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March 15, 2024 4 min read

6 Important Points to Consider When Your Partner Has Kids


Getting married is a life-altering event. You may be focused on just the two of you, which is perfectly fine, unless children are involved. There’s lots more to consider when your partner has kids.


Before taking things to the next level, you must be ready mentally and emotionally. You must ensure the love you feel for your fiance extends to their children when starting a blended family.


1. Mixed Emotions


Some people have mixed emotions if their partners have kids from a previous relationship. There’s joy in building up a new family with people you adore. There’s fear about whether the children will even like you. After all, the last thing any person wants is to scar kids emotionally.


If your partner’s kids are open to your marriage, there’s still anxiety over how long it will take for everyone to get comfortable with one another. These feelings will come and go throughout your relationship. Rather than bottling up these emotions, acknowledge them. Try journaling your thoughts to work through them.


2. Parenting


Since your partner is a parent, you will have to consider taking up parenting yourself. Here are a few points to discuss:


  • Parenting styles:Some parents can be authoritative and strict with their children. Others like to take a more gentle approach. Talk with your partner to see what style you should adopt with your stepkid.


  • Parenting values: Respect and integrity are essential to instill in a child. About 63% of U.S. parents instill the same values in their children they were raised on. Talk with your child to figure out what to prioritize teaching.


  • Parenting arrangements:Is your fiance's previous partner planning to co-parent the kids? Do they have a preference about how involved they want you to be in raising the children? Clarify your future parenting arrangements.


3. Life After Marriage


Constant communication is essential when navigating your relationship with your partner. It’s also paramount for figuring out the future. Will you all share the same household throughout the year? What will happen if the children raise conflicts about the situation?


Another factor about life after marriage is having another kid. Some people have an innate desire to raise a child of their own. If you feel the same way, are you and your partner ready for the added responsibility? Are the kids open to having step-siblings?


4. Time Expectations


You already know how your partner manages their time. They tend to their kids, which is a 24/7 job. However, dates get canceled. There are days you may not have your fiance’s full attention.


Dating or settling down with a parent means you don’t get all their time. It’s a continuous learning process to fulfill romantic commitments without drawing time away from the kids. Consider how things have been going and how you will continue to make it work.


5. Children


It’s only natural to consider the kids as you marry your partner. Here are some ways to grow closer to them:


  • Get to know the kids:Some children hesitate to accept you. Express your interest to get to know them. Ask them questions like their favorite food or activities. Tell your partner to set schedules where you can bond with them over what you both enjoy, whether it’s a restaurant or a vacation.


  • Take an active approach:Aside from appearing approachable, position yourself as a parental figure. Kids need support and guidance as they explore new situations. Take them out and learn how things are going with their life. When things are tough, provide reassurance, and avoid negatively-focused criticism if they make a mistake.


  • Allow time to develop:Kids don’t warm up to new people overnight, so don’t take it personally. Don’t try too hard to fast-track things, either. Instead, give the matter some breathing room. Learn to love them over time. Letting the relationship develop naturally can forge a stronger bond between you and your partner’s kids.


6. Family


As you marry your partner, think about the family you are building with them. Blended families are common. The U.S. Census Bureau found that 5,152 children had at least one stepparent in 2019. You are not alone in this arrangement.


Some people may question the setup of your family. There may also be several changes as the group grows together. Stand firm throughout the process and believe in your household. As long as you’re all happy and love one another, that’s what matters.


Flexibility and Understanding


When you marry your partner, you know they’re a good parent. Let them inspire you to emulate the same toward their children. Becoming a blended family is a unique journey. Luckily, being with a group of people you love is well worth the ride.