As a single person with children, you might be a little hesitant about jumping back into the dating pool. Depending on how old the kids involved are and how your emotional frame of mind is, the very idea of finding someone that could fit in with your family can feel like an arduous task that you just aren’t ready to tackle at this point.
But, when you do meet someone, and you find out that they too have children, your heart may soar because they understand you are in as a single parent. We won’t lie and say that the families will blend perfectly, but it is quite possible to make it work a little easier than you’d expect when you follow these steps.
Step 1 – Look at the relationship you are currently in with this person. If you’ve been dating for a while, you want to evaluate how they fit into your life and whether or not there is a real possibility of a future with them. If you are just getting to know someone, do they show signs of having similar values and the like?
Step 2 – Be open to the person you’re dating. Ask them about how they feel the relationship is going and get their perspective whether or not there is a future between the two of you. You also want to gain perspective on how he sees the children interacting with one another (if they’ve met already) or when it would be a good time to have them meet.
Step 3 – Talk to your children one at a time to let them know where the relationship is going and how it affects any future plans. You can use this as an opportunity to get their opinion on the relationship they have with your significant other and their children (again, if they are already acquainted). You want to take the time to listen to them and show them that you care about their feelings and respect them.
Step 4 – Create a set of rules and guidelines that you and your partner will follow regarding each other’s children. After you and your significant other agrees on the household rules regarding calling, visiting, disciplining, and staying over, you will want to inform all the children of these rules. You should let your child know that although your partner can do XYZ, you are their parent, and you have the final say. You can ask your little ones for their input and take their concerns into consideration as well.
Step 5 – With the rules out of the way, you’ll want to lighten the mood and introduce new activities that can include the entire family: activities like game night, family movie night, dinner together, or doing homework together. These activities can reinforce the relationship you are trying to create among everyone so that everyone feels included, welcomed, and involved.