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7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024

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I meet most men that I date online. 

If you decide you will be dating a man with kids, it's very common for guys with children to write in their dating profiles:

“My kids come first,”


“My daughter is the center of my world!”

Should a man put his girlfriend first?

A man texting beside a woman who is looking far and ignoring him. Check out these 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

If you ask me should a man put his girlfriend first, here’s my quick answer:

At first, no.

But once the relationship becomes a serious, long-term commitment, the relationship should come before the kids' every whim. However, child wellbeing is first.

More details on:

7 thing to know when dating a man with kids

  1. “My boyfriend puts his child before me”
  2. You may be introduced as “the new friend”
  3. “Dating a man with kids and feeling left out”
  4. Sometimes you will not feel like a priority
  5. “Boyfriend not bonding with my child”
  6. “My boyfriend's child is ruining our relationship”
  7. Some women report feeling unimportant in a relationship

How to date a man with a child

Red flags when dating a man with kids

Pros and cons of dating a man with kids

Dating a man with kids FAQs

Emma's takeaway on dating a man with kids

Hey single mom— Do you tell your son he’s the man of the house? 16 tips for raising sons

7 things to know when dating a man with kids

Do these statements ring true to you?

1. “My boyfriend puts his child before me”

A man lifting a baby in the air. Check out these 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

This is so common and can be a tricky situation. Especially early in a new relationship with kids, when you crave more time with your man, he prioritizes his children, and you feel left out.

2. You may be introduced as “the new friend”

A man and a woman giving a high five, , each of them with a kid. Read more about 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

It’s hard to date when you have kids — it can be confusing and overwhelming, parents can feel guilty and ashamed (whether that is justified or not). Maybe you and your lover don’t really know what to call each other yet, or your boyfriend is worried that saying “girlfriend” will be confusing or overly committal. 

Just talk about it ahead of time and be honest about your feelings. Also, be sensitive to how he is feeling and his confusion or overwhelm.

3. “Dating a man with kids and feeling left out”

A woman in shades and corporate attire talks to a man driving a motorcycle. Here are 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024. You can check them.

Perhaps he wants to mostly keep his kids separate from his romantic life, or he is taking slower to blend his relationship with his home life. Or, maybe you expect more from the relationship than is healthy. Or, maybe you each want different things from the relationship.

Consider filling your own life with meaningful friendships, a career, hobbies and fitness. Perhaps your boyfriend will invite you into his homelife if you are less clingy. Or, you will each realize you want different things from the partnership and go your separate ways.

4. Sometimes you will not feel like a priority

A man packing his suitcase while a woman looks at him. Want to know 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024? Find them here.

When your boyfriend puts his kids first, it is natural to feel left out, and sometimes you will not feel like a priority. And maybe you’re not — after all, your relationship may be new, he may not be that serious about you or the relationship, or maybe he is just busy with things outside of his relationship. 

Also: you may be especially vulnerable or needy for reasons that have nothing to do with him, and are issues that you bring to the relationship. Everyone is a human here. 

5. “Boyfriend not bonding with my child”

There are so many reasons why a boyfriend/girlfriend does not bond with the other partner's child. These include:

  • The child is jealous of the new partner
  • The partner is jealous of the child
  • Their personalities just don't jibe—just like two adults do not naturally get along, this can be true for a child-adult relationship, too.

Here are some tips:

  • Be patient. Once both the partner and child realize there is enough love to go around, everyone may calm down and connect
  • Find ways for your boyfriend or girlfriend to spend one-on-one time together. Focus on everyday tasks (rather than big special outings or treats), like a grocery store run, washing the car, or cooking together. Once you remove yourself, they have a chance to create their own bond
  • Keep in mind that children go through phases they quickly grow out of, as do adults. Likewise, relationships have ups and downs and seasons.
  • Seek outside perspectives. Ask your friends with blended families for advice, and ask them to watch how your new brood interacts — and be open to feedback. Consider therapy.

6. “My boyfriend's child is ruining our relationship”

A couple arguing while a child tries to cover her ears. Find out more about these 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

Or, his kids start to manipulate him and have an upper hand in the family — and he lets them.

Men, just like moms, can feel the pressure to prioritize children above all else. Maybe he feels guilty that he is not with his child's mom, or that he left the relationship, or he wants to be a better father than his own dad.

