How to Meet Your Partner's Child
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Are you wondering which approach you should take when meeting your partner’s child for the first time? If so, you are not alone. Almost everyone, who dates a single mother or father experiences the same situation. Although it can be stressful, overwhelming, and nerve-wrecking to meet your partner’s child, it does not have to be a disaster. In fact, it can be a wonderful experience, if you play your cards right. Truth-be-told, the probability that you will date a woman or man, who has at least one child, increases as you age. So, if you fall in love with someone with a child, be prepared to eventually meet him or her.
Do not think of this event as something to be feared and/or avoided; rather, think of it as something to look forward to. In other words, think of it as a way to better understand your partner. After all, you love your partner, so why shouldn’t you at least try to love his or her child. Do not be guarded or standoffish when you meet your partner’s child for the first time, rather, be open and accepting. It will not only help build a healthy relationship between you and the child, it will also earn you some brownie points with your partner. So, are you ready to learn some innovative ways to meet your partner’s child? Yes? Great! This article will teach you how to do just that!
Be Open and Honest
One of the best things you can do, when you finally meet your partner’s child, is be honest with him or her about the state of your relationship. In other words, tell the child the truth. Do not keep the true nature of your relationship a secret, because it will likely backfire on you. How? Children are smart; in fact, they are a lot smarter then we give them credit for, and they can detect when people, especially their parents, lie to them. If you and your partner are serious, an older child will figure out that something is going on with his or her parent well before he or she meets you in person. How? Well, by your partner’s mannerisms (i.e. change in appearance, happier mood, frequent telephone calls, etc.).
In this case, he or she may feel betrayed that you did not share this information with him or her earlier. If the child is young, he or she may not know what is going on, but may also feel betrayed once he or she grows up and realizes when you first started dating. Truth-be-told, it can be hard for a child, regardless of age, to accept a new person in his or her parent’s life, so be patient with him or her. Most likely he or she will not accept you right away, but with time, love, respect, and space, there is a good chance he or she will grow to care deeply for you.
Meet at a Child-Friendly Event
When was the last time you went to an amusement park? Don’t know? Well, another good way to meet your partner’s child for the first time is to meet at a child-friendly event. In other words, if you want to make a good impression on the child, come down to his or her level, literally. Meet at Chucky Cheese, a movie theater, park, fair, etc. Allow the child, if he or she is old enough, to pick the activity. Do not be afraid to play with him or her. For instance, if the child wants to go go-karting, go go-karting, and chase him or her around the track. Doing something that the child likes to do will not only keep you both busy, it will cause the child to see you in a much better light. Keep the first meeting light, fun, and simple. Do not get too pushy or emotional, and definitely do not be standoffish, rude, or disinterested. Create a good experience for your partner’s child, and you will be heavily rewarded by your partner.
Skip the PDA
Yes, you should probably skip the PDA (public displays of affection) with your partner, when meeting his or her child for the first time. Remember that you partner’s child has another parent, who is probably close to him or her; therefore, he or she may not take too kindly to you locking lips with his or her parent. This is especially true at the beginning of your relationship. So, keep the PDA to minimum during the first meeting and thereafter. It is ok to hug your partner, kiss him or her on the check, and/or pat him or her on the back, but do not French kiss or grope one another in front of the child. If you are respectful toward the child, he or she will most likely be respectful toward you. As a result, the child will grow more comfortable around you.
Keep the Activities Short and Sweet
During your initial meetings, you will probably want to keep your encounters with the child short and sweet. Why? Well, because it will give the child time to adjust to you in smaller increments. You do not want to overwhelm the child with your presence, so keeping the meetings brief will allow you to build a foundation of friendship with him or her. During those times, you can get to know your partner’s child (i.e. likes, dislikes, preferences, wants, needs, dreams, and fears). You may have more in common than either of you think. So, take the child for ice cream or a sweet treat, and allow him or her to grow closer to you naturally.
Hartwell-Walker, M. (2015). When should my boyfriend introduce me to his kids? Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/06/16/when-should-my-boyfriend-introduce-me-to-his-kids/
Search Quotes. (2015). Child quotes. Retrieved from http://www.searchquotes.com/quotation/It%27s_a_blessing_to_have_someone_or_something_in_your_life_that_constantly_provokes_positive_thoughts/689862/
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