If you're undecided and look to them for permission to date, you may or may not get it, but one thing's for sure. You don't have to ask them if it's okay or if they'd mind if you go out. To avoid conflict, some parents will keep their dating a secret from their children.
But when you hide the fact that you're dating, you're still giving your children control.
By dating secretly, you're telling your children that you're ashamed of what you're doing.
Having a life outside of being a parent is nothing to be ashamed of.
Everything you do and say and feel is a lesson for your children.
When you take care of yourself emotionally by enjoying your life and the people who populate it, you're teaching your children how to become healthy, happy adults as well.
Your children need to know that while they are a very important part of your life, your entire world doesn't revolve around them.
When you can be open with your children about your social life, it reduces their anxiety and builds trust.
The theory is that if you don't get any oxygen, you'll be unable to help your child.
While you will need a bit more organization and some creativity to be a dating parent than if you were single without children, both you and your children will benefit from the extra effort.
I know how important it is to take care of your children; to meet their physical and emotional needs.
But if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of your children.
Taking care of yourself first is what I call the "oxygen mask" principle.