Or, maybe he is using his child as an excuse not to get close to you. This may be a conscious decision — or it could be percolating at an unconscious level. We all have ways we sabotage relationships out of fear of intimacy, and we need to be aware of red flags when we are dating someone with kids.

7. Some women report feeling unimportant in a relationship

If a man makes a point of consistently prioritizing his children over you, you might feel like you don’t matter in comparison, and feelings of jealousy may start to arise.

Relationships are all about communication, and if you don’t feel like you are an important part of your partner’s life, tell him that — or evaluate whether this is the right relationship for you. 

This Reddit user is the perfect example of someone who got into a relationship with a single father without realizing she wouldn’t always be the priority. People in the comments were quick to point out that she was the red flag — not her widowed boyfriend: 

I hear that so many times from both women and men who are heartbroken, abused or otherwise disappointed that a relationship or marriage didn't work out. In hindsight, red flags were always there >>

Into older men? Do’s and don’ts for dating an older man

Check out this video of Adrienne Bailon from The Real talking about dating a man with a child:

Is it hard to date a man with kids? Challenges to be aware of:

Yes, it can be hard dating someone with a child because you have to contend with things like custody schedules, ex partners, and eventually meeting his kids. That being said, every single dad has different circumstances, and if you are willing to be flexible, you can have a meaningful relationship with a man who has kids. 

When it comes to relationships, I'm fond of saying, “You never really know what goes on between people.” 

But there are a few couples in my life who I look to as models of the kind of marriage I'd like one day.

People who really enjoy each other. Respect and support one another.

In these families, the parents put their relationship before the kids. They are the dynamic force around which the family's life orbits. And everyone thrives as a result.

There is lots of research to suggest that a happy marriage is the cornerstone of well-adjusted kids.

Celebrity sex therapist Laura Berman, Ph.D., writes in her relationship guide, The Book of Love:

“No matter how sacrilegious it sounds, you need to put your relationship before your children. A strong relationship provides security for your children and demonstrates how a loving, respectful partnership should be. What could be more important?”

That's a tricky proposition for single parents. If you're not in a committed relationship, it is very easy to make your children the prominent focus of your life and tell partners: My kids come first.

After all, children can be so demanding — not to mention fulfilling.

Plus, if you've gone through a divorce or another crisis that landed you as a single parent, you are no doubt concerned about giving your kids extra care and a sense of security.

A few tips for dating single dads that may apply, though of course every dad is unique:

  • Be respectful of his time with his kids. 
  • Be mindful that if he doesn’t have his kids 50% of the time, that may not be his choice.
  • He’s the parent — not you.

Continue reading more tips here on dating a man with kids: The benefits of dating a single dad

Red flags when dating a man with kids

Some dating red flags include addiction, violent behavior, poor money management, infidelity, and other forms of undesirable behavior. Although no one is perfect, how your partner chooses to handle those problems is important.

Here’s how to spot red flags when dating a man with kids:

Non-existent or contradictory digital footprint

While not everyone is on social media, you should be able to find something online about him. If your Google search turns up nothing, it’s possible that it’s on purpose. He might be running from the law or not truthful about his identity. 

Conversely, a quick check of socials could reveal tons of information that contradicts what he told you, such as:

  • Being married or in a committed relationship
  • Criminal activity
  • Extreme political stances
  • Co-parenting drama

Poor dating etiquette

If you decide to go on a first date, pay attention to his behavior. Any of these actions or reactions could be deal breakers:

  • Being late or not showing with no explanation or apology
  • Being rude to waitstaff
  • Getting drunk
  • Speaking negatively about his ex
  • Starts talking about sex early in the date
  • Doesn't ask questions or share his thoughts
  • Being disrespectful of your boundaries

While a sick child or parental duties can impact plans, red flags shouldn’t be ignored. Pay attention to common red flags to ensure that you are walking into a healthy relationship and keep your eyes open for bad behavior as you progress and get to know him better.

Signs of narcissistic behavior

Narcissists are all about themselves. They often lack empathy for others, require and show excessive admiration, and see themselves as superior to others. 

Here are some relationship red flags that you are dating a man with a narcissistic personality:

  • He showers you with excessive gifts early in the relationship and may pressure you to return the favor
  • He calls you names or lashes out at you if you don’t agree with his point of view
  • He gaslights you — making you feel crazy for bringing up issues about you relationship that bother you

Even if he does not show these behaviors toward you, watch how he treats others, especially his children.

