When is the best time to meet the kids?
You might be surprised to learn that 60% of matchmaking clients are single parents and of that, 90% have kids living at home. When you’re a single parent getting back out into the dating scene, keeping your kids best interest in mind is always something to consider. So, when is the best time to meet the kids?
This might sound like a basic stuff, however when I meet and start working with single parents, factoring in how this step into dating will affect dependant kids, is critical to compatibility.
The Family Dynamic
Families today are made up of single dads, single moms, blended families, and some even include grandchildren being parented by grandparents.
If you’ve in the dating scene, there’s a good chance you’ve been in a situation where you were either introducing your kids to someone or you were being introduced to someone else’s kids, or even working to blend your mutual families.
All these scenarios can be tricky to manage.
I personally had a heartbreaking experience when my son was very young. One of the first few guys I dated after my major breakup, at first, looked like it was going to go somewhere fantastic.
We’d been spending a lot of quality time together, so at about 4 months of dating, I felt it was a good time to introduce my two favourite guys.
There was a bit of adjustment, as I’m sure you can imagine, but what happened next, absolutely broke my heart.
This introduction happened right before Christmas. So, it made sense we would spend this time together as a family, which now included the extended family.
Whether it was a lack of communication or simply old fashioned judgemental mentality, but as we were driving to my new in-law’s home for Christmas morning, I learned there were no gifts for my son.
I’m sure you’re in horror right now, as I was. It’s not about the gifts but how all this made me feel about my new guy and his family. Thankfully, my son was too young to really notice, and I had planned ahead, and brought some of his unopened gift with us. But the damage was done.
As a matchmaking expert, I hear stories and experiences from both single men and women. What’s very interesting is the stories are the same from both sides.
One female client said she feels men think women are looking for a replacement father figure.
- She replied, “In my case, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. My kids have a great dad and even though he and I decided we weren’t right for each other, we have a great co-parenting relationship. I’m looking for a partner in life, not a fill in for my kid’s dad.”
And some male clients said they feel women think single dads want a mother replacement.
- “Of course, I want to meet someone my kids will like, but no one will replace their mother no matter how or why our marriage fell apart. A positive female role model would be fantastic.”
In some cases, this can be true. If the father or mother figure is absent, a strong father or mother figure might be needed. But at the very least, having a great role model in a child’s life, and depending on the age of the child, can be a big factor as that person will be in the child’s life for a long time.
Welcoming someone new.
When you’re dating a man or woman with kids, it’s important the ground rules are laid out at the beginning of a new relationship. When considering compatibility, in addition to the things that are most important to you, learning about the other person’s parenting style, thoughts on discipline and nurturing are some important areas. Trying to understand the impact this new person will have on not only your life, but that of your kids, is critical.
In some cases, finding a parent replacement can be true. If the father or mother figure is absent, having a great role model in a child’s life, and depending on the age of the child, can be a big factor as that person will be in the child’s life for a long time.
Some things to consider.
How soon is too soon to introduce your new love interest to your kids? Whether he has kids or she does, in this day of blended families, the timing of when is the best time to introduce the kids. Plus, when you introduce the kids to each other, is important.
Our top 9 tips.
- Make sure the two of you have a solid relationship before you meet the kids.
- Take the necessary time to learn about the other person and their parenting style?
- If they also have kids, learn about the type of relationship they have with their own kids?
- Discuss potential situations involving your kids and how you will resolve them.
- Depending on the age of kids, talk about important parenting things like discipline, household chores, allowance, curfew, manners and respect.
- Ask about past relationships and if kids had any impact of why that relationship didn’t work out.
- Learn about the other persons kids, before you meet them.
- Find out up front if the other person feels there will be issues meeting the kids.
- Consult your families, but make this important decision of when is the best time to meet the kids, as a couple.
Learning there is a mismatch on any of these important areas after you’ve met the kids, can be a disaster for everyone if the relationship doesn’t work out.
Bottom line, don’t prejudge a situation or person based on the fact they are a single parent mom, or dad. Take the necessary amount of time to get to know each other, then go the extra step and learn about the person as a parent, for their own kids but also the impact they will have on your kids.
Call today to learn more tips of being a single parent dating and dating someone who is a parent. 888-360-6877