Stepmom or Stepmonster? Marrying a Man With Kids

March 22, 2012  |  
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1. Have Patience.

Relationships take time to build, so you can’t expect to be one big happy family overnight. A child may look at you as an ‘intruder’ or the ‘enemy’ right from the start – especially if they are very close to their biological mother and think you are trying to replace her. Most kids, no matter their age, want their biological parents to be together and will rebel against any newcomers. All you can do is try to create a warm, positive environment for the child and hope that time takes care of the rest.

Google Images – MadameNoire

2. Be Yourself.

Speaking of trying to replace their biological mother – DON’T DO IT. If she’s in the picture, you will never, EVER, be their mother (sorry, but it’s true), so don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Let the child get to know YOU and develop your own personal rapport with him or her. Don’t try to bribe, trick or cajole a child into liking you, because kids can smell a fake a mile away. Being genuine and sincere with them is the only way you’ll be able to gain their trust and respect. They already have a mother, you just be you.

Google – BCK (Black Celebrity Kids)

3. Leave Discipline (for the most part) to the Father.

These are not your children, and although they should respect you, discipline should be left to the children’s biological parents until the children trust you and are comfortable with you. Some men may say that you have the authority to spank or give their child a time out, especially if the child lives with you both. But take caution with that, because that can go left really quickly since most parents don’t do well with other people laying hands on their child. He may love and trust you, but the child’s mother may go off on ANY woman disciplining her child. Your job is to enforce the rules you all come up with, so a discussion on each person’s role is essential so that you don’t overstep your boundaries. The child should, however, ALWAYS respect you; and your man should be fair and consistent in regulating this so that you don’t feel like the evil stepmother.

Google – Connecticut Black News

4. Be Civil With the Child’s Mother.

I know this may seem easier said than done, but try (as hard as humanly possible) to get along with your stepchild’s mother. A child’s mother is usually his pulse to the world, so if you get along with her, then the child will benefit and it will hopefully make the transition that much easier. I’m not saying you have to go on weekly shopping trips to the mall or go for coffee every Wednesday, but if you must come in contact with the mother, be cordial. Not all women are catty or petty, so this may not be difficult to do at all. But if the relationship between you and your man and the mother is strained for whatever reason, then avoid contact if folks can’t be civil. The child shouldn’t feel any stress as it relates to you both or feel caught in the middle. Be a grown-up, and be the bigger woman. And by all means, never talk reckless about the biological mother to the child. That will only hurt, not help.

Google – Dropout Nation

5. Make Time for the Child.

If you don’t like to be around children, then you probably should not date a man with a child. But even if you DO like children, it can still be difficult to open yourself up to a child who isn’t yours and make yourself available to them. Some kids may push you away and not want you all up in their world, especially if they’re teenagers. But younger children may want your attention in order to feel you out and get to know you. I’m not one to force myself on a child, but start slowly and build from there. Ask him or her about school, or ask them how their sports are going (if they’re involved). Show an interest in their activities and friends, and just listen if they want to talk to you.  And if they don’t open up to you, fall back a little bit until it happens organically. Since you are the adult, you have to earn their trust and respect – so just make yourself available and go from there.

Google – Psychiatric News Alert

6. Once Trust is Earned, Keep It.

Hopefully by the time you actually become the stepmother, the child has had a chance to get to know you. If trust hasn’t been established yet, then you keep working on it until the trust is there. But most men (assuming he’s close with his children) will not marry a woman his child has not approved of already, so make sure you keep that approval rating high by maintaining and nurturing the trust that you’ve earned. If the child tells you something in confidence, don’t break that confidence by running back and telling daddy everything he/she said. The only way you break that trust is if what the child told you reveals that they are in physical or emotional danger. Trust your judgment while respecting the child, and you’ll be in like Flynn!

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  • Rocsi25

    Ok I need anybody’s help I’m in a relationship with my boyfriend and we been together 7months I have a 2&4 year olds, he has a 14,15,17 year old teenagers. However ny kids absolutly love him, but his kids have only been introduced to me and I don’t know what title he’s given me to them… and we’ve been talking about marriage and I can’t marry a man with kids I dont even know or kids who I believe doesn’t even know he’s in a relationship for that matter.. someone help

  • Cam

    I don’t want a man with kids because I’m not ready for that kind of responsibility yet and I’m not sure I want to be a mother.

  • cc

    I am dating a guy with two teen boys…I think it takes maturity on both parts to make it work. I have never heard of a drama free life! There will always be challenges. Some can do it and some can’t. If both are willing to make it work then commit to it. It can be very rewarding.

  • yellowlady

    I ,too, am going thru this. I have been dating a guy who has a 4 yr old daughter who is full of energy, and unforunately her mother’s life was cut short too soon. I am glad I got to meet his ex, because of course she wants what is best for her child and I couldnt blame her. I dont have any children of my own, but I have grown to love that little hi-string girl never the less. I have a step-mother so I know where the little girl is coming from, and I know I could never replace her mother, though she is no longer here with us, she will always be her mother. I enjoy my big hugs and kisses on the cheek from her and enjoy teaching her new things. We have even created a handshake just for us. I have learned to just be myself and also to be a positive female figure in her life.

    • confused

       I am going through a hard time as well. i have been dating a man for 17 yrs now. we even decided to live together.we have one kid (son). he has reached a point that he wants to marry me. and here comes an alarming that he has a child with another girl.the child is seven yrs old.Am afraid i dont know if i’ll manage to live peacefully with this man everytime thinking that he has another family apart from me and my son.i love him so much that i am not ready of losing him for any reason, but at the sametime am afraid to be a step mother. please advice me what to do. I feel confused.

  • Mizzlady140

    Run…as fast as you can its not worth it. I was with a man that had two teenage daughters and it was awful they were rude they fussed and thought i was trying to steal thier father from matter what i did for them it was not was sad..I loved him respected him, but i could not take the disrespect from his kids and when he would stick up for me they would become enraged!.We still see each other but we leave the kids out of it.

  • darkman

    Thanks for those very well said advices men can use too. The problem is exactly the same for men, even worse because, a men can easily treated as child molester, if he’s trying too hard/or too soon to be friend with your lover’s kids…
    Some women don’t want to date men with kids, forgetting that they have kids too… Unless you have no kid and you’re in your 20’s, ruling out men or women with kids leave for you a very tiny group of… players to deal with. Good luck with that…

  • Pingback: Marrying a Man with Kids: How Not To Become A Stepmonster | EURweb()

  • Tashi

    I thought because my ex had a child too it would mean he would be great with my child, all I can say is how wrong was I! At first he was great but it soon became clear that he favoured his own. My daughter was the same age as is child with no contact with her daddy, and it broke my heart. He never mistreated her, but he would never go out of his way. Leaving me to deal with his child ie all her chores, and making very little effort with my child. I tried to get him to see what he was doing wasn’t right but he didn’t want to see it. I feel that if you are in a blended family all the kids should be treated the same. When I started to resent his daughter I knew it was time to go. I wouldn’t date a man with kids again!

    • darkman

      Nobody is perfect… Don’t rule out man with kids, as any man can rule you out too, for the same reason. Instead, observe how a man cope with your daughter before deciding to settle. Dealing with someone else girl is delicate and maybe your ex thought it was better to be not too friendly with your daughter while as a woman, there were no problem for you to handle his son. However, if you had discussed the issue and couldn’t solve it, he deserves to be your ex.

  • Rachael

    NOPE! Never date a guy with kids. You don’t need the drama from the bitter baby-momma or the resentful midgets. Its too many dudes out here without kids to even bother with that kind of craziness. 

    • darkman

      If you have to date men with kids, it’s always better to deal with a divorced, who has already be trained by his former wife and is in fear of failing again….

  • Ladybug94

    Kids can tell if you are sincere or not.  I love my bonus mom (step-mom) and always have.  She’s my mom away from home and she’s has never treated me like a step-child.

  • confused

    I’m currently in that situation. I’m 27 have no kids and in a few months time i’ll be qualifying as a doctor. I’m dating a guy I’ve known for 11 years ho has two kids with this lady. We’re getting serious now and soon I’ll be meeting the kids. The thing is I love him so much (he’s my best friend) but I’m scared I might be taking on too much. My mum thinks I might be, but do I give up on the love of my life because of the kids, bearing in mind that most of the men I’ll probably meet in the future will have kids… Im at such a cross road. what do you guys think?

    • guest

      You don’t mention how old the children are, but just be yourself with them.  If you choose to move forward with this man, he and his children are a package deal.  It is a little unrealistic to expect not to date someone with children once you reach a certain age. 
      I think there is some good advice in this article.  Also, speaking from experience, my ex used money and gifts to finagle his girlfriend into our children’s lives.  Their affair is what ended our marriage, so he needed a way to ingratiate her with our kids.  It did not help that my son (the one minor child we had left together) would report that they spoke ill of me when he visited his dad, or that she would post on FB referring to my 27 year old daughter as her daughter and it seems competed with me for my daughter’s affections.  This is not the way to earn love and respect from his children. 

      • confused

        thanks.. the kids are 5 and 3.. so still quite young. I dont intend to replace their mother and never would. I accept that his kids come as a package deal, its just hard when you know the man you love has a connection with another woman (she hates him). I guess i’m also worried what she’ll do when she finds out about me, cause at the moment, shes a b****, doesnt let him see the kids, cancels last minute, but as he said no matter if it was me or someone else she would do the same thing… I think it comes down to the fact that I’m just plain scared. 

    • kori

      As much as it may hurt to walk away now…if u stay u not might regret it right away but as times goes by it gets harder and harder, specially if u start a family of ur own and they have to share his love and time with the others, theirs going to be a lot of time that u will need him and he has to run to his other kids for cert. Reasons, and he won’t be their for you or ur kids, its like being a single parent half of the time,and as his kids grow older and their mom puts things in their head they will make ur life miserable….AVOID it all why go through so much when u can just meet someone new and have a drama free life ……………………..I married a man with children and its the hardest thing in a family and my kids have a half husband and half father their is no way you will ever have their full time ,full love or full attention… 🙁 I wish someone would of told me!

  • Pivyque

    Lol good thing I won’t be dating a guy with kids.

  • L-Boogie

    Too much drama.  Avoid at all cost!

  • L-Boogie

    Too much drama.  Avoid at all costs!