You can always do a background check on someone who seems shady:

Consumed with their past, their child, or themselves

Does he always talk about his ex? Does he only talk about his child? Maybe he makes it a point to talk only about himself, taking over any conversation you try to have. Be aware of how you communicate with each other. It can be a telltale sign that something is not right.

No access to family or friends

If you’re seriously dating but have never met his child, family, or friends, you should ask why. It can be normal to wait to introduce a new person, but if the timeframe is excessive (a year or more), there could be an issue.

Pros and cons of dating a man with kids

While dating can be a fulfilling experience, there are some pros and cons to consider when dating a man with kids:

Pros of dating a man with kids 

  • If you progress in your relationship you’ll get a chance to meet his kids. Getting to know them and being a part of their lives can be rewarding.
  • You get to see how he treats his children and the mother of his children, so you know what you’re potentially getting into. Is he patient? Loving? Responsible? If so, he’ll probably make a great partner and parent if you eventually have kids.
  • You’ll cherish the moments you spend together because time is often limited.
  • As a girlfriend, the responsibility of raising children is not in your hands. But you get a real-world look at what life would be like if you had children of your own.

Cons of dating a man with kids

  • His kids will come first. He can’t provide the kind of spontaneity you might crave. Even with planning, expect cancellations if his child isn’t feeling well or needs him at the last minute. 
  • His kids might not accept you at first. It’s nothing personal. Just be yourself and give them time to warm up to you.
  • Eventually, you’ll probably have to interact with his kids’ mom. This can be stressful depending on the circumstances of the former relationship. 
  • If he has full physical custody and his children are young, it will be hard to have alone time with him.

Dating a man with kids FAQs

Is dating a man with a child worth it?

Emyli Lovz, dating coach for men and co-founder of emlovz, a matchmaking and coaching business, says dating a man with a child can absolutely be worth it.

“If he's a loving father, it shows that he has the capacity for deep love, that he can nurture others, and that he's responsible (hopefully),” she says. “It's best if the woman is also a mother so they can better understand one another and the priorities that come with being a parent.”

This single father on Reddit wanted to know what women thought about dating a man with a child:

These Reddit users shared their thoughts and experiences about dating a man with kids:

Reddit users share opinions on dating a man with kids.
Reddit user talks about the struggles of dating a man with kids.
Reddit user shares a positive experience about dating a man with kids.
Reddit user talks about the hard part of dating a man with kids.

What about those who say never date a man with a child?

Never is a strong word. Lovz says we should be wary of people who use blanket statements about who you should and shouldn't date. 

“It’s about the person, not the checklist,” Lovz says. “As a mother, if I was ever to become single, I would want to date someone who also understood parenthood.”

This Redditor agrees that it helps to have the common ground of parenthood when dating a man with kids:

Reddit user shares thoughts about why common ground matters when dating a man with kids.

Meanwhile, some have decided that never is the right word for how they feel about dating a man with children:

Ultimately, it will boil down to personal preferences, details, and experiences. Whether dating a single mom or a single father, you have to make sure that the choice is right for you and consider the benefits and consequences.

Should I be dating a man with a baby on the way?

When a baby is on the way, you need to consider whether dating is a good idea. Lovz says you might be involving yourself in an emotional tornado. However, it will all depend on the context.

“You might want to understand why he isn't in a relationship with the woman having his child,” she says.

Here’s what some Reddit users thought about dating a man with a baby on the way:

Bottom line: Emma’s final word on dating a man with kids

If you find yourself dating a man with kids, remember that he is juggling parenthood with his desire to date, he may or may not want more kids, and he may prioritize his kids over you — at least for now.

You may be hesitant to date a guy with children but find yourself surprised by this new relationship with both him and his children — or you may be satisfied with spending time alone with him during the time his kids are with their mom, and keeping that part of his life separate.

When dating a man with kids, be open to some magic, while also honoring your own dating goals and feelings — pretty much like every other relationship.

Should a man put his girlfriend first?

No. But once the relationship becomes a serious, long-term commitment, the relationship should come before the kids' every whim. However, child wellbeing is first.


I completely disagree with this article. My daughter is and will remain my main priority until she’s off to college. I am still raising her in the last, most important years she has left at home with me, I will not allow another man or relationship interrupt that precious time.

