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Meeting girlfriend's kids for the first time

Confused SandwichesConfused Sandwiches Registered User new member
edited January 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
The thread title pretty much says it all. I usually do okay with kids, but I'm kind of edgy about this. It's a boy and a girl, ages ten and eight respectively, from her last marriage, for whatever it's worth. Any tips?

Confused Sandwiches on

Posts

  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Just be yourself. Be genuine, kids can see through fakeness like they have laser eyes.

  • frijolefritofrijolefrito Registered User regular
    My first response was going to be dump her and find one without kids. That probably doesn't help you so I'll give you something you can use. Don't expect them to like you, be nice and try to be friendly. Don't be direct let them come to you and candy helps! If they are teens don't care what they think. Even if you were their real parent they'd hate you still.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    My first response was going to be dump her and find one without kids. That probably doesn't help you so I'll give you something you can use. Don't expect them to like you, be nice and try to be friendly. Don't be direct let them come to you and candy helps! If they are teens don't care what they think. Even if you were their real parent they'd hate you still.

    Don't listen to this. Sometimes I wonder if people even read the question.

    Chrishallett83 has it on the nose. Do what you normally do and don't worry about it. Whatever you do, don't act authoratative though.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    My first response was going to be dump her and find one without kids.

    Wow.
    That probably doesn't help you so I'll give you something you can use. Don't expect them to like you, be nice and try to be friendly. Don't be direct let them come to you and candy helps! If they are teens don't care what they think. Even if you were their real parent they'd hate you still.

    No. Don't try and buy them with candy and gifts. Don't try and be their dad. Don't claim authority (as said above) until you have started to earn their respect & affection. Do listen to them, play games & do stuff with them (but don't try and force them to do activities with you), and speak with them as if they are serious people. In short, treat them with the same respect as if they were her adult relations.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    If it were me I'd probably try to find activities to include the kids in with the girlfriend. Like going to the zoo, or taking them out to see a movie or something fun. Obviously don't force them or command them, let the mother do the parenting and just follow her lead (obviously don't beat them if she does, but that should go without saying).

    Don't dump her, that's crazy.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    My first response was going to be dump her and find one without kids.

    Posts like this make me question the future of humanity.
    The thread title pretty much says it all. I usually do okay with kids, but I'm kind of edgy about this. It's a boy and a girl, ages ten and eight respectively, from her last marriage, for whatever it's worth. Any tips?

    I have a great friend who was a similar situation a while ago. They broke the ice by going out to a county fair, and they all had a great time. Pick an environment that let's everyone have a good time, with no pressure on either party. Once the comfort level builds, things become much easier. And as others have said, be yourself! Best of luck to you sir.

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    I second... err... third the "involve the kids" angle. It would be easy to just pop in and say hello before whisking their mother away on a date, but doing something with all of them will go much further.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    My first response was going to be dump her and find one without kids. That probably doesn't help you so I'll give you something you can use. Don't expect them to like you, be nice and try to be friendly. Don't be direct let them come to you and candy helps! If they are teens don't care what they think. Even if you were their real parent they'd hate you still.

    This is pretty gooseish advice. Don't listen to it (any of it).
    Just be yourself. Be genuine, kids can see through fakeness like they have laser eyes.

    This is correct. Just like how you should be honest with your partner, just be open and who you are to the kids and you'll be fine. Don't try to coerce them with candy and whatnot, just be friendly and above all else be interested in what they have to say. Kids don't want to be babied, they want you to take them seriously and want you to hear what they are interested in. If they are shy, don't push with questions if they aren't inviting them. If they ask you questions, answer truthfully and trust your lady friend to step in if they cross the line into uncomfortable places.

    And try to have fun. You have nothing at all to worry about. If they don't like you, that's a problem for you and your partner to address. But they probably want to see their mom happy and are willing to give you a chance.

    Enc on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Enc wrote:
    My first response was going to be dump her and find one without kids. That probably doesn't help you so I'll give you something you can use. Don't expect them to like you, be nice and try to be friendly. Don't be direct let them come to you and candy helps! If they are teens don't care what they think. Even if you were their real parent they'd hate you still.

