Isn’t it ironic how the world thinks dads are heroes when they are only doing what they are supposed to do? God forbid a man starts dating a single mom with 3 kids, he’s a superhero. What happens when you’re dating a man with kids, and a woman assumes, and there’s that word, “assume,” the role of a stepmother?
Does she get to have supernatural powers and a cape, too? Or is she still only human? My guess is she is a mere mortal with imperfections, though she is beauty, strength, passion, and agility. But that’s not all. She’s all those qualities and more.
However, society has placed exceptional value on men dating single mothers. If you’re dating a man with kids, you should know a thing or two before you step in. As you already know, the roles are not the same, and neither are the rules.
How to Date with Kids
While you’re dating with kids of your own, you will undoubtedly see how much his kids like you. If they don’t want to be around you, they don’t have to say a word. Facial expressions and body language will speak louder than words. If they have decided they don’t like you at first, respect that. Don’t try to force yourself on them.
Do try, however, and change their minds, but take it one day at a time. Like you did with their dad, you must build a relationship, and solid relationships don’t happen overnight. Remember, they are going through a lot right now, so don’t be so tough on them or yourself.
Challenges of Dating a Single Parent
Let’s face it. If you don’t know something, you don’t know it. You can’t fault yourself for not having the knowledge or the tools to understand dating a man with kids. You’d be psychic if you knew how to respond in a particular situation when you didn’t suspect you’d ever be in that role.
The truth is you don’t know what you’re going to do until you are standing in those shoes. Until it goes down, you can only speculate about the situation.
Whether you like it or not, the kid’s mother is not going anywhere. She’s there for the duration, and he’ll always be their father. If you choose to stay in the relationship, it will be you guys for a very long time. This is not a television show; this is some real-life events.
Now, it can be a healthy relationship, or it can be a dreadful one. But how the adults function will set the tone for the kid’s behavior. When you start dating a man with kids seriously, you take on the family, including the kid’s mother. It’s literally no different from a man taking on a woman with kids and the baby daddy.
When to Introduce Kids to Boyfriend/Girlfriend
What I believe may not mean much to anyone, but when your boyfriend/girlfriend meets the kids, the introduction should be well thought out. However, some individuals don’t value their children’s opinions when it comes to dating or who they bring into the home (no matter how many times this is proved to be a mistake). I mean, you can’t tell everyone how to date with kids.
It would help if you talked to your kids before springing a new person on them. Kids are people, too. They have attitudes and opinions. Parents should respect their children, I think, particularly when they are able to make decisions for themselves.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that children should have a say in who the adult dates, but when you consider someone for the long-term or particularly marriage, I believe it’s essential for everyone to get along. If you go into the relationship knowing there’s discord, hate, and chaos, you know what to expect and should be willing to put in work to straighten it out.
Respect is everything. It’s significant in the relationship between the adults as well as the children. So, having said that, make sure you’re serious about the person you’re dating before you bring them around. Not sure when to introduce them? Put a timeline on it.
Decide if you’re still dating in a year, six months, or whenever you feel comfortable, but put a deadline on it. He should be popping the question after a year anyway or you two should have had the discussion by now, so make a decision.
Moving in Together
No matter if you move in with him or if he moves in with you, you’re all going to live under one roof at some point. Do your best always to make everyone feel welcome, comfortable, and loved.
If you’re dating a man with kids and it gets to the point where the kids need a room, get them involved if possible to make the room theirs. Don’t try and change their routines or how they do things, especially if they are positive.
Discipline and Dating a Man with Kids
Single parents dating each other is a beautiful thing, more so if they plan to get married. I know that they are not going to agree on how to raise children all the time. However, that has nothing to do with just dating a man with kids. Disagreements about raising the children happen in homes with both of the biological parents present.
Hopefully, your values are the same, and if not, you have to agree on who will discipline the children or be the head of the household. It’s easy to let the kids get away with murder when you feel sorry for them or compensate for their loss. You must stay firm, however, and remember, you can’t reward bad behavior. That’s not cool.
Single Parents Dating Each Other
I used to follow a set of single mom dating rules. Because I had some idea about how to handle dating with a baby, it made forming relationships with single dads easy. Still, it was never easy having to hide the fact I was dating or choosing not to date.
At first, it may be tough to find a happy place, but it’s there. You all can do it. Spend time together, spend some time in prayer, come together at the dinner table, and always make time for family night. Spend time with the kids and not just share the same space with them.