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Children's Health

Father`s new girlfriend?

11/18/2008

Question:

My son is 4 years old and his father and I have not been living together for 2 years and seperated for 1 year. We always talk of getting back together, but he has now found someone he would like to be with and has been with her for 2 weeks and she is already staying with my son and his father. His father has a one bedroom house and says his girlfriend and him sleep on the couch together. Will this do any damage to my son? My son has also been complaining that his dad won`t cuddle with him anymore because his girlfriend is always there? Is this something I need to address more with his father? I`m not sure if I am contacting the right person here, if you could recommend some resources if I have the wrong person I would appreciate it. Thank you

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question.  I am sure that this is a difficult situation for you and your son.  Children like consistency in their relationships. When either parent starts dating another individual, it becomes confusing to them.  I think you should have a conversation with your son's father to express your concerns. Specifically, I would mention the concerns raised by your son.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has some information on how to discuss these very sensitive issues.  Please see the attached link.

Related Resources:

Making the Divorce Livable for Your Child

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Go to the Children's Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati