Dating later in life can be a challenging time but when you add kids into the mix, it can be an even bigger challenge. Here are some helpful and practical tips to help make dating a little easier when there are kids involved.
Wait to meet the kiddo
Even if you hit it off well and feel like you might have found the one you have been looking for, it is important not to move too fast when it comes to introducing your friend to the kids. Especially if the kids are young or if the split up or loss of their mother or father was painful, you will want to take it slow. Some experts recommend waiting at least three to four months before meeting the kids.
Know the Ex and their relationships
Or at least know as much as you can about them. If the ex is still in the picture and is involved in the lives of the kids, you will want to meet them. It may be awkward but getting to know them, even a little, can make those family encounters down the road much easier. Do you really want the first time you meet the ex to be at your wedding or at some big family celebration? If the ex is involved and welcomed in the family, it is best to try and be a civil as possible and know all that you can about them.
Don’t try to be cool by the kid’s standards
It is natural to want to try and impress the kids and make them like you. But you cannot allow them to control how you feel. The danger in trying to be cool and ‘liked’ right away is you are giving he kids the power. They need to know that you are not trying to replace the parent they loss and that if they don’t want to be your friend at first you understand, but that you like their mom or dad and want to be able to hang out with them. Depending on the age of kids, this can be approached different ways. Talk with your partner and see what the best way to approach the subject is.
Don’t lose sight of the one you love
Having kids can be a challenge, especially when someone is raising them on their own. When you are dating someone with kids, it can be hard for them at times to remember to include you. They are used to doing things on their own. They may not readily come to you with advice or ask for help. They may initially reject offers of help because they are not used to having someone offering to help. The import thing to remember is that you love them and they love you and you can work through these times together.
The following was a post by Sarah Jo Lorenz-Coryell