How to Deal with Advice From Teen Children on Who You Should Date After Divorce

How to Deal with Advice From Teen Children on Who You Should Date After Divorce

Shannon Storms Beador's daughter Sophie had some rules for Mom before she left the house on a date. 

By Marianne Garvey

Shannon Storms Beador has gotten some valuable dating advice from her oldest daughter, Sophie. The Real Housewives of Orange County mom was headed out on a date (clip above) when her girl told her she was laying down the law.

Sophie's rules:

"No bringing anyone home that I don’t know.

"I don’t want you dancing with any strangers.

"I don’t want you drinking to the point where you don’t remember.

"Four, have fun. Those are my rules.

Shannon seemed to take the earlier advice to heart — and her children actually adore her current boyfriend.

Here's how you can handle awkward advice, or opinions, from teen children on who you should date after divorce:

"It’s tough for a teen to see their parent dating. Although the teen says they want their parent to be happy and meet someone, there is also lots of ambivalence," says relationship expert Fran Greene, author of Dating Again with Courage and Confidence. "The teen may worry about getting less time and attention, will their parent’s partner move in, will they replace their biological parent, etc."

Greene continues: "Since dating can be awkward for teens, watching their parents date can make the teen feel uneasy and even embarrassed. With that said, the teen may become the parent and spell out rules that are quite strict and even unrealistic. It can be a way for the child to protect the parent and even dissuade the parent from dating. Since the teen is feeling the turmoil of divorce, they often become very outspoken, especially when it comes to their parent(s) dating."

When the teen reads you the riot act, "patiently listen and reassure them that you will be safe," Greene adds. 

"Say that you will always be there for them and that you appreciate that they care so much about you. And some of their rules may be exactly what you need to hear. Bottom line is, though, that you are the parent and you will help your child feel more comfortable with your dating by being respectful to your kids and not introducing every date to your child. Once you are in 'serious like,' it’s OK for your date to meet the kids. A happy parent is a better parent."

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