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Tips for meeting DP's children for the first time?(9 Posts)
I have been 'seeing' a lovely guy for three months. He really likes me and the feeling is mutual, it 'feels' quite serious already, but in a v healthy way. He has an eight year old daughter and a five year old son that live with their mother. The relationship with DP's ex is pretty bad and they seem to disagree and bicker a lot (she finished it). They have been divorced for two years.
I have no issues at all concerning him having children; I like children, and he appears to be a fantastic, v involved and loving father.
I had expected him to start talking about his children and I meeting after about six months. But the other day he asked me if I wanted to 'say hello' to them (he was collecting them from the ex and I was preparing to go home). I was quite taken aback as he is SUCH a good, responsible father so I said "erm well maybe when I'm not so tired, I don't want them to think I'm a state". I wasn't a state, but couldn't think of what to say, I know I should have said its a bit early.. but as I said, I was taken aback.
So essentially when he raises this again I need to tell him that it's too soon, and I know that he is going to think six months is ridiculous, and all my friends (some with children of a similar age) say the same, but six months appears to be the 'MN Rule' on this!
I just want to do the right thing, I don't want to make them feel uncomfortable and I don't want his daughter especially to feel threatened. She is a REAL daddy's girl, which is lovely, but I know I will have to be very very sensitive to her feelings. Any tips for when we do meet ? I think a quick "hello this is my friend, Spartacus", "hello DP's children, nice to meet you" and then I should be off.
I introduced my DP as a friend first, not a boyfriend in this situation. He came for coffee when they were there, then he came round for dinner with us & then he came to play in the snow, it worked for us as it wasn't a 'replacement' for their father if you see what I mean.
You are right about waiting at least six months.
Don't wait for him to bring it up again, it might be as they are halfway in the door and it's too late.
Bring it up yourself over dinner one night.
When I was dating I was really put off blokes who wanted me to meet their kids early on. With dp I met dss after about 9m. Apart from anything, I didn't want my life suddenly full of his kid.
When we did meet it was actually by accident - I had popped in there for a cup of tea and his ex came round with dss, let herself in (despite seeing my car on the drive......manipulative much?) and dp just said "oh, this is my friend Mel".
I can't recall after that but I didn't suddenly appear every weekend dss was with him, pretty sure I only saw dp on non dss weekends to start and then the odd day on a dss weekend, not the whole weekend.
I don't think three months is necessarily too early, but if you arent comfortable yet then that's fine, you should just say that to your DP.
The risk is the longer you leave it the deeper your feelings will get for your DP, and the harder it will be to walk away if you discover that life with the kids around is not for you.
I met my stepsons pretty early but DH and I were both happy and it was very low key. We started with the odd coffee, then I'd come over for lunch and it went from there.
I think a very important element of dating someone with kids is them respecting how ready you are and how much you want to be involved.
Thanks, everyone. Happy to be involved with his kids as much as he wants me to be, have no issues about him having kids at all, in fact I think it's a positive in many respects. Just a little nervous about them liking me / not liking me as this will obviously have a huge influence on us moving forward or not.
Obviously his kids feelings come first, so if they don't like me, I'm basically history! I remember being a child and thinking that I would hate it if my dad met another woman and tried to introduce her into my life, and that I would not have accepted her at all. So I guess I have my concerns.
I think I will talk to him about it and suggest waiting a couple more months before we have a v brief, casual meet and greet.
Nolm - its easy to say you're fine with the kids when you haven't met them! It might be a different story when you actually start spending weekends and holidays with them. Who is to say what the dynamic would be between you all, whether you'd be OK with your DPs parenting style, whether the kids would annoy you or be too challenging...
I say this as someone who met my DP's kid about 3 months into our relationship. As a childless person myself I said all the same things as you re thinking it was a good thing he had kids, it's fine with me etc. The reality of what it actually meant to live a child-centred life every other weekend (and on holidays) came as something of a shock, and that was with the relative luxury of one nice, well adjusted kid and a cooperative friendly ex! I made it out the other side, but it was touch and go at one point...honestly if there had been two kids / a difficult ex / boundary issues I am not sure I could have handled it.
Anyway, I don't want to be all doom and gloom here, just want to add a voice for the not-leaving-it-too-long argument.
Good advice, river! Thanks, I will take this on board. However, in my twenties (am now early 40s) I helped raise my ex DP's son who lived with us, his mother was useless, he also had ADHD, so I'm pretty familiar with parts of that side of family life, it should be a walk in the park compared to that experience!
But.. he was 2 when he came to live with us, he was too young to feel threatened by me, a boy as well which I think must be easier somehow than a girl, I think it's the girl I'm most concerned about, being as she is a 'daddy's' girl, I am concerned that she won't like me just because of what I might represent (I do think that on personality only, she will like me as I am caring, understanding, patient, fun, so I can't see that she wouldn't like me in that way, but she may think I am trying to take over from her mum or trying to take her daddy away, or both!
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