Tips for getting along with step-kids...

(6 Posts)
KashaUK Fri 21-Jun-13 04:33:47

I'm getting married later in the year, my partner has two kids from his first marriage who I [obviously] want to get along with but due to the situation I'm struggling...

- I'm autistic so I struggle to talk to or form bonds with others.
- I'm an only child with no experience of being around kids.
- I'm in UK they're in US, I visit 2 weeks every other month.
- There are slight cultural and language differences.
- Partner only has them a couple nights per week.
- Ex is a psycho so may bad-mouths in front of the kids.

It's understandable that I've not formed a bond considering how little I see them, but at the same time I worry that because contact is so fractured that it could mean we'll never 'bond'. Generally speaking I either feel comfortable talking to them straight away or it never happens...hopefully that's not the case in a family situation like this. I feel protective of them, it's just talking to them without it feeling awkward that's a problem.

I stay out of any discipline - the girl can be very bratty sometimes and it annoys me that my partner lets her get away with so much, but otherwise they are really well behaved. I'm obviously no where near a point where I can show any real authority over the kids.

On the plus side the kids are awesome...
A 10 year old boy who is autistic (thus less pressure for me with him), and an 8 year old girl who is a typical popular chatty girly neurotypical (totally foreign to me). Both are smart, polite, well behaved, protect each other...and I always thought siblings fought but these two are best friends...I mean really, they're just so sweet with each other <3

Any tips on how to talk to them...I've no idea how to talk to kids!
How do you bond with step-kids?

Lostinsuffolk Fri 21-Jun-13 08:42:09

I'd say just behave like you would if you were meeting a friends children. Be you. Maybe further down the line speak to them about your autism if you think it's important for them to understand it (I don't mean that flippantly) I have friends who are autistic and it doesn't effect anything, try to spend some time with them doing stuff they like to do, talk to them, listen to them and encourage them. Relax a bit and stop putting pressure on yourself ;). My one word of advice would be don't try to parent them, let your partner do that. You have the position of stating a new friendship with them so chill a bit and see how it goes... Good luck.x

Branleuse Fri 21-Jun-13 08:44:48

id suggest not worrying about that yet or about getting married to someone you have only had a ldr with x

Turniptwirl Fri 21-Jun-13 19:20:52

Get them to show you fun stuff to do in their home town. Probably it'll be stuff that's fun for them rather than you, but I always find it easier to be a big kid when I have actual kids with me...

If the dd is chatty, just ask her a few questions about herself or something she's done and let her chat at you.

KashaUK Fri 21-Jun-13 22:13:26

I've never met friends kids...I mean it when I say I've no experience with kids. Also autism isn't talked about in the home right now - both my partner and I are autistic, so is his son...but due to the mother being unreasonable (she thinks autism is a mental health problem, thus doesn't want to admit her son is autistic) he's yet to get official diagnosis, until he does we're trying to be pro-autism without actually mentioning autism.

babyhmummy01 Sat 22-Jun-13 00:59:24

kasha firstly try and calm.your nerves, the absolute only thing u need to do is be yourself! Kids are smart and will very quickly pick up on any kind of front you try to put up.

Autism is a difficult thing for anyone to deal with esp if they deliberately bury their head in the sand like his ex is seeming to be doing. I assume from your post that u r high functioning and the fact u r here asking for help is a credit to you.

Take each day as it comes, spend as much time as you can with them and try and find a common ground with them, even if it is something as simple as a tv show or a story book. Don't try to parent them but you also can't be their best friend. It's a fine balance.

Most of all have faith in yourself, you have come this far which is a fantastic achievement.

Good luck

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