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when to introduce the kids

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 2:15 PM
  • 10 Replies

I feel that, generally, most parents want to wait before introducing their kids to their newest SO. It makes sense. You don’t want your kids to get attached to your fling. You don’t want them to feel like they’re going through another divorce, when you called it off with your rebound. But what do you do about introducing your (step)kids to the SO’s of other family members?

 

When I first met SS, he was three (to be honest, I did meet SS within the first two weeks). At the same time, BIL had started dating a girl from the next state over. BIL moved in with her and her daughter, and we visited with them when they came into town. The lived together for two years but it was full of fighting, calling off their engagements, and dramatic breakups. BIL couldn’t handle being ‘Dad’ to the daughter to one day and ‘she’s not your kid so you have no say’ the next. They ended up imploding and BIL moved back in with MIL & FIL.

 

In the year since he broke up with his ‘serious’ girlfriend, BIL has had a string of girlfriends. They are all young college girls, who just want to party (BIL is turning 29 in a month). Every couple of weeks, he has a new girlfriend. The problem is, he keeps trying to introduce them to SS.

 

He dated a girl for about six months (the only other long term girlfriend), and we all really liked her. She met SS right away. We walked in the door to visit MIL and FIL, and there she was. She had two horses and invited us out to her stables. She bought SS his t-ball bat and got him cowboy boots for his birthday. She worked with land conservation and SS was the face of her tree planting program. SS really liked her.

 

They are not together anymore. They broke up about two months ago, and in that time, BIL has had three other girlfriends. So far, SS hasn’t met any of them – but that’s not for lack of trying. The other day we were hanging out with MIL and FIL. SS was with BM. BIL walked through the door with his newest girlfriend (who none of us had met) and the first thing he asked was, “Where’s SS.” When we told him that SS was with BM, he turned to his girlfriend and said, “I guess you’ll have to meet him next time.”

 

DH and I feel like, no, we don’t want SS to meet BIL’s newest fling. SS has asked us about the last girlfriend a few times and was a little upset that she didn’t come over for the Fourth of July. We don’t feel that SS needs to meet BIL’s flavor of the week – especially when we haven’t even met the FOTW yet.

 

How would you handle that? Would you let your kids meet all of their Aunt/Uncle’s SO’s, or wait until Aunt/Uncle was with someone for x amount of time?

by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 2:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
soonergirl980
by Gold Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

We sorta go through this with some of DH's siblings. It's not such a problem because we do not live in the immediate area so not such a big deal. However, our last 3 trips back home 2 of his brothers have had a different wife/gf each time. It's not something we want to teach our kids so we try to limit interaction. With their track record I would prefer holding off until they have been married at least 6 years (would be a record for them). Thats not really possible though so but I think 6 months to a year is a good time frame for any extended period of time with the SO. We refuse to allow them to be called Aunt anything until they are married and even then thats iffy.

jules2boys
by Gold Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 2:34 PM

How old is SS?  How are these women being introduced to SS?  Is someone telling him they are his new 'aunt'?  Friends come and go.  SS is young and doesn't get that yet, but he will.  He'll make and lose friends in school, in his ECs, everywhere in life.  Yes, even in family. 

Has BF ever talked to him about his future and 'dating'?  Has BF ever mentioned that some people 'try on' a lot of different relationships (people) until they find one they want to stick with and some people try on a few before finding the one they want?  Clearly BIL is a 'try on a lot' sort.  I am not. 

Maybe you/BF can explain this, on SSs level, that there are likely to be 'many' new friends of his uncle, and SS just shouldn't get too attached to any of them.  Then perhaps BF and BIL can have a 'man to man' talk and BF can set his (I'm assuming) little brother straight on how he'll handle things from here on out.  ;) 

kjc143
by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I think this is important "Friends come and go." All he needs to know are that those are BIL's friends.  If it becomes more than that, then you can explain how people become more than friends, just like you did with his dad. 

Quoting jules2boys:

How old is SS?  How are these women being introduced to SS?  Is someone telling him they are his new 'aunt'?  Friends come and go.  SS is young and doesn't get that yet, but he will.  He'll make and lose friends in school, in his ECs, everywhere in life.  Yes, even in family. 

