Discussing your son's feelings about his father's girlfriend may reduce some problems between them.

How to Handle a Kid That Has Problems With Dad's Girlfriend

by Candice Coleman

Love is in the air for your former partner and his girlfriend - until your son met the girlfriend, anyway. Conflicts between your children and new significant others can leave everyone involved feeling exasperated in the middle. While there are no guarantees that your son will ever like, or even love, your former partner's girlfriend, there are ways you can reduce the conflict between them.

1. Talking it Out

Children may fantasize that you and their father will one day reunite, and the introduction of a girlfriend can bring those hopes to a dramatic end, according to HealthyChildren.org. Set aside time regularly to talk to your son about his feelings --both about his dad's new girlfriend and his feelings on his father dating in general. Asking what you can do to help can give you insight into how to improve the relationship. Your son may worry that you are jealous or angry about the new girlfriend, so reassuring him it is not may help him accept her.

2. Supporting the Girlfriend

Your son may be looking to you to establish how he should treat his father's girlfriend, according to KidsHealth. If he calls her names, mocks her or disobeys her, calmly tell him which behaviors are appropriate and which are not. You should also check how you approach his father's girlfriend. Even if you do not like her, make an effort to speak warmly of her in front of your son to encourage similar behavior in him.

3. Mediation

Reminding your son of the household rules and the punishments for breaking them can go a long way in reducing conflict between him and your father's girlfriend, according to KidsHealth. You and your child's father should discuss how his girlfriend should handle conflict and discipline with your son. Allowing her to discipline him could add fuel to preexisting tensions.

4. Additional Help

If your child's father introduces your son to his girlfriend shortly after he began dating her, or too soon after a previous breakup, it may fuel some of your son's negative feelings for the girlfriend, according to psychotherapist Kristi Pikiewicz, writing for the "Psychology Today" web site. Children will usually grow more accepting of a girlfriend as time goes on and they get to know her better. If change is not forthcoming, or the problems between the two get worse, a family therapist may be able to help.

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