I just read a rather horrifying story about arrests being made at a huge birthday party on Ohio, after a drunken fight involving 75 of the 150 guests attending. It was so bad that the first police responders had to wait for reinforcement before taking control, due to flying bottles and glass shards everywhere. Tables and chairs were upturned, and the rented hall became a blitz of brawling party goers that ended up with several arrests (and even more hospitalizations) and a very frightened centerpiece of the party – the birthday girl. Who, incidentally, is three years old.
I’m not sure who throws a party for a three year old with 150 guests (I had about half that number at my wedding) but it’s all a personal choice, often with a cultural spin thrown in. But this fight didn’t have anything to do with culture or the overblown guest list. It began between the child’s father and the child’s mother’s boyfriend.
It’s unclear as to what was going on between both men but it’s likely that it was the typical dynamic of parents of children living apart, and new love interests moving into the picture. Perhaps the father feared being overtaken by a new “daddy” or wanted to reunite with the mother. Perhaps the mother taunted the father or the boyfriend was the instigator. Perhaps everyone got drunk and turned into morons. Whatever the trigger, it’s clear that this story brings to light the delicacies of blended families or relationships, that can be very tricky. Many blended relationships work well, but many others end up with children feeling just like the little birthday girl in this story – lost, unheard and caught in the middle of adults who don’t put their children first.
So it begs the question – how does a parent introduce a new boyfriend to her children, and how does she approach it with her ex – her childrens' father? Very carefully, right? But what are the best ways to do this?
The best start is a slow start, over a long period of time. Bringing home a boyfriend after five dates is a really bad idea. Making sure the relationship is very strong, serious and committed before bringing anyone home is a better option.