I understand kids come first…but…what about when they only come when they want something and that something is excessive $100’s or $1000’s excessive. And the two children in the home are treated like rap when that child is there…btw the kids are 16 and up…there is also comments while child is around…you do t need it and you aren’t my kid. We have been together for 15 years and it is getting worse with comment s and money issues. Basically I have no say.

I have read a “real case” about a girl sexually abused by her step father.

Girl reports her step father to police.

After all mother of the girl asks her daughter why she has not told her about “sexual abuse”.

Answer of the girl was like that :

“Möm you loved him so much that i did not think you will believe me”.

Yes everybody is not evil but we are living in a world far from perfect.

If you love and care your spouse more than your kids you give “a strong message” to your kids.

And your kids cannot “trust” you anymore after taking this “strong message”.

Protecting kids must more important than protecting marriages & romantic relations of adults.

Because kids cannot protect themselves.

This is absolutely hysterical, although rather predicatble for a femanle focused article. Go onto any dating site online as a man, and see the thousands upon thousands of female profiles which proudly proclaim ‘my kids are my life and will always come first’ as if it’s a badge of honour….. and then wonder why no man wants to go anywhere near them…???

When he says his children come first – believe him. They always will.

When he says my daughter is the center of my world – believe him. She always will be.

They were there before you entered the scene, and they’ll be there when you decide to dump me. Blood is thicker than water. If you have kids, I expect to play second fiddle to them as well. That’s the way it should be. My kids need me – you don’t. Your kids need you – I don’t. We may want each other, but our kids need us. A real mean will always be a father first.

And if you can’t accept this, better to end it now. And I mean now.

Blood is not always thicker than water. Kids stick around and comes around when they need something. I have worked in medical field and I’ve seen way too much. People die alone, family fighting over money while parents are on their death bed.

Blood is not thicker than water. Water dilutes blood. Friends are who I see by the dying peoples bedsides/deathbed.

I put my kids not ahead of my relationship. I choose the women over my daughter and the women ended up allowing her children to be her Centerpoint. I really put love first and gave my heart to my future wife. With all do respect love is not something that comes and goes. I truly loved my girl and would have gave my all to this one. In the end she choose her kids happiness over hers. So yes In the end a moms love will always be with her kids.

So, we have been together for just about a year. We are going through a rough time at the moment and need to sit down and talk. His kids mom got a new job and he said he would help watch them when he is able. We made plans to sit down and talk, but its been 4 days now since we were supposed to talk because he keeps pushing them back to watch his kids. I feel like our relationship is not a priority to him. She can find a babysitter and her mom helps too. She will ask him the day of and he says yes knowing we had plans yo work on our relationship. I’m just so fusterated I don’t know what to do. When I say something he always says, my kids come first.

Time to close the door and move on. Don’t waste your time and energy on him. If you feel like you are not a priority, YOU ARE NOT!

Just leave him… it’s not acceptable. I have a lot friends and coworkers who are married and raised kids togas and a
I have never heard any type of nonsense like that… they all have babysitters around not even ask for their parents support… babysitters have been for centuries and it’s totally fine you don’t have to watch your kids all day long

Well it is real fact that the man’s children will always come first, especially if the woman is very controlling.

Putting a fully-grown adult over a child who needs protection.

This is not a brilliant idea.

This non-briilliant idea causes lots of silent-moms who stays silent when their kids are sexually abused by their long-termed partners.

According to statistics %50 of these cases are enlightened by schools not by kids’s mothers who lives at the house where their kids are sexually abused.

And many mothers prefer to deny the sexual abuse even when their kids tell and want help.

Life is not a romantic comedy.

A world where adults put themselves over kids cannot be considered as a “good world”.

An adult who puts himself / herself over kids can not be considered as a “good person”.

So if your spouse is trying to put himself / herself over kids he / she can not be considered as a “good person”.

Sorry but that’s true.

This is also not a wise decision.

A society putting future ( kids ) second cannot have a good future.

