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You have to make sure you're serious and your partner is serious before you bring the kiddos into the mix.

It's not fair to the kids if you aren't going to stick around.

As with anything new, practice is needed or in this case just feeling comfortable with this new situation.

After time, the child will feel more and more comfortable and frustration will lessen.

For example, my boyfriend was totally fine with letting his kid zone out in front of a Playstation for an entire Saturday afternoon. So it's up to you to point out that this makes you feel uncomfortable and is inappropriate. They practically beg me to take control of their kiddos at the restaurant. They're working, raising the kids, paying all the bills, doing all the housework, and are completely exhausted. I'm not saying you get to send them to their rooms or take away their phones. But sometimes they need to be told to CALM DOWN, STOP DOING THAT, ENOUGH! Because you aren't the parent, you get to do the easy disciplining, such as reminding them to eat over the plate because CRUMBS ARE GETTING EVERYWHERE, reminding them to go take a bath because it's bedtime already GEEZ HURRY UP, and hollering HEY STOP PULLING THE CAT'S TAIL when you hear the wee feline screech in pain. When you date someone who has a child, you're dating that child, too.

If this were "my kid," we would have been doing something else. Set the boundary with the boyfriend first -- in private. When they first started having babies, they freaked out if I told their toddlers, "No! Go Ahead and Fall in Love Let that child or children into your heart. Other people's children are such a blessing in my life, and I'm honestly very sad that I don't get to spend time with my ex-boyfriend's son anymore. One of the coolest things my cousin has ever done happened at her wedding.

Here is Scott’s guest post that gives us a glance at the transition from single guy to married guy with step kids, and all the wonderful things that can happen if you are open-minded, have insight into what the kids are going through, and just give it time. But if you keep in mind what the kids went through, you will have a better understanding and be a great step parent.

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Keep Your Own Life and Rules You'll need to find out the "rules" from the parent. The boyfriend might be oblivious to it, too, because he's too busy watching the football game. We shared inside jokes, teased each other ruthlessly, and I think deep down inside he loved me just as much as I loved him.Knowing that I was moving back to a small town after years of living in cities, I looked at my therapist and said: "I can't date someone who has children. And while I was in love with both the man and the kid, I was totally lost. There is nothing wrong with single or divorced parents. But my friends back home in the small town I was moving back to? He had a son with his ex-girlfriend, who I also remember from my past. I was in a relationship with a man who had a 10-year-old son. I was 29 years old, and the majority of my friends in Chicago were childless or childfree, whichever term you prefer. I knew that by moving back here, I was inviting many children into my day-to-day life -- and probably my love life, too. Despite all of my fears, I reconnected with this man from my youth.It turns out there is very little literature on how to date someone who has children. After running into him over a period of months, we began dating.Overnight, I was thrown into a brave, new world -- one that involved a tween.

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