I recently finished reading Steve Harvey’s book “Think Like A Man” and I must admit that it is a good book. I don’t understand why so many people are coming out against him and his book. It spoke a lot of truth and gave some good information. Now there are several key topics that he speaks on that I want to discuss further. I want to give you my direct opinion on the matter and see what all of you have to say about it. Today’s topic deals with single parent dating. When is it ok for the person you are dating to meet your kids? (I am applying this to both men and women). So let’s dive in.
According to Mr. Harvey he believes you shouldn’t wait a long time to have this meeting take place. He feels it will give you a better idea of the kind of person you are dating. It also is an opportunity to see if that person is willing to stick around now that they see exactly what they are dealing with. Without breaking his entire chapter down I will just say that I understand where he is coming from, but I have to disagree. I personally believe that your child or children should not meet the person you are dating until you are both certain you want to be together in a committed relationship. Most people make the argument that you shouldn’t have your kids constantly meeting different people while in your pursuit of a partner because it is not a good example to set. Not to mention exposing them to somebody you don’t know well yet. I agree with that to a certain extent but my concern goes deeper than that. I have seen too many people use their children as a means of determining their future mate. I think this is a horrible idea. I understand that you want your kids and that potential mate to like each other, but I think you are overlooking a key point. If a person “truly” loves you, they will want to love your kids and do right by them. If you are “truly” in the right relationship, your kids will naturally be happy with the person you are with because they genuinely make you happy. When the child does not like someone you can honestly say is the best person for you, it probably is because a) they are not over the fact that you are not with their biological parent and therefore nobody will be accepted until that issue is resolved. Or b) they are being neglected in the process and are jealous and hurt by your new love. Which means you need to find a better balance in the situation and take time to talk to them.
The point I am trying to make with all of that is, if you find the best relationship that truly makes you happy and fulfilled, then everything else will fall into place. On the flip side interjecting your kids to early can make things messy. That person you are dating may be good at manipulating their relationship with the kids in order to reel you in. They are using the kids for their goal to get you, and you will be so caught up in the fact that your kids “like them” that it will become harder to walk away when you recognize they are not the right person for you. If they have kids of their own, and your children become best friends, here comes another obstacle. Now letting go gets complicated because you don’t want the kids to lose their new friendship. I can give many examples, and they will all show how this introducing the kids too soon can get risky. If it is a simple introduction, then I guess it’s cool and maybe that is what Harvey was talking about. If it is some intimate gathering where bonding can occur then you are walking down a path that can possibly lead to more trouble than good.
You are an adult, and at the end of the day your relationship has to be about you being with the best person for you, and truly being happy and fulfilled. Your kids can love a potential mate all they want, but if you are unhappy on the inside, it will eventually have a negative impact on the relationship and with the kids. If you allow their fondness for that person to dictate your actions when you know deep inside that this is not the person for you; then you will end up in a relationship that will only serve as a bad example for your kids and set them on a course to have bad relationships when they get older. If your relationship has the right foundation, then everything can be worked out. In choosing the right partner, doing what is best for the kids starts with making sure you are truly doing what is best for you as well.
58 thoughts on “Single Parent Dating: Meeting The Kids”
Thanks for your excellent insights. I’ve shared on our SMORE FB page. Gail, Founder of SMORE for Women
Thank you so much Gail, and I really appreciate you sharing my article on your FB page : ). I will definitely be checking it out.
That pretty much sums it Up. I havn’t read the book but I did see the movie and you touch on the same thing I disagreed on. I know for me when I was dating, that was such a turn off if a woman takes me around her kids without even knowing who I was .. Good Post
Thanks Vernon, and glad to see we agree.
i really like this,i think i can learn from this ..
Thnx once again.,
I totally agree… Allowing them to meet the person that you are not sure about is NOT GOOD..:-)~smile~
I agree with you Stephan. I can’ never understand people use their kids to determine if that person is the right one. It’s their life not their kids’ life. If they love each other kids won’t be a problem.
I agree but I understand why do they it. They want to make sure everybody gets a long and they don’t know or understand the concept that if real love exists then the kids will fall in line (unless there is a deeper issue with the kids that needs to be addressed).
Sorry to say, but it doesn’t always turn out like that. And you’re responsibility is as a parent first.
I agree. I don’t believe in introducing my son to anyone that I am not serious about, nor do I believe in parading different men around my son. https://www,thesexysinglemommy.com
This hits home with me and remains a hot topic with me and my friends. I am very cautious about bringing any man I’m dating around my daughter. She lones for a male figure and the last thing I want to do is give her false hopes on a man that I dont know fully. I’m not just looking for a man that is good for me he has to also be a good example of a man for her. Great Article! As usual 🙂
This is key advice. I thought about that topic as I watched the movie. I like your perspective better. 🙂
This is key advice. I thought about that topic as I watched the movie. I like your perspective better. 🙂
This was a great read, important topic. I totally agree with you, especially when you touch on the reasons the child(ren) may not like the person AND how the person can use the child(ren) as a pawn in their game. That is one of the main reasons you should wait. I don’t have kids but I am really iffy about meeting someone’s kids. If the topic comes up before I am ready to meet them, I decline. I believe in doing background checks because people have to have background checks to teach and work with your kids so they should have one if they are your mate who will be interacting with/taking care of your kids. People are so crazy these days that you never know what you are getting. We should all know by now that the first few weeks and/or months, people are still showing their “representative” or the good side of them. You want to know a person at their best, worst and in between and they should know you on those levels before you even consider meeting their children or letting them meet yours.
this post is really great since
it has been helpful and at the same time, informative. Really worth the read! I
do hope that you’d still keep on posting such informative articles like this.
