How to Build a Relationship With Your Boyfriend's Kids

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Being the newcomer to a family can be a nerve-wracking experience. Your boyfriend's kids are an important part of his life, so they should also become an important part of your life. Handle this transition with grace and ease by taking it slowly and being engaged in the family. You want to fit in to the family's already-established lifestyle while giving yourself some room to show who you are and what you can contribute. Have confidence in what you have to offer and what you can gain by building these new relationships.

  • Introduce yourself and start slowly. Be friendly and warm toward your boyfriend's kids. Show them that you are a positive and non-threatening person. See them infrequently at the beginning, then build up to seeing them on a regular basis so that you avoid disrupting their routine too quickly. Notice cues from the kids that tell you if you're around too much or crossing boundaries -- let them set the pace of your building relationship.

  • Get to know the kids. Talk to your boyfriend about his kids by asking questions about their interests, likes and dislikes to give you a starting point. Show interest in the kids by asking them questions about how they are doing in school, sports or their activities. Share information about yourself, too, such as your job and hobbies.

  • Let your boyfriend handle discipline of his kids, at least in the beginning. Know the rules that your boyfriend has already established for his kids so that you don't overstep his authority. Have your boyfriend verbally delegate authority to you when you are alone with his kids. Talk with him about any changes or suggestions that you have before attempting to enforce your own ideas. You can build more authority over time, but in the beginning, it's best to let him set the rules.

  • Support his kids by showing up to events important to them, such as sports games or dance recitals. Cook one of your favorite meals and invite your boyfriend and his kids. Take part in family traditions when appropriate.

  • Organize a group activity to establish bonding. Try a relaxed activity such as a board game, hike or make-your-own-sundae bar. Tune in to what his kids like to do and go with their preference. Establish an activity that you can do with his kids independently. Create a new family tradition, such as Friday movie night at home.

  • Make one-on-one time with each kid to get to know him on an individual basis. Remember the birthdays and important dates for each child and take note of individual food likes or dislikes.

References

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