You’re finally at their point in your relationship. It’s time to meet his kids. You’ve heard a zillion stories about them and you’ve even seen pictures. There’s a chance that you could become a pretty big part of their lives. This is a very important first impression and there’s no doubt that you’re crazy nervous. Here’s how not to screw it up.
Do treat them with respect. Whether the child is 4 or 14 years old make sure you treat them with respect. Even if they’re small playfully shake their hand and ask what they like to do and what they’re doing in school. Don’t just pinch their cheeks and act phony, treat his kids with dignity.
Don’t gush too much. Yeah I get it, they’re cute. But don’t go overboard. You can tell your man that he’s got great kids but don’t go on and on and on; you’ll sound disingenuous.
Do bring the kids a treat. Maybe some homemade cookies or a small toy. Just something to let the kids know that you’re excited to meet them and look forward to maybe being a part of their lives. A small token will often win over younger kids and put you on their good list faster. They won’t think of you as the lady who’s trying to replace mom but the lady who makes really yummy brownies.
Don’t tell them you want to be their new mommy. They already have a mother. You may eventually turn into a maternal figure in their lives and someday they may call you mom but you have to remember that you are not their mother and you are not trying to replace their mother. This can trigger all kinds of emotions in kids of any age so avoid doing this entirely.
Do suggest an activity that you and your boyfriend can do together with his kids. Get to know his kids with him at the playground or an amusement park. A fun space where you all can relax and get to know each other is way easier than an awkward interaction at home. Also it’s a total perk to see your man’s relationship with his kids- absolutely adorable!
Don’t ignore the kids. You might not consider yourself one of those “good with kids” people but try your best. Your boyfriend will not choose you over his kids so if it comes down to it- he would choose them. Don’t make him have to choose. Get along with his kids and try to build a relationship.
Do be yourself! You don’t have to start acting like mother of the year or just sit and smile at them. If you’re really outgoing, make conversation! If you’re funny, tell a joke! Don’t be fake; the kids will pick up on it. If you’re nervous, tell them you’re nervous. This will signal that getting to know them is important to you and that you care. And isn’t that the whole point of this meeting?