Thank you so much for this. I am also a single parent and I
have been wondering about starting to date someone and find a partner who can
take care of me and my kids. I just hope your advices would work. I’ll let you
know if it does. 😉
I see a lot of my single parent friends expose their kids to way too many people then they wonder why their kids are confused about dating. Stop letting folks spend the night and get close before you really know them
Why not just wait until the kids are grown, over 18,k before introducing them? While your children are under 18, simply restrict your dating to when they are with their father.
But what if you want to marry the person well before the kids turn 18? You wouldn’t be able to separate those two worlds. Now if it is only dating then I can understand if someone wants to wait that long.
That’s what I’m saying, don’t marrt before the kids are grown.
That’s asking a lot in my opinion. If there is going to be a serious and loving relationship involved then I don’t see why the person needs to wait after that. Especially if the parents of the children can learn to have a positive relationship with each other despite moving on to another person.
I agree I agree I agree!…introduce kids too soon and I have seen the relationship “unaturally” shift to a form of a “family mode” without really giving the adults time to really see if they themselves gel together in an actual commitment to one another FIRST, for all the RIGHT reasons. It’s an honest mistake that many single parents make, in my opinion. Even though that person may have a genuine fondness of the children and may go into that “parent role” with them..it still does not necessarily mean that the two dating are compatible for each other long-term.
I really feel that dating single parents should take all the time they need (and hopefully the person they are dating feels mutual) and make this time about them FIRST…that person will learn about the kids through getting to know you first..and then when there is a shift in commitment level..(for me personally I would like to be engaged but I know that may be a stretch lol)…then introduce the kids and work on building that bond 2nd.
Wish I had kids to introduce to the world
As a parent who has remarried, I see the benefits to introducing your child/children to potential partners early on. My one caveat though is that they not be introduced as a potential partner. The same way you would introduce a potential friend. It doesn’t have to be after the 1st date, nor does it have to be often. But the same way you’re getting to know the person, your child should too. The relationship shouldn’t just be sprung on them. I didn’t do this when I was dating, but I feel now that I should have. Instead, I tried to keep those two aspects of my life separate for as long as possible until I was sure… But it isn’t reality and it can be a rude awakening when those two realities come together.
Reading this has intrigued me and makes me want to find time to read this book. I love reading about controversial views when it comes to parenting, it helps me open my mind to views other than my own. I definitely side more with your view that you should wait until you think you are ready to be in a committed relationship with the person before you introduce your kids. The younger the child is, the more easily they become attached to the people they meet. If you bring a lot of people into their life only to take them back out shortly after, they begin to feel like everyone in their life leaves them, and that can have a very detrimental effect on them later on in life.
I totally agree. I’ve seen too many friends introducing their ‘boyfriends’ way too early, only for it to fall apart. It’s not good for anyone, let alone to children and they learn by example…. Great post, thank you for sharing
I must agree with you on this one too. I haven't read Steve Harvey's book, but I didn't meet my boyfriend's kids until we had been dating for 6 months. He is a single dad with a then 6 yr old and 18 yr old and said he wanted to be sure that our relationship was serious and would last. Now, 4 years later, I wouldn't change a thing. It is best to wait.
Wow…thank you Stephan for this perspective! I read Steve's book and was going to take his advice but now that I am dating someone what you say here makes me more comfortable. The tricky part is though that my children are 13 and 14 and grew up without a father. So really the man I choose for me is for them too. I'm still not sure how i want to handle this but i will definitely take this into consideration. Thanks again!
I read both of his books and liked them both and what I gathered, there are some things that I could apply and some things I wasn’t and that should be done on a “case by case” basis. I’m going to have agree with you. Almost all the points you made I experienced. From the one that knows you are a single mom and how important your kids are to you so they use your children and theirs to get to you (and it was hard to let go because of the boys relationship with each other) to the children feeling jealous because the attention is shifting and being rebellious and I have very athletic teenage boys (18 & 16), lol
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!! Smiley face.
I agree. If they love you they should also love your kids
When being single with kids, you have to be careful even with introducing of your friends of the opposite gender to your kids. I can give an example – I've been dating a guy, and he stayed in my house overnight etc. The kids sure knew him. Then, I had my male friend visiting, and the kids asked me if he's going to stay overnight too. This shook me so much that now I really don't rush introducing anyone to my kids – whether it's a new relationship, or just a friend.