The reason the world is filled with so many broken homes and children behind bars etc is because there is a lack of balance. When you neglect the person that you have chosen to build a life with and who you have chosen to help raise your kids it is a recipe for disaster. How else would a child learn a balanced home if they are constantly seeing that their needs take priority over their father or mothers partner . Being able to balance giving priority without one or the other feeling pushed aside is the key to a blended family. It sends a message to your partner that I am a good father or mother but I also value and love you as my partner . It sets an example for the child that they are loved but I have enough love to go around and this person I have in my life makes me happy. I have seen many examples with parents who have said my “child comes first” and they raise a spoil , self absorbed unbalanced child who cannot function in the real world because it has been all about them . We have to start raising our kids not for ourselves but to raise them to be able to function in a world where many times it would not always be about them. If you are unable to adjust your way of thinking then you should not enter into a relationship and expect a partner to take 2nd place to your kids . Sometimes single people do not know what they are getting into when they enter a relationship with someone with a child . My best and only advice is to listen carefully to what the single parent says and watch even more closely their actions . This would determine if you need to leave them alone with their child , because some people with children who hold that mindset of “my child is a priority “should never venture into a committed relationship with someone that is not that child’s parent.

You tell that your partner as an “adult” will be unhappy when he / she is put 2nd.

Than how can your kids be happy when when they are put 2nd.

Balance is ok but “Putting kids 2nd” is something that disturbs me.

I have read many cases where mothers stay silent when their kids are sexually abused by their spouses / partners.

There are lots of cases like that :

Dad rapes his daughter. Girl tells her mom. Her mom “denies” to believe her kid. She continues to live like nothing has happened. And sexual abuse continues for years.

And the main reason is not always “violance” / “need of financial support”.

“Strong emotional bound” between spouses is also one of the main reasons.

When a woman deeply loves a man she becomes inclined to “deny the sexual abuse” even when her kids tell about the sexual abuse.

Becuse emotions affect our decisions.

So i can tell that :

You cannot wait a car to fly when “required”.

“However, child wellbeing is first.” footnote is not meaningfull.

We are not living in a “romantic comedy”.

We are leaving in a “real world” where there are many parents who stay silent when the other parent abuse the kids.

A society putting romance first and kids second also puts the wellbeing of kids second.

What should a society put first?

Protecting kids

Protecting romantic relations of adults.

You ladies are not fully understanding the author’s sentiment. She specifically said that the children’s NEEDS should be the 1st priority but that their wants should not be more important than the parent(s)’ relationships. In other words people should not sacrifice their relationship just to please every little whim of their children.

The problem is the author misses an important point. Some people use their children as an excuse to be terrible partners.

My son comes first. Period. If he doesn’t like a guy I’m dating, the romance is over. Period. My child didn’t ask to be born and his home with me gets to be a safe place for him.

That being said, I would never tell a potential date that “my kid comes first” or “my son is the center of my world.”

I don’t talk about my child because he’s sacred to me. I mention that I’m a mom, but my child doesn’t enter the conversation until things become far, far more serious.

I see lots of men mentioning their kids from the get-go. I’ve had set ups who I haven’t even met yet sending my videos and photos of their kids and telling me how involved they are, etc. That’s a huge red flag for me. Not only does it tell me that you do not want anything serious (which is fine, I’m not sure I do either), but it also tells me you’re willing to expose your precious children to a total stranger. If you’re going to use your kids as a dating pawn, then I can be sure that you won’t treat me very well either.

I run for the hills whenever anyone talks about their kids in the beginning.

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It depends on what kind of hoops women make their men jump through to prove their love. I loved my second wife, I still do, however she chose to accept a position 2200 miles away from where my kids live with their mom and blamed me when I refused to move with her. Like seriously WTF.

38 percent of old people over 75 years old are living alone in UK. And this ratio increases over 50 percent after 80 yeras old.

Your spouse may not be near you when you get old.

And if you put your kids second you can be sure of that your kids will not even want to call you or see your face when you get old.

Relying on only one person is gambling with life.

Put your kids first for 18 years.

Put your spouse first for next 30 years.

This is very fair.

You put your spouse first but you also put your kids first.

Win / Win

if your kids are unhappy you cannot also be happy.

Kids are are our future.

They do not deserve to be put second.

Happy kids & Happy society & Happy parents……..

You get to live once. Life is short. Do what is right for you! Take care of the kids and when they are adult, live your life. Don’t let anyone influence you on how to live your life. Kids won’t be there 24/7. Your spouse is your best friend and soulmate. Don’t depend your happiness on your children. Children adds to your happiness!

Do not depend your happiness on your spouse also.

There are lots of old people whose soulmates died or left them.

My mom is one of them.

After her divorce she did not remarry. ( It was her decision. We always respected her decisions. )

But we did not leave her alone. She lives with us.

She does not have a “soulmate” but she has two sons who love and care her.

She is happy to live with her two sons and her grand children.

