Some of us have experienced or are currently experiencing dating someone with a child even tho you may not have any of your own. It can seem tough and overwhelming but with a simple guide and father time, it can be a lot easier than you think.
it’s a beautiful spring afternoon and you are going down aisle 6 at your local grocery store when you notice a woman just as intriguing and as beautiful as the day. You get enough nerves to approach her and introduce yourself, she smiles and kindly replies back with her name. You can already tell by her actions that she is interested in you and you already know that you want to take the next step and ask her on a date. You don’t want to come off to forward but you know that you must get to the point. “I was wondering if I could have your number and maybe I can take you out on a date this friday?” She still has that perfect smile on her face that shows she was waiting for you to ask. “Of course you can and I would love to go on a date with you but I need to find a baby sitter for my 5 year old son.” The ball has been dropped and all of a sudden you are stuck on running like a bat out of hell or sticking this plan out because who knows you could be in front of the person you could spend the rest of your life with.
You decide to just smile and say “ok” that is perfectly fine!
The day is finally here and your nerves are super bad. You pull up outside her house and as much as you want to honk the horn for her to come out, you decide to make a great impression and go to the door and knock. After the second knock, the door opens and their stands the beautiful woman you remember from the grocery store and the 5 year old son that you are finally meeting. To your surprise he is shy and bashful and doesn’t punch you in the face like you thought he would. You learn to relax and finally see that maybe this is not going to be so bad after all.
Here is a guide that you can follow that will help you succeed for the sake of the parent, the child and most importantly, yourself.
1. Relax- Don’t over work yourself and don’t try to be a parent to the child right away, relax and let things flow first. This way you and the child can get a feel for each other.
2. Communicate- Even though they are young and small, children are still human. Talk to them just like you would talk to an adult. Children have a wide imagination and are very smart, they can sense that you are dating their mother or father and it is important for you talk to them to build that rapport just as you would their parent. If you keep things open the child will feel like they can always talk to you.
3. Friends Forever- Try to be a friend to the child first, you can’t just go in the relationship calling all the shots, it does take a village to raise a child but being a friend first builds trust and sets the tone for the rest of the relationship.
4. Correct DON’T Discipline- Yes there is a difference between the two! If child is talking rude to you or doing something that is wrong and you are around, ask them, if their mother or father were around would they be acting like that? or you could simply say I am an adult please don’t talk me like that. It is not your place to whoop or place your hands on the child, if you cannot handle it, let their parent know first chance you get and let them correct it. If the parent gives you permission to discipline and you are comfortable with it, that’s a different story but a majrotiy of the time the parent would rather you tell them what happened and they take care it rather than the child telling the parent how you whooped them. I can only imagine how that would turn out!
5. Respect- After all, we are raising a child here. If you show them respect they will not only show you respect but will grow up and show other people the same. I believe this is key because we want to make sure the child is comfortable with you and doesn’t just think you are in this for their parents sake. We want to make sure that we give them as much respect as we can. Saying simple things like “Please and thank you” can go a long way and turn out to be a good lesson for the child.
This list was created based off personal experience. Being with a woman who has son, it took time to figure it out and get it right but I have never been so happy to help raise such a wonderful young man. These 5 steps can change your life just as it did mine.