Has BF ever talked to him about his future and 'dating'?  Has BF ever mentioned that some people 'try on' a lot of different relationships (people) until they find one they want to stick with and some people try on a few before finding the one they want?  Clearly BIL is a 'try on a lot' sort.  I am not. 

Maybe you/BF can explain this, on SSs level, that there are likely to be 'many' new friends of his uncle, and SS just shouldn't get too attached to any of them.  Then perhaps BF and BIL can have a 'man to man' talk and BF can set his (I'm assuming) little brother straight on how he'll handle things from here on out.  ;) 


Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM
1 mom liked this

With an aunt/uncle? No worries in my mind.  The uncle should be able to bring his latest and greatest to family get togethers if he wishes. Friends come and go and all that.  I don't think there's a major impact on kids unless the person is introduced in a weird way like "Hey, meet your new aunt!" instead of "This is Uncle's new friend."


Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

And FWIW, I did not want to meet DH's kids until we were a for sure thing. I didn't want to be in and right back out.  I know it can happen no matter what, but I didn't want to be flippant about it.

faerie75
by Platinum Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM

 it isnt a big deal to us. most fam members have mates but if they didnt, so? my kids dont get attached that easily though. SO's dont really either.

momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM
I go through this with my sister and currently have concerns for how attached my kids are becoming to her boyfriends kids. They call themselves cousins and that worries me. 1. Because they have no plans to marry 2. If they break up we have nothing in common to keep us in contact. My kids will be devastated. My sister has dated a lot of men and always brings their kids around. My parents finally put their foot down and said we will not keep buying gifts and treating them 'like grandchildren' because its too much money 1 and 2 we lose in the end. The attachment we created to these kids who are not ours.

It's hard because if we say we don't want the kids to meet then we aren't happy for her and we are just being negative. If we meet then we run the risk of the kids having broken hearts by losing friendships. It's a very fine line we walk and we just evaluate the situation when it arises. I've not allowed them to meet some kids but I've allowed them to meet others. Just depends on the relationship and how I feel about it from an outsider and as the mother of my kids.
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DDDaysh
by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

 I had to laugh at this because I think my DS had a harder time when my brother broke up with his HS girlfriend than when his father first left us.  (He was an infant at the time.) 

My brother was with this girl for like 2 years, she spent almost every afternoon/evening at my parents' house (where my son spent 2 nights a a week) and she celebrated holidays with us and went on family trips with us.  Then they broke up and she ended up getting hired at DS's daycare.  Haha!  It was a mess because he didn't really understand why she never came around anymore. 

tabbys4
by Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 9:02 PM

bm here does the samething but she had these boyfriends move in she has been doing this since my sk were 8 and 7. moms new boyfriend is fun or funny then hes gone mom said he was a jerk... next guy.... now there older 15 and soon to be 14 and mom has had many bfs and even a new husband and was caught cheating on all of them even the husband.. kids knew it also and 15 yr old actully caught mom.. sigh... my dh told bm he dosent care if she wants to be a train station but to keep the kids away from it.. NOW me and dh.. we dated 6 months before eaither of us introduced kids i had 1 dd and he had the 2 girls after 6 months and we were seriouse we made paly date every other weekend at the park.. now we didnt hold hands or kids we all played.. after 3 months of that i sat my dd down and asked if she liked the guy and the kids she did ( he did the same ) then asked if they would like for us to live together my dd was thrilled she liked him and the girls and they were happy.. so i moved in. it has been 10 yrs now. we are married and have a son 2gether and my sks have asked me why cant mom stay in a relationship.. how can u do it and not her.. its so hard to be quiet but i say sometimes u have to kiss a few frogs before u find the price.. sadly bm is still doing well.. everyone. its hard to watch. she wont listen even when he own kids say something.. sometimes u just cant change someone. :(

CampClan
by Bronze Member on Aug. 24, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Wow... I have not really been in that situation before. I have 2 younger brothers, one is married & in the Navy so he lives in a different state that my family. My younger brother lives about 30 minutes away. Even though he lives "in town" we really don't see each other too often. And he has a general rule of his own- he doesn't introduce a gf unless he believes he is in it for the long haul. He's 31 & has never been one to "date around". He prefers more srious relationships.

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