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Advice Please - Meeting Partners Children(9 Posts)
I'm looking for lots of advice please.
I've never had kids, divorced two years ago and am 7 months into a lovely new relationship.
My OH and I have been chatting about me meeting his kids when the time is right but we both want to get this right, so I have lots of questions.
Firstly, should he tell the kids that they will be meeting me or do you think he should forewarn his ex out of courtesy and have her tell them? -(she has had a new man for two years. My OH's relationship with his ex isn't the greatest, she doesn't encourage the kids to see him and isn't that supportive of him, they are still in and out of court fighting over access).
Secondly, do we be honest and say I am his girlfriend or just start by slowly introducing me as a 'friend' and build up from there. Presumably the kids will tell their mum when they get home and she's likely to ask if I am a girlfriend given that I will be the first woman that he has introduced to the kids.
Thirdly, any top tips on how I can make the first meeting as fun, stress free and successful as possible. (bearing in mind that I have little experience with kids - I know surprisingly little about them but am keen to learn).
The kids are 7 & 8 and my OH only gets to see them every other weekend.
Anything else that I didn't ask that you think I should/should know please feel free to throw in.
Thanks so much in advance.
I’d tell his Ex and tell them that you are his girlfriend. And have a very low key first meeting, preferably out of the house. Their Dad should be open enough to answer their questions.
A planned activity such as zoo so there are other things to talk about and focus on if conversation becomes awkward
Yes, he should tell his ex and then he should tell his kids and start talking about you a few times before introducing so that by the time you meet, they will know a bit about you already and actually want to meet you.
Telling them the day before meeting you will not give them the time to process the information and could set them in a defensive mode from the start.
Definitely him tell them in advance they’re meeting you and that you’re his girlfriend. As has been suggested I’d do the first meeting out of the house at an activity so that there’s something to talk about and do etc, and talk to them but let them take the lead a bit in how much interaction they want. I would avoid a meal out as conversation can be very forced.
If his ex is quite tricky I don’t know that I’d be telling her before he picks the children up unless you’re confident she’d be supportive. He does need to let her know before the children go home though. How did his ex do it when her partner met the children? If she told your DP in advance then he should too but if she didn’t then he doesn’t really owe her that courtesy
He needs to let his dc know first and listen if they aren't ready. An activity afternoon doing something they particularly like and not the whole day with you. Also the children need to know that just because he has a gf that does mean they will never see him again without you and follow this up by not always being there.
This was the biggest upset to my dc with their dad's gf once they'd met she was everywhere. They asked their dad if they could see him without her and he wouldn't listen so they stopped seeing him.
As you have problems with the exw I'd not say too much to her she might make it worse before it happens.
Good luck with it all on and when out with them treat them to an ice cream or something that you buy for them. Maybe not a toy to take home but a toy to keep at their dad's.
I hope you all have a great time.
Typo doesn't mean they will never see him again without you!
You're over thinking this. Relax.
(Says someone who just met her partners children of same age)
Yes do have him forwarn his ex out if courtesy...I offered my number I'm case she wanted to call me first.
Yes he should tell the children you hard his girlfriend...but this means very little to 7 and a 8 year olds. Meet somewhere neutral...enjoy a few hours doing something normal they do with their dad anyway....climbing trees?
Don't display any physical contact with their dad. Show interest in them but no need to overdo it. I think adults far over think where as children of that age are still quite self absorbed and will be more focussed on whether the tree is a good one to climb.
Thanks all for the brilliant and helpful advice.
Whatshouldmyname .. you're right LOL! I do overthink things but this is really important to me to get this right :-)
User1439 .. You've sussed the situation correct, the ex is rather tricky and is likely to tell him that the kids don't want to meet me. She did indeed move her new man in full-time with the kids without telling my OH/Her ex at the time but two wrongs don't make a right.