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what do I do to make a postive first impression?

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 4:18 AM
  • 13 Replies

Ok the reason why I joined this group was because I just started dating a wonderful man, we have been together for a few months and its that time to meet his older son, ( He has two children CD who is 11 years old an JD who is a beautiful 2 year old) I have already meet JD because of the young age DD figured it wouldnt hurt. CD is another story, CD has a lot of abandonment issues, he is striving to find that "mommy figure" and has been hurt emotionally repeated by DD's previous ex's even CD own mother isnt well suited. I have two children of my own but they are much younger than CD.

DD mentioned last night that he had a very good conversation about me to CD, the first about my existance which started becasue  I had cleaned the house this weekend while the family was away. CD stated that he didnt mind who his father dated anymore but that he wasnt ready to meet me. I'm unsure how I feel about that, but I understand where CD is coming from, being hurt in the past has left this young, bright impressionable child "wounded". My question is, when CD is ready to meet me how should I aopproach this? I'm entering it not trying to replace his mother or the fond memories he has of DD's previous ex who was around for the better part of three years. I would like to be a friend first and let CD make up his own mind about me. I already care deeply for both children and want wahts best for them, I am what you call a kind hearted women an truly want to make a great first impression on CD. yes in child terms "I want him to really like me" I can see a beautiful future with his father but I know in order for that future to come his children have to be as excepting of me as DD is. Please help.. I'm very nervous about the entire situation and just want it to go well.

by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 4:18 AM
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by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:26 AM

I wouldnt go into anything deep like "I dont' wnat to replace your mother." Just be nice to him. Treat him like you would a girlfriend's son or co-worker's son. You just started dating his father. You have no idea where thsi relationship will go. It sounds like he's met several of Dad's romantic interests and he's just not interested in meeting the next one. So there is no need to establish any particular relationship with the son. Meeting him for casual social outtings is fine, but I would not focus on any kind of relationship with him at this time.

by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:28 AM

First welcome. Secone DD typically means daughter here.

I think you are on the right track by waiting and giving him some space. That shows that you acknowledge his wishes.  I don't know that I would let him be in complete control though. Take it slow.  I wouldn't even focus on being a friend yet.  Just someone who shows up at some of the same functions.  I wouldn't do anything to formal the first time.  Just be yourself.

But knowing the kid has been hurt before, I'd let the relationship stabilize and give it at least 6 months or so for a formal meeting. He doesn't need to get attached if you could possibly break up. 

by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:50 AM
Just be yourself. Don't come on too strong. I wouldn't go into this looking to be a mother figure either. I think that's too much too soon.
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:54 AM
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You have only been dating this man a few months. There is really no need to meet his children, or he yours for that matter, until you and he are certain you are on a long term trajectory. What would be the point of bringing your children into a relationship that may very well not last. 

I would keep my dating  life completely separate from my children until I was ready to make it permanent. 

by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM
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I remember being so nervous to meet my husband's kids because I really wanted them to like me too, and I'm shy anyway so I was SO nervous.

When you do meet, have it in a setting where there would be other distractions - like at a park or a playground. So it's not so formal and stiff. And also be okay with him taking a while to warm up to you - not even as his dad's GF but just on a basic social level. Be relaxed and don't try to force anything.

Good luck!

by Ruby Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM
I personally wouldn't allow anyone to meet my children so soon. Now my dh did meet my son early bc he was an infant and I took him along on some dates. But my dh and I were dating for quite a while before I introduced him to anyone especially my older child who was 7. Why rush it? Enjoy the dating experience and leave the kids out of it until you both are sure you are a permanent fixture. Doesn't sound like this older child needs any more chaos in his life.

But if you are determined to meet him anyway - I would suggest just being a friend. My dh brought my dd flowers to their first meeting. And we did something kid friendly. I can't remember what it was. A park or something. I introduced him as my friend. He only spent maybe a couple hours at a time like a play date a couple times a month for the first few months. We didn't mesh right away. We still dated and only included the kids occasionally. When she started asking to see him more - when will we see J again?? - then we started seeing him more. I let her take the lead. He let her take the lead in their relationship. I never had him babysit or keep my kids either. He didn't step in to any kind of role while we were dating. He was my boyfriend. Not their stepparent. He didn't help me with them. I was completely hands on and he was just a friend hanging out.

They have a great relationship. It's not perfect because she is a tween at this point and she is moody. Sometimes he gets on her nerves lol but he is still just a friend to her. Nothing more. Not a father or anything like that because she has a father. They do fun things together like the movies and projects. They have a lot of common interests. Good luck!
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by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM

There are so many "do's" and "do nots" on this topic... but here is a very simple one:

Once his kids have met you and know you as "Dad's girlfriend".... Let them have time with Dad all to themselves. And I don't mean the obvious (like you not being with them physically) but simple things like texting / calling. Avoid texting and calling when he is with them.

Kids (especially at 11 years of age) will pick up on it. He will feel like "WTF Dad, can't you spend a few minutes without her taking all your attention?"

Just one simple thing you can do that can make your life a whole lot easier in the long run. It's about respecting his relationship with his kids and giving them time to breathe.

by on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:39 AM

I'm not sure that there's any "right" way to do this.  However, given that this kiddo already has some abandonment issues and has said he doesn't WANT to meet you yet, I'd keep that in mind.  I probably wouldn't push at all to meet him until you're engaged to be married.  Personally, I'm not a fan of kids meeting a partner until there's a committed relationship.  The timeline on that varies, obviously.  But having people in and out of a kid's life, especially at that age, can be difficult. (speaking from my own personal experience as a kid btw)

When you DO meet him, activities that offer side by side opportunities for conversation vs face to face can be very effective.  An amusement park, the zoo, an arcade, something that doesn't feel as awkward as a dinner 'round the family table, kwim?

Something fun and light and just keep it fun and light and let him lead the way.  One thing you should be prepared for is that at his age, he may NEVER really connect with you. My SDs were 10/11 when I met them and they're now 14/15.  Even after 4 years of living together and such, we're not close.  I care about them and we all get along, it's not that there's a problem--there's just not the kind of closeness that some people find when they meet a young child  That's a tough age to walk into a kid's life. 

by Platinum Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Here's what I question. You havent been around long. How are you getting the info that "mom isn't well suited"? And how has the boy been hurt by other ex's? How many other ex's are there?

How are you meeting one child but not the other?

by Gold Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM
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It is a very new relationship.  As others have said-- don't even worry about meeting his children just yet, especially since his son has said that he doesn't want to meet you, right now.  If things work out there is plenty of time for that.  Just enjoy your new relationship and get to know your boyfriend.

When it does come time to meet him just be yourself.  Be kind.  Be polite. Treat him with respect and respect his relationship with his father.  Don't insist on being one big happy family or doing everything with them.  Do not sit him down and have any sort of heart to heart about replacing his mom or loving his dad or any of that.  Unless he approaches you about these things let your actions speak for you. 

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