Depending your happines only on one person ( your soulmate ) is gambling with the life.

Depend your happiness on more than one person.

Or better depend your happiness only on yourself. ( I do like that ı do not depend my happines on etiher my kids or spouse or friends ……. )

But out of this argument putting kids first is the correct thing to do.

Because they are kids.

And this does not mean being slave of little monsters.

Your kids will not have another chilhood.

But you can find another spouse / romantic partner.

The most important part of human life is chilhood.

So giving kids a happy chilhood must be “priotirized” not only parents but also whole society must prioritize that.

And this does not mean “devoting yourself completely to your kids”.

If you will not priotirize your kids do not have kids. You do not have to.

I respect honest people who tells that : Romance is the more important for me so i will not have kids.

You can live “child free”.

Ok, so let’s just say, your partner has planned an incredible date night for the two of you that has been planned for weeks but on the afternoon of said date night, your kid has a tantrum because he/she wants to have a sleep over and you don’t allow sleep overs when a sitter is watching the kids. Do you cancel date night that your partner has put so much time and effort into just to make your kid happy? Or do you tell your kid “No?” If you tell your kid No, are you a bad parent and scarring your kid for life? OF COURSE NOT! Telling your kid NO, shows them boundaries and it shows your partner that your relationship IS important and that you are trying not to raise little selfish jerks.

I only tell that “Giving kids a happy chilhood” should be priotirized.

Happiness is not getting everything you want.

So kids must learn that they cannot get everthing they want.

Kids should also learn that other people has also needs & feelings……

Or they become sociopaths. :)

So parents must tell “no” to their kids.

I think this way

I agree with you.

Parents must tell not to their kids.

But for me problem starts when relation becomes more important than kids.

There are lots of parents who sacrifice their kids happiness for their relations.

What should be more important for a society?

Romance or kids?

Human kind can continue without romance but cannot continue without kids.

A world without romance is possible but a world without kids is impossible.


This entire scenario is highly suspect. I’d try to figure out why my kid was throwing the tantrum. Surely, it’s not about a sleepover. (And if it were, why couldn’t I call the parents of the other child and arrange one or pay the sitter extra money or something.) I can’t imagine a situation where a date has been planned weeks in advance and my otherwise happy and healthy child breaks down because of it. There must be something very wrong for that to happen. If a partner spun that tale for me, I’d assume he bailed to go out with another woman that night. It just doesn’t sound legitimate.

First of all, why are people so determined to say no all the time. If a child is having a temper tantrum there could be something going on far more deeper than just a just a sleepover. We as parents need to stop assuming that kids just want to have their way and really listen to them so that they won’t turn into sociopaths. And maybe ignore the husband for once and his needing to satisfy his sexual appetite. It’s not always about what the spouse needs. My goodness.

This is an article written to rationalize selfishness.

What does the article tell?

Be selfish and put yourself over everybody else. Do not worry that will also be good for everybody.

But “selfishness” is not good for everybody or your kids: Selfishness is only good for you.

There are 2755 billionaires all over the world while billiards of humans are living under hunger limit.

And as a selfish role model you will teach your kids selfishness tihs way.

You are trying to teach your kids to put themselves over everbody else..

Humans are equal. Kds must learn this in the family. There should not be a “selfish hierarchy” in the family.

And how can kids trust their parents if their parents selfishly put them second / third / forth / fiftth…….

In a step family it becomes worse :

How can kids trust their “biological parent” if their “biological parent” puts a stranger ( their step parent . Yes there are exceptions but only exceptions ) above them?

If “romantic partner & spouse is more important than the kids” than a parent can abandone his / her kids for a new spouse who dislikes his / her kids. Sorry truth hurts.

Giving your child a happy childhood can also look like having two parents who love and prioritise each other as well as their child. Parents also role model what a healthy relationship looks like and can help set the standard of the quality of relationship the child should expect when they are adults.

That is established first and foremost because it’s the truth. Sorry lady. Unless it’s a dead beat dad. A strong woman will agree.

