Home > Mom's Life > Family Relationships > Nontraditional Families > Stepfamilies > Stepparenting: Preparing to Meet the Kids
|

Stepparenting: Preparing to Meet the Kids

Whether it is early or later in the relationship, the “First Meeting” is an important event. For a most successful time—and let's define successful as an experience where everybody walks away feeling more comfortable, not less comfortable—I suggest some advance planning. Ideally you want the first meeting to feel casual but to be carefully orchestrated to avoid pitfalls. Before the first meeting, follow these tips:

  • Define your expectations for the meeting, and lower your goals. It is not going to be love-at-first-sight, and it shouldn't be. Think of it in biological terms. You are encroaching on another animal's territory. Be polite and wary. This meeting is not about love or fun; it's about getting through it alive so you can live to see meeting #2.
  • Think of meeting the kids for the first time as a blind date. What are the secrets to a successful blind date? According to my single pals, it's simple: Keep it short and safe. Try an activity that everybody will like, such as a park or a movie. Don't be over-ambitious: A full day at Great America will leave the kids (and you two already-stressed-out adults) tired, wired, and wasted. Keep it to a couple of hours at most. A meal isn't a bad idea, but you will be facing each other across a table for quite a while, and this may be too much for the kids to handle right away.
  • Relax. (I know, it's not so easily done.) Consciously accept that this may be stressful, and take five minutes to let your tensions go.
  • Work with your honey to fill out the following Parent Questionnaire.
|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stepparenting © 1998 by Ericka Lutz. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks