The Dos And Don’ts Of Meeting Your Man’s Kids For The First Time

June 19, 2014  |  

Source: Shutterstock

Meeting your partner’s kid for the first time can be a very frightening experience. For one, there’s the pressure to get it right. You’re aware that the spotlight is on you and that your guy will be watching to see how you interact with one (or more) of the most important people in his life – his child. Then of course, there’s that natural desire to be liked and accepted by the child. However, you’ll quickly realize that there’s no way to control how an initial encounter will play out. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t certain tips and strategies that you can follow to assist in making that first encounter go as smoothly as possible.

First and foremost, you have got to get your mind right! At least, that’s what “Paternity Court’s Judge Lauren Lake says.

“Girl! Let me tell you, when it comes to dating a man with a child, you need to make sure you are mature enough to handle it,” Lake instructs. “You’re not competing with the child or replacing the child’s mother.”

Getting your mind right also includes realizing that it’s wrong to use your partner’s kids to validate your relationship, and of course, it includes making sure that they’re comfortable with you.

“You most certainly shouldn’t try to use the child as leverage to solidify your relationship with your boyfriend,” Judge Lake explains. “As the adult, you have to do everything to make that child as comfortable as possible. You have to respect that the child is figuring everything out right now and will need time and space to do that. Understand that he and his child/children are a package deal. You can’t just ‘deal with’ the child. You have to accept and love the child as an extension of him.”

Once your head is in the right place, Judge Lake has tips to help guide you through that first encounter with ease.

Do let the child take the lead
“You shouldn’t force yourself on him/her and try to create a relationship right away. Some children have to warm up to new people while others are open right away. Respect the child’s personality and let him/her guide the relationship.”

Don’t go into mommy mode immediately
“No matter what the situation is with the child and his/her mother, it’s not your job to replace her. Even if you and the boyfriend are playing house, that doesn’t automatically include his child.”

Do wait until all parties are ready
“Let your boyfriend introduce you to the child when he and his child are ready. Some women pressure their boyfriend to introduce them to his child because it represents taking that next step in your relationship. Yes, this is a sign that things are getting more serious because he is letting you into a sacred space in his life, but it’s not your job to force that to happen.”

Don’t compete with the child
“Don’t be jealous that his child is the apple of his eye. You can’t love him for being a good man and a good father on one hand then resent him for going to every game or recital.”

Don’t bash the child’s mother
“Don’t entertain or get into arguments with the child’s mother. If your boyfriend is upset and venting about a disagreement he may be having with her, it’s not your job to commiserate. Refrain from trash talking about the mother, even to your friends! It would better serve you to try to support and encourage him through it.”

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise


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  • Tony Mckeller


  • Beauty In Truth

    That picture is touching a nerve MN. Can a black man have Black children at least 20% of the time? I mean really now. This is ridiculous.

    • Ayisha

      That child is black no?

      • Beauty In Truth

        I dont wanna take away from the post. But no shes obvi biracial and the man is obvi dark choco. Its starting to irritate me having it ruubbed in my darn face all the time. For another day…

      • Beauty In Truth

        You know shes not.

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  • JoDel Flores

    I have been married to a man with a child from another relationship for 10 yrs. We’ve been together 11. I love my husband and his son and for the first 7 years all went well but I caution the women reading this. No matter how hard you try and how well you think things are going, please know that the baby mama can ruin things in a New York minute. It is not for someone with a weak personality or who is easily offended or angered.

    • Ayisha

      Weak personality? What does that mean?

      • JoDel Flores

        If you are going to sit back and be stepped on and not speak up for yourself..this article is all about the do’s and don’ts for you but from someone who has been down this road, you can’t be WEAK… My husbands son was only 2 when we got together and his ex was okay with me for a while but not long..she started being rude and hateful but yet leaving her son with me even when his dad was out of town working because I wouldn’t say no.. Weak personality. Letting yourself be stepped on. I blew up on her but rightfully so. She was using me as a babysitter but treating me awful at the same time. She got better for a while after I told her to back off, I told her you can’t just use me to watch your son but hate me and disrespect me at the same time.
        We got married after a year and had a baby of our own.
        Our baby didn’t make it… But we stuck it out..I love my husband ,we had another child almost 2 yrs later and when we decided to get married by the church.. Baby mama snapped…by this time his son was almost 9. We had already been married civilly for 5 years…but she snapped. My husband no longer is allowed to see his son but is paying a butt load of child support. She’s hateful,vindictive and mean. We now have 2 children and she has 2 more besides my stepson. We have no contact with her unless she wants money. And are facing court because we haven’t been allowed to see our boy for almost 4 years.. I mean its not a trip for the weak ..of mind , of personality, of heart ,of spirit. Think it over hard before you take on a ready made family.. I never thought I could do it but love is worth fighting for sometimes..our story isn’t all happy but we are still trying.. Can’t give up because the love is there.

