How Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony Learned to Raise Kids With Much Younger Partners

Rais­ing kids as a sin­gle par­ent is hard, and adding a new part­ner to the mix can make it even more com­pli­cated. Things get even messier when that new part­ner is a lot younger.

A lot of peo­ple have very tra­di­tional views about what a fam­ily unit should look like: par­ents who are rel­a­tively close in age, a bread­win­ner father, a nur­tur­ing mother, and a cou­ple of kids. But the real­ity is that non­tra­di­tional fam­i­lies are becom­ing more and more com­mon, partly because divorce rates are on the rise, which leads to more blended fam­i­lies. Age-gap dat­ing, which has also become more wide­spread and accepted, fur­ther mud­dles the dynam­ics of family.

Jen­nifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are the per­fect exam­ple of this very real sit­u­a­tion. After divorc­ing in 2011, the pair had to fig­ure out how to raise their three-year-old twins together, while being apart. They both also went on to start rela­tion­ships with new part­ners who were sig­nif­i­cantly younger—Lopez hooked up with one of her dancers who is 18 years her junior, while Anthony dated a cou­ple of much younger models.

Of course, the media wasted no time in blast­ing the for­mer celebrity cou­ple, Lopez espe­cially, for expos­ing their young chil­dren to what most peo­ple assumed were just rebound flings with younger part­ners. But despite the harsh crit­i­cism, both Lopez and Anthony are accept­ing of their new, non­tra­di­tional fam­ily. “I kind of let soci­ety get inside my head, ‘Oh, it shouldn’t be like this. I did this [wrong]. I did that. I failed,’” Lopez told ABC News. “No. [The twins are] happy, they’re healthy, they’re loved more than any­thing in the world and they’re going to be fine.”

What would you do if you had young chil­dren and were dat­ing a much older man? Would you intro­duce them right away, or wait till you were sure that the new man was stick­ing around for the long haul?


“Jen­nifer Lopez on rais­ing kids with ex Marc Anthony: ‘I am a non­tra­di­tional fam­ily’,” New York Daily News web site;, last accessed June 6, 2013.