Introducing your children to your partner can be tricky. When is the right time? How do I do it? Will my kids like him/her? Will he/she like my kids?
I think there are several important factors in doing this. But ultimately, what works for another family may not work for your family. Do what is best for you and your family. Here are some tips I think will help.
Be Sure About the Relationship
If you are just casually dating, you probably don’t want to introduce your kids to everyone you go on a date with. For me, once we are committed to each other and are making long term relationship plans, then I’ll start planning introductions.
Prepare Your Kids Ahead of Time
Don’t just drop this new person in their laps and expect your children to be okay with it. When I get dressed to go on a date, my daughter will ask me where I’m going and I’ll tell her I’m going on a date with someone. This usually leads her to ask me more questions and ultimately questioning my outfit choice (She does this A LOT).
I’ll also casually name drop so my children get used to hearing my partner’s name. That way, when you do decide it’s time for introductions, it won’t be a total shock to them.
Introduce Them Somewhere That Is Fun and Low Stress
Introducing your children and partner to each other can be tough on both the adults and the kids. There are so many expectations! So why not make the introductions as fun as possible, and relieve some stress?
My partner and I both have children. We decided to go to a local trampoline park so that it didn’t feel like such a big deal. It worked in the sense that everyone got to meet, but my daughter was NOT interested in playing with boys! But, I won’t give her grief about that right now.
Don’t Expect Everything to Be Easy Right Away
Relationships take time to build. Take it slow and let your kids set the pace. My daughter is six and very outspoken. She takes no issue with saying how she feels. Body language and behavior is my guide. She asks me questions about him, so I know she wants to learn more. So slowly we are doing more family-oriented things.
Make Sure Your Children Know You Still Love and Care About Them
My daughter was NOT interested in me having a relationship. At all. As far as she was concerned, it has been perfect with just me and her, and she doesn’t want that to change. I make sure to still make time for us to do things alone to let her know that in no way is she being replaced and that she is still my little love.
Communication Is Key
Communicate with your kids and communicate with your partner. Especially when big changes are happening.
As I said before, what works for my family may not work for yours. But these are some ideas to get you started.
Introducing your children to your partner can be stressful (for everyone), but you can make it fun! Find common interests so that it’s not too awkward for anyone! After you breathe that sigh of relief once everyone is introduced, go get some ice cream!
My top suggestions for low-stress food, fun, and ice cream in Columbia are as follows:
- Mod Pizza
- The Pizza Joint
- Red Robin
- Dave and Buster’s
- Frankie’s Fun Park
- Marble Slab Creamery
- Sweet Cream Company
- Soda City Market (Saturdays only)
If going out isn’t your thing, maybe plan a night in with age-appropriate board/card games, a funny movie, and maybe a DIY pizza party.