10 Tips to Parenting Throughout Your Engagement

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Getting engaged is an exciting time in any relationship. You and your partner are committing to each other and looking forward to spending your lives together. However, if you have kids, you need to remember that while your relationship is changing, your role as a parent isn’t. 

As you go through this transition, it’s important to keep your children’s needs at the forefront. Here are 10 tips to help you balance your new engagement and your ongoing parenting duties.


Make time for yourself

While being a parent will always be your number one priority, it’s important to understand the significance of this time in your relationship. It starts with purchasing the perfect ring. Shop a wide range of Larsen Jewellery engagement rings to ensure this period of your life starts off with a piece that’s just as unique and beautiful as your relationship.

Once your engagement is up and running, don’t neglect one-on-one time with your partner. Schedule regular date nights and weekends away to focus on each other. Strong foundations make for lasting marriages. Of course, be sure your kids are cared for during your absences.


Break the news gently

This tip applies if your new fiancé(e) is not a parent to your children. Telling your kids you’re engaged can stir up complicated emotions for them. Have an open and honest conversation, reassuring them that they are still your number one priority.

Explain how your relationship might change in positive ways with the growth of your family. Emphasise that you and their other parent will continue co-parenting as you always have.


Involve them in wedding planning

Get your kids excited about your wedding by allowing them to help with planning. Let them suggest ideas for flowers, flavours for the cake, songs for the playlist, or other ways they can contribute. This gives them something fun to look forward to and can totally change their mindset towards your engagement.


Set boundaries with your partner

As is the case with any new partner, discuss appropriate boundaries with your fiancé(e) regarding your kids. How much will they interact? What role will your partner play in discipline or caregiving?

Sort out expectations to avoid confusion. Privately discuss parenting approaches to ensure you’re on the same page and your changed family functions well.


Include your kids in engagement photos

Capture your newly-expanded family during a photo session. Get a few shots with just you and your partner, then bring the kids in for festive group pictures. Display these in your home to reinforce that you’re all on this wonderful journey together.


Maintain your routine

When you get engaged, it’s tempting to let your everyday routines slide. You and your partner may be caught up in wedding planning activities or spending more time together. However, it’s crucial to maintain regular routines for your kids as much as possible.

Children, especially younger ones, thrive on consistency. Their days are structured around school, extracurriculars, homework, chores, meals, and bedtimes. When these routines get disrupted, it can create anxiety around the changes in their family situation brought on by your engagement.

Try to stick to regular schedules for waking up, bedtimes, and meals. Get your kids to school and activities on time. Uphold rules around homework and household responsibilities. Don’t allow your wedding prep to interrupt their dance classes or soccer practices. This ensures your family continues to operate smoothly, and ensures your children do not become disenchanted during this time of transition.


Get support from loved ones

Don’t be afraid to ask relatives or close friends for extra help with childcare during this busy time. Maybe they can chauffeur to sports practices or host the occasional sleepover. Trade off babysitting duties so you and your partner can have some time alone.

Setting aside special time for you and your partner to focus on your relationship is critical not only for the two of you but your entire family. It ensures that your wedding planning and other elements of your relationship don’t intrude on the life of your little ones. 


Have family meetings

Schedule weekly check-ins to touch base with your kids. Encourage open conversation about how they’re feeling. Brainstorm fun activities to try as a new family “team.” Reassure them they can come to you about any concerns.

This ensures they understand that the fundamentals of your family have not changed. You’re still the same loving, supportive parent you’ve always been.


Be patient through moodiness

Your kids may act out or seem withdrawn as they adjust to their new reality. Try to respond calmly and consistently. Get them any help they need to process their emotions. And give them space when they need it. This is a rollercoaster for everyone.

Wrangling unhappy children is an important skill for any parent. Understand that their emotions don’t come from a place of malice and use the same techniques that have worked up until now.


Let kids know your love is unconditional

Engagement and marriage can stir up deep-rooted fears for kids about losing connection with their parents. They may worry your new partner will displace them in your affections. Or that you won’t have time for them anymore.

To help ease these common concerns, reinforce often that your love for your children is unconditional and everlasting. Remind them they are the most cherished part of your life – no matter what changes come.

Say things like: “I loved watching you dance today! I’m so proud of how hard you work at ballet.” “I can’t wait for our camping trip this weekend. We’re going to have the best time!” “I know things are different right now but I always want you to feel safe coming to me about anything.”

Words of affection should come naturally, but make an extra effort during this transitional time. Leave little love notes in their lunch box or coat pocket. Tell them explicitly how much you enjoy being their parent.

Staying engaged with your kids throughout this exciting life transition will help your whole family thrive. Keep communication open, boundaries clear, and your children’s emotional needs at the forefront. With care and patience, your new chapter will start off happily ever after.