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Question about single dads


Shaker
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I'm dating a man who has joint custody of his daughter, a third-grader. He wants me to meet her, which I'm happy to do...but I don't have kids myself, and have had really limited contact with children. I'm afraid I don't know what to do or say.

 

How can I make the first meeting easy on everyone involved?

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3rd grade is a good age.... I think you'll be fine if you just act nice, smile, and ask her questions about herself like "How do you like school" "What's your favorite subject", etc. She'll porobably do a lot of the talking, unless she is very shy.

 

I think it's best to avoid any public displays of affection with your boyfriend when she's around, especially in the beginning, because it can be confusing to a kid and also hard if their parents are divorced/not together.

 

BellaDonna

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Well, I'm not a dad. But I do know about kids. They can see right through you - way better than adults. So be sincere. Don't try too hard and don't be someone you're not. Don't "suck up". A 3rd grader can be alot more mature than you expect. Talk to her like an adult. Ask her a couple questions about her teacher, her best friend, or her favorite class.

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Act as naturally as you can, treat her like you'd treat anybody else.

She likely knows more about the situation than you realize, she may very well be quite curious about you and what you do so it's okay to talk about that.

 

Try not to come accross as a motherly type figure, particularly at first as this might cause her some difficult feelings. Be like a friend . In the future perhaps a big sister, take it from there.

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I just went through this eight months ago. I also don't have any kids, but have raised a few.

 

My BF's five year old is EXTREMELY shy. She wouldn't even talk to her father in front of me at one point.

 

I took it slow and talked to her, never pushing her for a reply. When she was coloring or playing with her play-dough, I would ask if I could play too. Sometimes we would play together in silence. Sometimes I would talk and be silly if she didn't even crack a smile, It was still o.k.

 

Until one day about a month later I was walking out the back door and she yelled "Hey, Where are you going"? in this little demanding five year old voice. It actually scared the beejesus out of me.

 

Now God love her, she never shuts up. The moral of my story is let her come to you.

 

This will be more of a scary situation for her than it is to you. You are the stranger here. Don't be scared or intimidated. Ask her questions about herself. What does she like? What shows does she watch? Wanna play a game? You get the picture

 

Relax, you may not be a mother, but you have been a kid.

 

Best of luck to you!

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It think it's a good sign that he wants you to meet his daughter considering she's one of the most important people in his life.

 

He must really trust you and think highly of you. I'm sure he will help ease the interactions between the 2 of you. Maybe you can ask him beforehand what some of her interests are so you'll have some good questions to ask.

 

BellaDonna

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Just be yourslef and let her do the talking. Don't try and force affection, or force her to like you. Just be cool. If you can find common ground to talk about, then thats good, but don't pretend to like what she likes cos kids will see that a MILE off.

 

Don't make her feel jealous and don't show too much affection to her dad. Up until now, she has been his only little girl, and a new girl can make her feel scared to loose her daddy.

 

Just be natural, true and yourself.

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I'm a teacher and if I'm not married by the time I get my PhD I'll adopt and become a single father.

 

You need to be genuine in front of her. Don't try to impress her and do not, by any means, lie to her. Kids can sense that way better than adults can. Kids don't like to be impressed. When you meet her, she is in charge and she will stay in charge throughout the duration of the relationship because you are a stranger to her. Kids are taught not to trust strangers, for good reason, too. If you're nice and geniune, you'll be fine. It will take time, but if you're a good person and you care about her she will like you. Don't appear as a threat to her father's attention, because she might get jealous if he spends too much time with you and not enough time with her.

 

I know that if I'm a single dad and my daughter doesn't approve of my girlfriend, I can't be with her. I'm not trying to scare you, but you need to be on your best behavior.

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Coming from a kid who met his mom when he was in the 4th grade, i'd say everyone else is right: just be natural and don't suck face with your beau in front of her, it'd not only confuse her, but freak her out. pay attention to her and make sure she knows you have a genuine interest in her--and her father if she's mature enough for that

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Well, it's starting to look like this meeting is going to happen sooner than I think (as in some time in the next few days). I had a really open conversation with my beau about my fears, his fears, his child's fears and what his expectations are (the good, the bad, and the ugly) today. He is expecting some anger on her part because she's still hoping her parents will get back together...

 

I've asked him a lot of questions about her, and she has always been a huge part of our conversations from the very beginning. I'm excited about meeting her, and yet still nervous....

 

I'll post about how it all goes.

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Sounds like shows of affections to him maybe should be tempered so you can appear more "friend' like and less "girlfriend" like at first. Don't say anything negative about her mother and try not to diminish anything his daughter feels.

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Here's my update. I met my boyfriend's daughter this week, and we really hit it off. He gave us time to get to know each other once he was sure she was comfortable with him being in another room. We had a lot of fun, and it felt natural, normal, maybe even cozy.

 

Thanks for your input. It helped!

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