, you have not provided a mindset change. You have to communicate the change in their dialogue until there is a level of comprehension and security gained. Failure to do so because it is not the “right time” will cause children to develop perceptions of their own.
TALK it out. ANSWER her inquiries.
You said she is smart… don’t do yourself a disservice in pretending she is not. WALK her through the change. You should have really started long before she could ask questions because kids need constant affirmation that your change in love and affection and that the change in effort and time with your ex, has no bearing on how much you love them. Remember she saw you change; she is holding you accountable by asking questions while she tries to reaffirm her place with you. <—- thats some pretty complex stuff. Don’t treat her like she is simple. TALK NOW, you are behind the 8 ball. 4 years becomes 14 years before you know it!