How To Manage Children & Dating?
Juggling dating and parenthood takes great skill and focus. Even just getting time for a date with your new crush takes logistical wizardry. From organizing the sitter, getting the kids picked up from soccer practice, pre-cooking something for dinner and managing to look fabulous when your date shows at the door. If you only have the kids part-time, you’ll probably also feel guilty about not spending time with them. So what if you could have a great date and include the kids?
You can! While not all your dates should involve the kids, bringing them along some of the time can have advantages. Your boyfriend or girlfriend gets to know your kids and how you interact with them. Your kids get to know your date as a person and build their own relationship with them. And, most importantly, you all will have a terrific time out.
When you’re planning a date with kids, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Dating Rules When You Have Kids
- Plan activities that allow relaxed interaction but are not too structured. For example, a day of mini-golf offers lots of fun challenges, but don’t be a stickler for rules. If you all decide to putt left-handed and backward – go for it!
- Plan ways to keep the kids busy, but don’t insist that they do what you planned. For instance, if you’re spending the day at the park, you might bring a soccer ball for a quick game, but if the kids find it more interesting to hunt caterpillars, don’t tear them away to play soccer.
- Keep your plans within your kids’ endurance level. Young people tire easily, and then they get irritable. Tantrums are not fun. If you see your kids start to flag, pack up and go home.
- While it’s always interesting to do something new, consider bringing your date along on something you and the kids already do regularly.
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If you typically take a bike ride on Sundays, invite your date to join you. The kids already enjoy the ride, so they’ll have a good time and they might be more accepting of your new friend.Keeping these guidelines in mind, you can choose from dozens of great date ideas. Here are a few to get you started in dating a single dad or single mom.
Date Ideas With Kids
#1. Outdoor Fun
Parks, amusement parks, mini-golf, hiking, biking, picnics, and beaches all offer wide-open venues for outdoor fun. You can play soccer, softball, or tag. You can discover new places, get some sun, have a few laughs and burn off some energy. Outdoor dates open up amazing possibilities for great memories.
#2. Kids Sports Game Or Recital
Kids already have sports games, music recitals, school performances that you will attend. Your new romance can come along and watch as well. While watching the game or recital, you have a little quiet time with your date and your kids will love having extra supporters in the audience.
Volunteering has become one of the favorite family activities. It helps kids learn the importance of giving back and makes everyone feel good. If there’s a volunteer activity that you already do regularly, invite your date to join you. Or if not, see if there is a way for you all to volunteer together.
Around holidays, volunteers are needed to collect gifts for the poor. Food banks and charity groups will have drives when they need extra volunteers to collect and box donations.
Retirement homes always need people who can visit with residents or help serve dinners. You might even find someone in the neighborhood who could use help, for example an elderly person who could use help with yard work or housework.
Museums offer something for everyone. Most museums have great activities for kids and you can choose which exhibits you want to see and how long you want to spend there. Everyone gets to learn something new and see great visual presentations. Museums can be very crowded and more tiring than you’d expect. So be ready to head out if it gets to be too much.
#5. Game Night
Kids will probably roll their eyes when you suggest a game that does not include electronics, but once they get into it, you’ll all have a rollicking time. Games like Uno, where you get to shout out when you have just one card left, engage kids especially well. Game night is great way to have a date with very little planning.
If kids get bored or cranky, you’re already home. If the weather is bad, you can stay where it’s cozy and have fun. If board games are too sedate for you, try charades. Or if video games are a must, try multi-player, physical games like those based on dancing, band concerts or sports.
#6. Cooking Night
Dinner has to get made. Why not turn it into an event? If you and your date love cooking, this date will be especially fun. Kids of any age can help with cooking. They can stir ingredients, use measuring cups, or watch the timer. Older kids can even be in charge of complete dishes.
Trying a new dish or new style of food (Thai, anyone?) will make the whole thing an adventure. Plus you get to eat your creations. As with all dates involving kids, stay flexible. If the soufflé doesn’t come out great, just laugh and enjoy it. It’s more important to make good memories than to make gourmet meals.
Dates with kids can be tricky, but the rewards are great. You get to spend time with your family and your new crush. Everyone gets to bond in a low-stress, relaxed environment. It’s important to choose a good activity, but exactly what you do is less important than how you do it. Regardless of the specific activity, if you all had a great time and a few laughs, then the date was a success.
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