Dating: When Should They Meet Your Kids?

I was on Facebook browsing my feed and someone asked an interesting question:

How soon is too soon to introduce the person you’re dating to your kids?     

It was a great question. Especially since I’ve been known to get it wrong a time or twelve in my past. we meet someone, we enjoy their company and we even begin to imagine a life with them…and our children. It can be both exciting and exhausting to get to know someone that seems altogether amazing to you, but not know if that level of care and kindness will translate the same to your children. For me, because I had trusted the wrong person in the past, it didn’t matter how amazing Kenyon was to me, my children had to ease into meeting him and then a relationship with him…even after we were married. But it all takes time.

This is a question that we typically get from ladies more than men and, the reality is, there’s no time frame or specific amount of time that you should wait to until introducing someone to your children. There are more so “mile stones’ that you should be looking out for after the stability of the relationship has been established. After you’ve vetted their life and intentions for YOU and after you’ve satisfied some very important questions:

  1. Is he the type of man you’d want your son to look up to or your daughter to date?
    • Many of us have either settled or toyed with the idea of settling with someone who wasn’t “ideal” for us. We ignored red flags, committed to “helping” them be a better man or convinced ourselves that they would change if we loved them hard enough. In none of these scenarios are the children considered and if we settle for someone that will not be a good role model for our children, we are telling them that the negative traits and characteristics are OK to ignore in themselves and people they may date later on.
  2. Does he ask about your family dynamic with your kids?
    • This is a simple one. Does he seem generally interested in your life with your children? Not in a creepy way (I pray you can tell the difference) but men who desire a long-term future with you want to understand how your life works so that they can understand how they will fit in later.
    • If he doesn’t show any interest, it doesn’t make him a bad guy so you’ll want to pay attention to other areas as well.
  3. Does he take time to make plans with you knowing that you have children, or does he wait until the last minute to ask you out and get frustrated when you don’t have a babysitter?
    • This is very important for you to know if he’s going to be considerate of them and their needs. A man’s inability to be considerate of your children during the dating process is likely selfish and while it can come across as “charming” that he can’t stay away from you in the beginning, these signs early on are red flags that you don’t want to ignore.
  4. Does he have kids? If yes, have you heard his interactions with HIS kids? What’s it like?
  5. Does he make comments about his children as if they are a chore to him (something I ignored in my last marriage)?
    • If he has children but rarely talks about them, complains about having to “watch” them or take care of them, he’s likely not going to be sunshine, rainbows and puppies with your kids either.
  6. Has he talked about a future with you and PROVEN his intentions with consistent effort and actions?
    • If he’s met your requirements in the questions above, the only other thing to do is check for consistency…Consistency is always key!

Remember, there is no perfect timing and no 2 relationships are the same. What’s important is that you take your time to honestly observe  the person you’re dating. Once you’ve satisfied your curiosity with many of these questions above, you should know when it’s time to meet & greet or Dine & Dash!