All I know is growing up I never had my dad around. Didn’t meet him till I was 33. My mom never really had a man around. Both my brothers wer already grown by the time I came along. So I had no male influence around. No little brother, jus me and mom. I needed a male around desperately. I didn’t care if they didn’t get along. I learned early that families fight. But they also worked it out, no matter what. No breaking up, no divorces. I Kno it sounds unintelligent. I jus wish I had both of them as a kid

This is nonsense, kids come first. In fact i bet you would do the opposite if it was a mom with kids and say that for the woman the kids should come first.

this is a sad way to look at dating a man with kids.. first off if he says he puts his kids first that should make you happy to know that he is providing a stable environment for his kids which shows he would do the same for yours one day too. if you aren’t okay with that then you shouldn’t date a man with kids. making sure the household is stable before bringing a significant other into the mix is the most important thing to do. this article is really very selfish… once you’re married and the children have hopefully accepted you AND you’ve proven yourself to them then you can begin to come “first” to build that stable dynamic, but that takes time lots and lots and trust. you have to earn the children’s trust. you don’t become a parent solely by marriage.. you have to work for that special spot in their lives. sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes maybe not. children are worth it, you just have to decide what you want but please don’t put yourself into their lives, let them get comfortable and then just leave.

this article is ridiculous and selfish…..

I don’t agree and here is why. The happiness of the romantic couple should NEVER trump the happiness of the child. Children of divorce are constantly trying to keep their parents happy so they don’t leave the children too. I have seen first hand what following your advice does to a child and it sucks. Everyone says to let the children get used to the idea of a new partner. Let them work it out slowly so they get along. Do things fun together. Maybe the child instinctively knows the new partner is not as good as dad/mom thinks. Kids are very smart and pick up on things a lot quicker than dad/mom after coitus. Difficult to be objective after you just got laid. OMG…my kids don’t like my new partner!! But he/she is great for me. I feel like a million bucks. Well, little Johnnie, you are going to have to get along with dad/mom new love interest because dad/mom is having the time of their lives. But when reality finally hits and the honeymoon wears off…and NEW PARTNER decides he/she isn’t going to take care of someone else’s kid. Little Johnnie can console dad/mom and hopefully is old enough to say, “I told ya so”. IMHO your advice on this one is full of crap.

The article is right, limiting yourself to only prioritizing your children will shorten your ability to find happiness and will also create poor behaviors in your children. Speaking from experience. Full stop, you need to put yourself first, your love second, and finally your family after that. No one is talking about outlier examples such as introducing someone who is a danger to your children. We are discussing healthy relationships and boundaries. Some people in these comments are confused

A parent cannot be happy when his / her kids are unhappy. There is a correlation between kids and their parents happiness. So a parent putting his / her happines over his / her kids happiness also risks his / her own happiness. And kids need to trust their parents. They should be sure of that their parents will not leave them for anything ( happiness & love ). How can they trust their parents when their parents put them after all? Putting kids second & third belongs to the ages before 20. century where kids are not important and can be used as little slaves & abused & neglected & even sold by their parents. We are at century. Parents should not teach their kids selfishness by being a selfish role model who puts himself / herself over eveything else. In a family there must not be a first and losers. Parents should teach their kids Win / Win not Win / Lose.

“Good parents” make happy children says:

My father was a really very happy man. But he was the worst father i have seen till now.

Not happy parents good parents make happy children

I am not a mother, but I was involved with a man for 4 and a half years, who had two children. the youngest was 15 when we started dating. I am a shrink. It became apparent over time that this kid was out of control in many ways, got involved with dealing pot, using steroids, speeding, missing school, lying, crashing multiple cars, going to rehab, showing up in the ER because of alcohol poisoning. There was police involvement and we learned he was trying to buy a gun for ‘protection.’
My man who was wonderful in many ways, and had a strong relationship with his older son, was so intimidated by this teenager, that he chose to be a doormat. He refused to lay down the law. It was horrible. Never any consequences, never bringing things up that were too uncomfortable to deal with. Zillions of conversations that never moved the needle never helped. He refused any parental guidance and wouldn’t go to therapy with me. We couldn’t move forward with our relationship because the kid was always home, being incredibly disrespectful and I’d had it.
Sad story. No way to fix it. It takes a long time to know someone.
Things our significant others do…and FAIL to do about their kids’ behavior matters, in choosing a man with kids.

Loved reading this comment. I am in the exact same position. 4.5 year relationship. Teen daughter out of control. Her mother doesn’t talk to her for a year now. Dad has full custody now. Dad is a doormat. And I had to leave. I am devastated.

Ima single mom, and in a serious relationship, is it ok to spend every weekend with my boyfriend, I’m an entrepreneur, so I spend the weekdays with my kids… is it ok to visit my boyfriend and spend the weekend with him, or should only spend the weekend with him when my kids are with their dad

Hi , I’m in the same position . I have a serious bf and he demands a lot of time from me we live an hr away and he wants me to spend every weekend w him fri-sun and maybe 1 night a week too. My daughter is 15 . And i feel bad and guilty to do this . He is great and always ask me to bring her and do things toguether but as a typical teenager she wants to spend time w her friends or stay home .

I really don’t like my boyfriends kids. He has 3 and they are wild and crazy and disrupt my life with me and my daughter. How can I get them to stay with their mother only.

Okay but the ” it makes zero difference how much time the parent spends with their child” part is bullshit, neglect can seriously damage a child’s brain. I know from experience

What if the mother only gets the kids on the weekends and me and her live together? She doesn’t cuddle with me the same way as we would during the week when her 8yr old daughter comes over and 13 yr old son. Should she be justified of putting kids first since she only gets weekends? I compromise when they come over ( not to mention im adopting her 1 yr old son) but when its movie time she seems to not want to cuddle with me but only her daughter? Am i wrong for this?

If you put your kids behind your romantic partner you cannot see if they are abused by your romantic partner. There are lots of abuse cases like this.

If you put your romantic partner first your kids does not tell you / want help from you if they are abused by your romantic partner. There are lots of abuse cases like this.

I was not abused while i was kid.

But i have read so many child abuse cases where dads rape their kids and mothers stay silent.

Kids must even be protected from their parents.

Human 1.0 is “trash” so maybe human 2.0 project must be initiated.

Socialism failed because “human 1.0 is trash”.


How about this??? Boyfriend took me to a haunted house for my birthday and left me behind inside because he was trying to get reception on his phone so he could text his adult married daughter pictures because she use to love going to haunted houses with him? WTF?!

According to UN 20 percents of kids all over the world are sexually abused at least once till 18 years old.

And abusers are not strangers.

85-90 percent of abusers are : Dads / brothers / uncles / grand fathers ………..

Yes males are monsters. I am ashamed of my gender.

But we also know that many many mothers stay silent even when their kids tell them about the abuse.

Why do not these mothers protect their kids?

For kids this “great betrayal” becomes a second and a deeper trauma.

We should solve this “great abuse problem” first of all.

This must be our “toppest priority”.

“Great ideas” like putting kids second does not help this.

Emma please research how Iceland saved their teenagers which had really gone out of control :

Alchohol and substance usage rates of teanagers were very high in Iceland at 80’s and 90’s .

So government forced parents to sign a pledge. ( Not only this. )

And do you know what the second item of this pledge was :

It is not something like that : “Demonstrate your kids how a loving, respectful partnership should be”. :)

It is “More family time with the kids.”

And do you know what happened?

The number of young people who have ever used cannabis has dropped from 17 percent to 7 percent; and smokers are down from 23 percent to just 3 percent.

Yet we are far from understanding completely how human brain works. 5 years later Maryland university can make another research telling just the opposite. This is how science works.

I cannot treat my kids like “lab rats”.

I can’t understand how my girlfriend of 3 years and leaving it up to her 6 year old daughter to say if our relationship should end or not? Like I understand I don’t have a great connection with her I may even have some resentment towards her due to her the father is. But I really want to try to make this work and fix it I love my girlfriend and I want a life with her but I don’t know if leaving it up to her daughter is the best thing? Because she’s a child and kids are indecisive on everything at that age like she doesn’t know everything her mom and I went threw to even be together in the beginning because she was even younger than she is now she was basically a baby. Her mom and I both fought for us to be together and when we finally got that chance everything was better at lease so am I crazy for thinking that my girlfriend is not being fair to me that leaving this decision in her daughters hands?

In a relationship for 3 years now love the man with everything in me, get my youngest daughter every weekend he has two teenage girls who are into horses they do 4h and equestrian teams as well as he works a full time job. He never seems to decide his attention between kids and lately have been left at home w my children while on the weekends goes to horse shows from Fri to Sunday leaving no room for him to bond with my youngest I get on the weekends, can’t remember the last time I got flowers never been on a proper date, I’m home work a part time job bring his kids to and from school daily make meals for there horse potluck, I know ur thinking why dont u go with I have a 6year old girl w autism who requires special needs not easy for me to take her out of her comfort zone in hot weather to stay all weekend at horse events, am I just being selfish or do I have a valid reason to be upset?

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