Meetings Your Partner’s Children for the First Time

father son meeting partners childrenThere’s nothing more exciting or terrifying than meeting the children of someone you hope to spend the rest of your life with. These are the most important people in your partner’s life, and you want to make a good first impression. Here are five tips from our Los Angeles matchmakers to help make the first meeting as stress-free as possible.

 Be Prepared

Before you meet the kids face-to-face, make sure you know a bit about them. Talk to your partner about what their own relationship with the kids, as well as with their other parent, so you are aware of any sensitive subjects or issues that could arise. At this point, your partner should be bringing you up in casual conversation with their children so they begin to associate you with their parent. Preparing for your arrival will give them time to adjust to the thought of having a new person in their life.

Don’t Over-Complicate Things

Children should be left to make their own judgment about who you are and what you mean to their parent. It’s important to let them realize that you are someone special to their mom or dad rather than you telling them that you are a “very special person.” When meeting for the first time, it’s wise to introduce yourself as a friend rather than “girlfriend” or “boyfriend.” It will let the children know that important decisions haven’t been made without them and that they do matter in the process. This will also relieve the stress of waiting for the kids to “accept” you.

Pick a Neutral Setting

Try to keep the first meeting short and sweet; you don’t want the time to drag on, but rather should instead show them the best part of you so they can go home and discuss it with their parent.  A weekend get-away isn’t the most ideal option for a first meeting – instead find a nice restaurant to have lunch so nobody feels pressured or trapped. You want them to like you, so do a bit of homework so you can bring up topics that interest them. This will ease the tension and allow you to learn more about your partner’s children.

Resist the Temptation to Play Parent

When you are getting to know the kids, even if you have known your partner for a significant amount of time and are fairly certain that an engagement is in the future, it’s important not to put yourself in the parent role immediately. At this time, the children may have mixed feelings about you or are shy toward new people, so take your time and wait. All children are different and some require more time to get used to the idea that mommy or daddy has a new “friend.”  Whatever you do, don’t try to win the children’s affection with gifts or try too hard to make them happy. This could have the opposite effect and they could grow to resent you, which would be awkward and stressful the next time you’re around. Instead, play it cool and allow them to come to you. Creating a trusting friendship between you and the kids is a great way to make sure your next visits are met with acceptance and possibly excitement.

How to Respond to Kids Acting Out

If children begin to act out, don’t take it personally. They are dealing with their own needs and fears and are feeling stressed about the situation. It’s important that, during this time, you behave like an adult, but don’t cross the line into parenting them. Let them know that what they are doing is disrespectful, but don’t go as far as to punish them. Your partner is responsible for disciplining them. Be considerate to your partner’s needs, as well. They may be concerned that their children scared you away or nervous about the future of the relationship when the most important people in their life seem to clash. Reassure your partner that you are here to stay.

Before meeting your partner’s children for the first time, make sure you have your expectations under control. Not all meetings between potential step-parents will go as smoothly as seen in the movies; however, it doesn’t have to be a complete disaster. Be confident and be open-minded as your partner shares a part of their life reserved for someone special. The merging of two families to become one is a beautiful thing. If you’re looking for someone to share in those special moments, contact our Kelleher Los Angeles matchmakers today. We have one of the largest lists of successful singles in the greater Los Angeles areas, all ready to find the love of their life. Contact us today to get started on your search!

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