In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 20, 2006 /28 Tishrei, 5767

Kids benefit when single moms date within limits

By Betsy Hart

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I think our culture is demonstrably screwed up in how it looks at almost every aspect of divorce.

But here I'll skip over the lead-up, and go straight to taking on the universal belief about dating after divorce: a new relationship shouldn't be introduced to kids until it's really "serious." Check out all the divorce books, magazines and online advice — this one is written in stone.

A divorced mom myself, I'm raising my four young kids on my own. But fortunately I have very wise friends who have helped me to see that once again the "experts" here just don't make sense.

Most of the advice is directed at women, because we typically have the children living with us. The universal fear is that children will get attached to a new friend in Mom's life, and then that new friend will be gone.

Can't have that, the thinking goes.

Why not? As long as Mom is dating good and worthy men and is not being sexually intimate with them — major conditions here, for sure — what's the problem? Kids have great adults going in and out of their lives all the time. Teachers for a year, a pastor who takes a call to another church, the Boy Scout leader who retires, friends of their parents who move away. These can all be great people with whom our children have positive experiences, even though it's for a short time.

That is, well, life. It's the very nature of friendship. It brings joys and sometimes sorrows, but if the relationships are good ones they can enrich us.

Instead, the experts would seemingly have Mom lying to her children and sneaking off to meet some fellow (not exactly great patterning for when our own kids are teens), only to have the fellow suddenly presented when it's serious. Oh, so Mom, you haven't been out with your gal friends all this time? Great.

Mystery is a scary hardship for our kids, and children of divorce go through too much hardship as it is.

And there's little chance a relationship could become legitimately serious anyway without the fellow having a darn good idea of what his life would be like with a woman's children. Sheesh.

How much better if we single parents set the stage for a healthy dating life for our own children down the road. With a little experience in the matter now, and the wisdom of good friends, here's what makes sense to me and, well, how I've handled it:

Once the divorce was final, I gathered my children and said, "I loved being married, I loved your dad and I'd like to get married again. To that end, I plan to start dating good men. You'll get to meet and enjoy them — think of them as friends, unless and until I let you know a special one will become a husband to me."

I think it's great for my kids to see me being so positive about marriage.

And I know they so appreciate the transparency. Sure, they have different views of me marrying again. While one would prefer to keep me all to herself forever, another actively recruits prospects.

But in any case, my openness helps to minimize their fears.

I've had a few relationships now, and while my kids and I have naturally experienced some real adjustments to our new life, they've enjoyed meeting really nice guys who have enjoyed them in turn, and with whom I am still friendly in each case. It's great for my kids to see that I think very positively of men, and it's lovely for them to see me enjoying being treated well by good men. (Knowing that sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage helps them here, too.)

Plus, the guys have been able to get a real picture of my real life!

Nor do I draw things out. And when I have, so far, had to end the relationships, I've given my kids some appropriate insight as to why, which I hope will help them to think about how to choose a life partner themselves some day. Even better, if I am eventually blessed with a life partner myself, they will have seen a good process at work.

Look, I'm not saying my kids have to know everything about my life. I'm just saying that contrary to what the experts seem to advise, I'm not going to deny them these good things by sneaking around behind their backs, either.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

"It Takes a Parent : How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting Our Kids — and What to Do About It"  

"Hart urges parents to focus...on instilling industry, frugality, sincerity and humility. She encourages parents to reclaim the word "no." Contrary to advice you may have received, you needn't give your child choices, or offer alternatives, or explain to little Suzie why she can't eat eight cookies right before bed-you're the parent, and sometimes you can just say no."

  —   Kirkus Reports

Sales help fund JWR.

Betsy Hart Archives

© 2006, Scripps Howard News Servic