        • Ayisha

          I know I can’t and will not take on a ready made family. Love or not, but I don’t think that makes me or anyone else weak. That is what I thought you meant. But I see your points

          • JoDel Flores

            No I believe that to each his own. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you determined and strong willed. I wish you the best and hope you find your ideal. I never thought this would work for me either. I didn’t have children. I also never used to date guys with children. I had tried once before and it was awkward.. But its been a crazy trip. And I wouldn’t change it..but I see your view too. There are good guys out there that don’t have kids.. Just gotta keep on looking! Best of luck!

            • Ayisha

              Thanks boo

  • status quo

    Geez Louise, is MN reading my mind or what. I’m gearing up to meet someone with 2 kids and I’m terrified of what his kids might think of me if he has them that weekend.

  • speaksthetruth

    Ladies date a man who the baby mother has already moved on. The headache is less. She has her man and doesn’t care about your boyfriend. you can stop driving yourself crazy asking yourself if they will ever get back together. If she is married to this new man even better!

    • Alexis

      Or, or or…don’t date someone with no kids if you have none…period.

  • See The Light

    I do not date men with kids. To be honest, I do not like for friends and family to bring kids over who are unruly. I have PS3 and TV for kids to entertain themselves, but it has to be kids that behave. I had a kid try to open my gumball machine from the top to help themselves. The kid gave me lip and the parent sat there, that was the last time I let either one of them come over.

  • g

    I don’t know I’m on the fence about this one. Being that I’m a single mom most men who approach me who don’t have kids are much younger than me because they think I’m 24 and I’m 34. So I can never get past the young age. But I have dated guys with or without kids who are always eager to meet my kids but I’m never ready. So I don’t know.

    • Alexis

      They’re trying to pound if they’re that eager, they’re trying to get that quick connection with them so you’ll think it’s so cute and drop the drawers. They could be just nice guys too, but the latter isn’t that common.

  • yoda

    If you are secure in your life and are planning on something long term with a single father, then go for it. Personally as a 22 year old, dating a dad is a hell no for me. It would be one thing if you are both dating older in life but I doubt it’s the way in most cases. Personally I don’t need the headache, insecurity or the possible drama.

    • Ayisha

      You got that right

    • Guestest

      It’s a hell naw for me!! I’m 21 and childless =)

  • Ayisha

    If you’re a woman who is childless, never date a man with kids, it’s make no sense
    You don’t need or deserve the headache.

    • bigdawgman

      Heh, my dad told me the same thing about dating women with children. Funny thing is, HIS father married his mother and she had a child. I guess he knew from experience. lol

      • Ayisha

        Yes lol I see

    • Beauty In Truth

      If he is a proven good man to you, and your getting older, you won’t always have that option with the age group you date in. You gotta be realistic too. See my above “20%” comment.

      • Ayisha

        I’m tired of people saying that, no offense to you but your statement is BS. A man’s choice in life has nothing to do with me. I don’t have kids and I don’t want any. Good man or not I don’t want yours either. So I have to settle because a man choose to have kids and I choose not to? I’m sorry I will not. I rather being alone for the rest of my life than date a man with kids.

        • Beauty In Truth

          Why is it BS though. Thats real harsh. Just say you disagree. Have standards but don’t be all idealistic is my idea.That’s like me thinking BM on the WC will ever prefer a sistah. I can hope all day but it is what it is. So…

          No kids or be lonely? See you on the other side lol.

          • Ayisha

            I didn’t mean to come off harsh but I don’t like the fact people believe you have to settle in order to have someone. Lonely? Never!my life is full and you do not need a man or a child in order for your life to be happy and complete. I’ll stay on my side


        • Beauty In Truth

          Why does it have to be bs. A bit harsh. Just say you disagree. Im just sayin be realistic thats all.

          • Ayisha

            I am being realistic

        • Alexis

          keep that mindset, only people with tastes for low hanging fruit don’t see a problem with it.

          • Ayisha