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How Do I Develop a Good Relationship with my Partner’s Children?

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childrenby Anna Bella

“You can’t tell me what to do – you’re not my Dad! You’re only a pretend Dad, you’re not my real Dad…” was what I heard the little girl in the aisle say at the department store.  The girl was about six or seven years old. She wanted to stay and play with some toys, while her step-dad (or whichever father role he was playing) wanted to leave.

The mother came running across and admonished the girl for speaking like that. She told the girl to say sorry, and the girl refused.  They all walked out of the store unhappily, with stony faces.  Can anyone relate?

Over the years I have always been in relationships with men who had children, and can understand how tough it can get from both sides. Being fortunate enough to not have had too many problems with their children, I find it interesting to hear later (yes, I am still friends with many of my exes) how girlfriends after me, have had major problems with them since.

Here are some ways that you can make your life easier if your partner has children:

1. Stand Back – Especially if it’s a new relationship.  Things need to develop between the two of you, before it can develop between the 3 (or more) of you.

I once went out with a man who had 5 children ranging from 16 down to 6.  It was an interesting experience and I was lucky that when they tested me by getting the youngest one to ask me, “What’s a rubber?” I could play dumb and say it’s an eraser that rubs out pencil marks.  I did this with a deadpan expression and no reaction.  They kept getting her to come up to me and ask even more sexually driven questions for a good hour.  After non-committal responses and no reactions, they gave up and asked me to join them in a game of pool.  I passed the first test from them and every one after.  To this day, we still hang out together every once in a while.

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