If you're dating and you have children


I just have to wonder… if anyone here is a single parent, do you ever feel tempted to… resent or blame the presence of your child/ren… when things don’t work out in a dating or courtship relationship? have you ever been left by someone because he couldn’t handle the kids?

I ask because I grew up in a single-parent family, and I always felt partially to blame for the way men would always leave after they met the family.

Now, I see my little sister going through the same thing only worse, my mother actually told her it would be her fault if her bf had to leave, because my little sister (8 at the time) was behaving badly enough that he would lose his temper and hit her. and if he hit her again, he wouldn’t be allowed to come back because of CAS and government interferance.

I can see her behaving in ways that frighten me, because they are different than how I reacted.

has anyone ever raised children in this situation, or been raised as a child in this situation, or had a sibling raised in this situation while they looked on helplessly?

how do you cope? what would any of you single parents do, if your bf or potential guy friend hit your little girl or “teased” your four year old until she was hysterical or told your son he wasn’t welcome… would you blame your kids? would you hate the guy? would you be able to pray for him and give him to God?

Pax Christi,
Esther Rose


Someone who has kids should call the police if a date hits one of their children. Then they should immediately break up with them. If someone were to ridicule or verbally abuse a child, the parent should also immediately stop seeing them. No way should the child be blamed.

Now, if the child has behavioral problems, then those probably should be dealt with before a single parent starts to date. It would be unfair to everyone involved for a single parent to put their own social needs above the well being of their child.


Hi Esther,
I was a single mom when my youngest was age 5 to 13 and my oldest 10 to 18. I didn’t date for the first couple of years… until the oldest was 13. When I did start dating, the first guy I dated, I made the mistake of introducing him to the kids before I was sure things were gonna work out. The kids loved him… but he did have a problem when I took my ds2 off his ADHD meds for the summer. Typically we had problems only right as he was going on or coming off his meds. The BF lost it when I had to hold my son in a tight hold until he could calm down. He started shouting at me to call DCFS. I showed him the door and never dated him again.

After that I was very careful to not get my kids attached to a boyfriend. The next guy they met was my now DH. We dated several moths before I introduced him to the kids. One day when he was on his way over to take me out on a date… ds1 (age 14)
had gotten mad at me and kicked me in the back 2 days before my back surgery. When DH got there I was on the floor and I couldn’t get up. He helped me up and asked what happened. I told him. He walked up to my son and said, “I want to talk to you NOW” and walked out the door with him on to the front porch. To this day, I have only heard him cuss twice… this was one of those times… he asked ds1 what the hell he thought he was doing… but never did he lay a hand on him! After he was done “talking” he insisted on taking me out for a little while just to get me away for a little while. I knew this was a good guy!

After that event… my boys both bonded with my DH and they got along great… I really think they needed a man in their lives and DH stepped up to the plate. When DH and I got engaged, DS1 was the one who coordinated the whole surprise party and videotaped it.


The kids come first.

If someone is abusing the kids, you call the police. It doesn’t matter who it is, or what their excuse is - it’s against the law to abuse children, always.


I’m not a single parent, but if I were and my bf did any of those things, he would be out the door so fast it would make his head spin. I’d throw a guy out even if he were mean to my cats! I don’t know if I’d hate the guy, but I would definitely hate his behavior and he would not get a second chance. And I would make that clear very early in the relationship, just as I have always done regarding abusive behavior toward myself.


Why should some1 date if they have kids? They should look out for the kids. Raising them should be the #1 priority. Not shoving them aside.


Has anyone else grown up in second place, though? I mean, has anyone else been the child of the mother who dates abusive men?

If yes, did you get over it? Did you ever move on with your life, to become “normal” and happy? Is it even possible?

Did you ever feel tempted to intervene in the raising of your younger siblings, or only start to figure out that what happened to you was wrong because you know it’s wrong when it happens to them?

Pax Christi,
Esther Rose


sounds like a normal reaction at the emotional level, and also as OP wisely mentions, also may very well have a root in childhood experiences. the trick is to rise above emotions and self-interest to directing efforts, as a parent, to identifying and addressing the real needs of the family, esp. as they change over time. trying not to let a certain natural resentment for one’s situation be passed on to the children is a real struggle in maturity and self-control. a similar struggle takes place in parents dealing with one child whose special physical or developmental needs take up a huge portion of the family’s time and resources.

for a single parent who is free to marry to start dating with a view to finding someone to marry and join the family, and providing an even more solid structure for raising the children, is a worth goal.


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