    This is pretty gooseish advice. Don't listen to it (any of it).
    Just be yourself. Be genuine, kids can see through fakeness like they have laser eyes.

    This is correct. Just like how you should be honest with your partner, just be open and who you are to the kids and you'll be fine. Don't try to coerce them with candy and whatnot, just be friendly and above all else be interested in what they have to say. Kids don't want to be babied, they want you to take them seriously and want you to hear what they are interested in. If they are shy, don't push with questions if they aren't inviting them. If they ask you questions, answer truthfully and trust your lady friend to step in if they cross the line into uncomfortable places.

    And try to have fun. You have nothing at all to worry about. If they don't like you, that's a problem for you and your partner to address. But they probably want to see their mom happy and are willing to give you a chance.

    Way to make it awkward in this thread enc.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Yeah, having been the kid in a similar situation (albeit slightly older), I think there are a few key things to do. Engage with them, especially when it comes to things you both like (or liked as a kid). Taking them out to stuff is a great idea, but you should also try to do some fun stuff with them at home, I think. Try to treat them like people, rather than kids; I remember that even when I was younger than those kids are, it really made me mad when people I wasn't even that close to talked down to me just because I was a kid. And for the love of god, do NOT try to correct their behavior as if you are their parent, especially if their dad is still in their lives. You can encourage them to change their behavior, but you have to remember that they don't consider you a parent and therefore it's likely to make them resentful if you "order" them to do something rather than reason with them as an equal as to why they should or shouldn't do it (although if their mom gives an order of sorts you should naturally second it). I think it's possible to convince a kid that taking your advice is a better idea than what they're thinking without being condescending. Okay, I'll admit that those last two are issues that I had-- and still have, honestly-- in my situation, to be honest. I like my dad's now long-term girlfriend and all, but she started with and still hangs onto this idea that I'm a kid/young person so she can just tell me that I'm wrong as opposed to explaining (more respectfully, I feel) why she thinks her own understanding is more accurate. It feels pretty patronizing, and in her particular case it's bad enough that it's tough to hang out with her sometimes, even though I like her, because I feel like she's telling me I'm wrong all the time. Not a good situation.

    Like I said, I'm not totally unbiased on the subject, so you might not have to worry about some of the specifics I talked about, but I think the basic idea is a good plan. Treat them like someone who can understand reason (though you can simplify the idea if you think they won't get it the exact way you thought of it), show them that you're interested in what they're interested in, and don't try to replace their dad. Just be a good role model for them when you're around them, even if this might be a temporary thing-- and just be yourself. As has been stated, kids pick up pretty easily when you're not being honest with them in one way or another, especially if they pick up on any feeling that you've pulled one over on them. Ohhh yes. Relatedly, make sure neither of you spring your relationship on the kids without giving them a rough idea of what you're up to. Make sure they know you two reeeeally like each other so there's no real surprise. With my dad, I was told the two of us were going to go stay over with a "friend" of his for a few days... but the first morning I was told by his girlfriend to go wake him and bring him coffee, and I noticed he was clearly in her bedroom and not fully clothed. Really would've liked to find out about the situation a different way, particularly since I was in middle school and knew my parents had been living apart for a number of years by that point.

  • Confused SandwichesConfused Sandwiches Registered User new member
    Thanks so much for the input, guys. It's all sound advice, minus the obvious. I usually treat kids like tiny adults anyway, so that should work out well. I have a good bit of experience in teaching and child development, but nearly none of that applies in this situation. A lot of this is what I kind of intended on doing, but it's good to see that I'm not making some kind of massive mistake somewhere.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    Are you good at anything you're good at that you can teach the kids? Maybe bring all the ingredients for for a homey pastry like babka with you and make it with them?

  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    Don't freak out if the kids ignore or avoid you. At that age they may feel as awkward about the situation as you do.

    The good news is that even if they're hesitant around you at first, that should break down with the familiarity that will slowly grow the next time they see you, and the time after that, and the time after that, etc.

    Basically, it might take a while to get a positive response.

    Good luck. Meeting the kids who may be a significant part of your life from here on out should be exciting.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    Way to make it awkward in this thread enc.

    Just doin' my part in the war effort!

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