Friday, March 4, 2016

Tips For Introducing Children to a Boyfriend in a Healthy Way.

Dating, children, introduction, tips, single, mom

I grew up in a single mom household from 4 up until I was 14 my mother was married to the same man. However, after they split things were not as consistent. I was older so I feel like I took it  bit well but this was not something i wanted to put my son through. I did not start dating until Noah was around one and half and guess what my biggest concern was? That is right when does he meet the guy? How do I do it in a way that is healthy for him? Every website had different rules and they seemed so personal so I thought I would come up with some tips that you can make into your own (take what works drop what doesn’t). I also have given more tips (most things I have read have about 5 or 6 tips) the more you can pull from the better you can make these tips fit your life and situation. Anyways let’s get to it!

Know when the time is right: While some people have a 6-month time frame I say go with your own time frame. If your average relationship is 8 months don’t introduce your child to someone at six months (makes sense right?).

Let them talk on the phone: Something I have learned to do is let the chat start before the child meets the guy in person. This way the child is not 100% unsure of who they are meeting (you could also try video chats.).

Ask your child when they want to meet them: If your child has talked to this person and you keep on talking about them your child will get used to the name. As your child if they want to meet this person. Do this within reason if you have been with the person for a while and your child’s favorite word is no (like my sons is right now) than make a judgement call.

Do something the child will love: Meet at a park, zoo, or something like that. The child is already going to be stressed so put them in an environment that they can enjoy.

He is just your friend: Avoid the kissing and all that at first. Let your child see a friendship first. (I do not feel you need to do this all the time, pay attention to your child.)

Don’t push: Do not try and create a connect. It will happen in its own way on its own time. If you are pushy it does not help it hurts.

Know when to take a step back: This one is taught (I have the hardest time with this) but if you don’t let the guy step up and the child step into a relationship it is not going to work. You need to see how the guy is going to react to somethings. I am not saying let the guy babysit after the first meeting but children push boundaries and if he does not know how to say no things are going to get crazy. (I mean have you meet a three-year-old?).

He is not dad: Make this clear, I do not care if your child’s father is in jail, abusive, 100% out of the picture, or on again off again the new guy is not dad. This guy is not coming into your child’s life to replace something. This guy will build something new with your child and if later on the child wants to call him dad than deal with that than.

Here are a few extra tips for older children.

Inform your child you are dating: Do not play the “I’m going out with friends” game with older children. They are not stupid, but that is a stupid lie.  I notice people tend to do this with older children and just don’t.

Talk about the person and the relationship: Talk about how you feel about the person, the ups and downs, your worries (within reason). Basically keep the child up to date on what you’re thinking. This is how you avoid the “I hate him” because the guy went from “your friend” to your fiancĂ© in 16 weeks.

Let your child come to the conclusion of how they feel: You can like, love, worship the guy and that is nice but don’t push those feelings onto your child. They don’t have to like him, love him, or even enjoy the guy they have that right. Let the child reach a conclusion of how they want to feel.

Do not ask your child to keep the relationship a secret: Really this applies to all children of all ages (but no one really thinks a 4-year-old is keeping a secret). Your relationship is not something that should cause stress and friction with your child. If you are going to ask your child to keep the relationship a secret, you need to reconsider if you need to be in a relationship. Asking a child this is unfair and it is as simple as that. 

Do you have any tips for introducing a child to a partner? Do you think it is harder to introduce older or younger children to someone?

If you like what you are read subscribe to the blog and follow me on Bloglovin & Facebook. Don’t forget to vote for me on Top Mom Blog by clicking the link and take the poll below.


Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.


  1. These are great tips! My dad died when I was 12 and my mom started dating a couple years later. We did meet a couple guys before meeting her now-husband. I feel like she did a good job with it though. Then I found myself a single mom and I too started dating when my daughter was about 18 months old. After a lot of research, consulting friends, and thought... I basically did what you did. We followed our instincts - and when the introduction was made it was "my friend" and we had a "playdate" - there was no stress and no expectation of an ongoing relationship with my child. Children make friends all the time (at the park, grocery store, etc) that they may not see again and they are okay - this is no different as long as the adults keep things relaxed.

    Our biggest concerns were personal attachments. The first guy I dated also had two sons - and we both were nervous about growing attached to the children and our hearts missing them if the relationship did not work out. But, we loved each other and tried to apply the same thought process above to ourselves.

    Luckily, it worked out and we are still together/married 7 years later. When our first child together was born, my daughter was 3. That is when she asked if she could start calling him "Dad" too - for us and our situation it was such a heartwarming moment and he's been "Dad" ever since.

    Having said all of that - we definitely did not conform to "appropriate" time standards. He met my daughter after about 3 weeks, I met his sons about 2 weeks later. We moved in together after 4 months. We were pregnant (and lost a baby) by 5 months, had another daughter before we got married... then had 2 more. Not normal - probably not even "book smart" - but it worked for us. We followed our gut <3

    1. I am very sorry for your loss, but so happy that you two are married. No time frame works for everyone. I have had my son meet guys 6 months into a relationship and never meet the guy at all. It comes down to a judgment call. I love that she decided to call him dad <3.

  2. These are all great tips. My mom dated a bit after my parents split and the one thing I hated was her asking me what my dad was doing AND my dad asking what she was doing. Later they kept asking each other who they were dating & make negative comments about it no matter what I said. STILL. TO. THIS. DAY. They had a terrible divorce so reading this made me smile to know other parents can be mature. Great post! Thank you.

    1. I am sorry to hear that. Thank you for reading.

  3. For this we have to tread carefully. Unless you are really serious then kids should be left out of the mix. Some women sometimes do this too quickly and then end up parading several men before their kids.

    1. I agree, but in those cases I feel often times that is out of guilt or some other need (I will be writing a post on the topic).

  4. THIS would be insanely hard to do. I feel like if I were the kid I would hate EVERYONE my mom introduced me to. I would be so judgmental because I only want what's best for my mom! Luckily, never had to deal with that because my parents have been happily married for almost 40 years!