- Step 1: Get advice first Speak with anyone you know who has been in a similar situation before you get seriously involved. Educate yourself and decide honestly whether you are ready to date someone with children, especially if they are teenagers.
- Step 2: Examine your true intentions Examine your needs and what you want from this man, and discuss your hopes for the future with him to make sure you're on the same page.
- Step 3: Accept that the kids are first Accept that his children will often come first as you develop your relationship. Don't try to parent his children.
- TIP: Be wary of a man on the rebound. Get to know the man before investing your heart.
- Step 4: Stay out of the way at first Stay out of the way at first to avoid making the kids uncomfortable before the relationship has even proven to have a future. No need for them to have to deal with the confusion unless you're going to be around for a while.
- Step 5: Follow his lead Follow your partner's lead on conversations, activities, and outings once you've both decided that it's time for the kids to meet you. These are his kids and no one knows them or their feelings better.
- Step 6: Be a sounding board Focus on being a sounding board as you get to know the children, showing compassion for their already emotional situation. Don't comment to the kids on their parents or the situation.
- FACT: A longitudinal study concluded that adolescents who had a healthy relationship with both parents fared better in adult life.
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