I agree that meeting the kids too soon is a no-no. In fact, meeting the kids comes much later in my opinion. Dealing with the devastation of another break up can cause so much turmoil in their lives. I wouldn’t want to put them through that repeatedly. Besides, you know your kids better than anyone else. You can probably tell whether they will mesh with your partner by interacting with him over time. I have a dating blog (smoochingfrogs.com) where I talk about my own personal dating experiences along with articles and other quirky topics and rarely, if ever, mention my kids because they are not a part of my dating life. Not unless it becomes serious.
I must agree with you on this. You yourself have to know beyond a reasonable doubt that this is a good person for you first. I wouldnt want just anybody around my child. I made this mistake and it not only turns the child against the person but if you have only bad things to say about this person then it only confuses the child. Make sure you know who you are dealing with and that comes with time. If he cant treat you right then he sure aint gonna treat your child right.
I completely agree….great article!
We waited (both of with a conscious decision) to wait until we were both certain the relationship was heading somewhere.
I agree with this article 100%. I have tried introducing men I've dated to my children early and also thinking giving my children the chance to judge the man, needless to say neither haven't worked. So now I'm only willing to introduce if we both agree there would be a compliment.
I think there is balance to this approach. I have waited in the past and ended getting burned because being a step father seemed like a great idea until it got real and in person as opposed to a topic of discussion. Once I was able to see how he interacted with my son over a period of time, it became clear that the reality was more than he could muster and he broke off our engagement. I feel had we spent more "family" time together earlier in the relationship, this would have been clearer sooner. I think you wait until you feel the person is someone you want to be serious with and then you introduce the person as a friend and spend some time getting to know one another on that level along with your child. No spending the night, or anything like that. Just getting to know each other in a family atmosphere.
I totally agree and I live by that motto!
Wow so true
Yes I agree..wait on introducing the children until u n he have a clear understanding of where things are going…some ppl do play that manipulation card and u get sucked in..now if u hv a child with behavior issues they r not going to like anyone u bring in the picture y? Cuz its another solid view on things..an adult view…lol..u dont want to wait until the day before the wedding for them to meet the kids tho..balance it out..and like Steve said..a park or neutral place is fine
What do you do when a child is “forced” to accept a person because of cheating and a divorce???? My kids were old enough, but it broke the family bond, and it was very hard for all of them??? How do I keep myself from getting jealous all the time, because she has interferred a lot in family functions.???
I totally agree
I agree with you.
I agree with you.
I agree u hv to wait untill you are sure of your partner
As a first time single parent, I felt the same in that there should be more time before introductions. I've learned it is not so much about trying to control all these variables such as bonding too quickly, the kids not liking so n so,or general issues involving the kids psychological well being – as this will make you crazy, especially upon finding there's no controlling these things. Rather, the focus needs to be on oneself to determine if you are coming from a healthy, honest, and wholesome place in your heart and mind. As long as adequate time has passed to be healed and under control – the right decisions come naturally to a good parent. If we can't trust in ourselves, how can our kids?
I've been dating someone for almost seven months and I've never been to home. She been over to mine all the time. She has a 11 year daughter that I've met one that's lives with her. The issue that I'm having is that we've expressed how we love each other and in a committed relationship, but she hasn't invited me to her home once. It worries me, or should I respect her decision?
What about the opposite… waiting too long to meet the kids or family? (Like 3 years since the relationship was defined as exclusive)?
Wow! ! This was right on target….i read the book and i also disagreed with Steve Harvey regarding this. You are right about the fact that we should wait until we get to know the person well. Also never take our children for granted when we are in a relationship worth someone. Quite often some women make the mistake of devoting full attention to the relationship and putting the kids aside. .. that's definately a NoNo on my books. .. my kids will always by my priority over anything.
I have the same problem with my daughter he father wants her to meet his girlfriend he’s been dating for a few months and she prevented him from seeing her for those months niw he’s back in her life and tells me that’s she will be around my daughter a lot. My daughter is only two i don’t want her confused.
I'm a single mom and I choose not to introduce my son to who I'm dating until I know in my heart of heart it's for keeps. It was very hard on my son when I left his dad after 11 yrs. of marriage. I don't never want to inflict that type of pain on my son again if I can help it. My number one priority is my son being raised in a healthy loving environment . Love+Love=More Love
I can understand this with younger children; however, my situation involves grown children. I have been dating this man for five years. I have two sons and they like him and only want my happiness. On the other hand, he has two grown daughters, one of whom I get along with so-so, but the other one wants nothing to do with me. I have never even met her husband. I have discussed this with my boyfriend and asked that he have an adult conversation with them both and tell them he would like to have me included in things. He insists that it is the girls' mother's fault that I am not welcome. I have never been invited to his grandchildren's birthday parties, and have been very hurt by this. He seems to think that I am blowing things out of proportion and always tell me "some day maybe they will come around." That "some day" hasn't come yet!!
I am dating but I am taking my.time. My new boyfriend is understanding and we are taking it slow and easy. We both want to be comfortable and safe.