I wish I could say that I’d spent months planning how I’d have my kids meet my boyfriend. I wrote about it earlier on this year, wondering the right and best way to do it that would suit them, him, and me.
But I sensed it might be one of those things that would never go the way you imagined: much like many things that happen with kids. You know? You can spend hours and hours plotting your school runs, birthday parties or Tuesday mornings, and one way or another your children will have other ideas.
Best laid plans and all that.
But in reality, the children meeting my boyfriend, the man I reckon will be in our lives for quite a while if not forever, was one of those things that just seemed to happen. There was no muss, fuss or worry. And you know what? It was amazing, and has been pretty wonderful ever since.
If I had to do it again, here’s why I reckon it went so well:
How To Introduce Your Kids To Your Boyfriend
Make sure he is ready
My man really likes children: he has two older ones of his own as well as nieces and nephews, so I knew he’d be as comfortable around my kids as he could be. If your bloke is a single guy without his own kids or small people in his life, it might be prudent to give him a little longer so he can come round to the idea. Ultimately though, take his lead: if he doesn’t seem to worried about it, there’s no more you can do
Do it in a neutral place
The first time I hung out with both my boyfriend and my kids we were at the gym. They’d just been to their favourite kids club and it was supper time for them, as is our usual Monday evening routine. It wasn’t planned, we just all happened to be sitting next to each other at the same time, and it was No Big Deal.
I introduced him as my friend and the kids took it in their stride – they were so used to the routine of their gym class followed by their mac n’cheese that having an extra grown-up in the equation didn’t seem to worry them one bit.
Keep PDAs to a minimum
It’s natural when you fall in love with someone to want to have your hands on them ALL THE TIME (or is it just me who’s a horny beggar?) and so the children didn’t get confused, my boyfriend and I made sure we were neutral with each other when we were around them. Now he’s seen them on the regular for the last couple of months there’s the odd hand hold or kiss – and I think it’s important for the kids to see affection in an adult relationship (see also: that horny beggar again) – but it’s considered and it’s balanced with lots of affection from me to them, too.
Continue to be a threesome (or twosome, or foursome) without your new man
It has been so wonderful to have such a brilliant man step into our family life, but again I don’t want to overwhelm the children with his presence all in one go. We do stuff together – have dinner, read stories, go swimming – but I’m careful to ensure I stick to the kids boundaries and continue to do activities just the three of us.
Let the kids set the pace
Again, this seems to have been something that’s happened quite naturally in our situation, and I think letting the children take the lead when it comes to this new relationship has been very valuable. They’ve always been very friendly with my boyfriend and obviously enjoy spending time in his company, and that’s now progressed to hugs when they see him and demands for games being played together.
That’s been all them, and it warms my cockles to see them respond to his presence.
If you’ve gone through this situation, how would you recommend introducing your kids to your boyfriend?