How to tell a child you're getting remarried
I think it's a pretty sensitive subject to broach with a child that you're getting remarried. How to approach it I think will be pretty dependent on age and how well they know the person you're marrying. I think it's really important to put your kid first when making life altering decisions like this, because things that appear minute to you may seem huge to the child and stay with them for the rest of their life.
One instance I read about that I thought was completely adorable is the new partner creating a special night for the KIDS and proposing to them, to make sure they thought it was okay to marry the mom. Now, if I were a mom, I think this would just melt my heart and be such a hugely appreciated gesture. What a good way to get a new family off on the right foot...
Even if the new partner were to just talk to the kids and get their 'advice' on marrying the mom, I think that take some courage and helps the kids feel involved.
I also feel like having younger kids (and even older ones) be involved in your wedding somehow will make it easier.
As the kids get a little older and less accepting of things, I think a heart to heart conversation is the best way to go. Make sure they know the new partner is not trying to replace their dad, no matter where the did is or his level of involvement. Make sure they have some say in their life. And, if they're not happy, make sure they have a place where their thoughts and opinons can be heard in a creative way that is conducive to resolving the conflict. It's a huge change, not only for you, but for them too... So making sure to legitimize and hear their thoughts and concerns is an act that will not go unremembered. You guys are family, so make sure the decisions being made are best for the whole family overall.
I think as long as you take it slow with any new partner, especially one you might consider marrying, the kids will adjust to them and probably even become attached to them as time goes on.
Oh, and make sure the new partner doesn't overstep their boundaries in the family unit. That's trouble waiting to happen and often a path to resentment in the children if you don't stick up for them and rectify this behavior immediately. If a partner is important enough in your life to marry, obviously you'll want them to be respected, but stepping in and acting like the parent isn't going to make that happen, imho. It's got to be a gradual change and respect has to be earned by the kids in a lot of ways, no matter the outward “rule'' about respect.
What ideas do you have for telling a child you're getting remarried? What boundaries should be set?
If Erik and I were to break up then I know both of us would want to re-marry. Before a divorce, I would have a round table like discussion with all the kids, Erik and myself present. We would discuss the new family dynamics and that there'd be a possibility down the road for us to re-marry, and that would add another layer to our family unit. Ideally, we would reassure them of our love for them and towards each other, just a different kind of love towards each other, more like friends.
As for boundaries, I think there should be a round table like discussion with the new partner and the kids (if age appropriate) about expectations, household rules, discipline, etc. For younger kids, making sure the new partner only steps in as an authority figure ONLY when a parent is not physically present (IMO),