Kids And Dating Can Be A Disaster Or Not

by Yvonne Chase on October 6, 2017

Dating A Man With Kids
Over the weekend, I had a very spirited conversation on Twitter about dating a man with kids. I’ve only dated two men with kids. It’s not something I ever wanted to do because of the complications that can sometimes come with it.

kids
Harsh But True
I used to always say, the best scenario for me would be if the ex-wife or baby mama is dead and the kids are older and living on their own. Harsh but true! Thankfully, both of my scenarios were ideal. While the mothers (not ex-wives) were both alive, they were completely out of the picture. The conversation I had on Twitter was about discipline. Here’s what I tweeted:

If I plan to marry you and you have a kid, I have a right to discipline that kid. If I don’t, I’m not marrying you. We, as husband and wife, will agree on how that looks before we marry. No way will your kid misbehave and be disrespectful in my presence/space and I can’t respond.

Punish A Child
One of my followers completely disagrees with me and says,

You don’t have the right to punish a child that’s not yours in any way. Just because a child is in your life, they don’t belong to you. They’re not your child. That is up to its mother and father, not you.

Discipling Our Children
I couldn’t disagree more. Now “right” might’ve been a strong word, however, if your kid is in my life and I am your wife, that comes with a responsibility. Part of being a responsible parent is disciplining our children. Even though your kid is not mine, I will treat it as if it is my very own. 

Raising Kids
When I talk about discipline, I don’t mean beating your kid, putting them on punishment or anything of the sort. I actually don’t believe beatings and punishment are necessary when raising kids.  

Training Up A Child
In addition to providing kids with a great life and creating great experiences, discipline is also a part of the deal. If I can’t participate in training up a child in the way he or she should go, then I’m not the woman for you. 

kids
You’re Not My Mother
“You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mother” as I’ve seen and heard kids blurt out to the step-parent is never something I’d want to hear or expect to hear. Why and how do you date/marry someone you don’t trust to raise your kid/s? 

On The Same Page
Before marriage, we need to discuss this a great deal to make sure we’re on the same page. Below are a few questions to ask in any order:

  • What did you like about how you were raised?
  • What didn’t you like?
  • How would you parent differently?
  • What would you want to emulate? Toss out?
  • How has the way you were raised affected you as an adult both positively and negatively?
  • What’s the role of a parent?
  • Does parenting stop when kids become a certain age?
  • How would you describe your parents? Were they loving? Firm? Were you able to talk to them? Did you see them solely as disciplinarians?
  • How does discipline look to you? Do you believe in beatings and putting kids on punishment? How do you discipline?

Scratching The Surface
And those questions are just scratching the surface. But guess what, I believe every single person needs to spend a bit of time answering these questions because how we were raised plays a huge part in how we show up in life and the people we date.

Walk Down The Aisle
In closing, I encourage you, single lady, to answer the questions above to see how the way you were parented affects your dating life and if you’re dating someone with kids or plan to marry someone with kids, make sure you are both on the same page about your role in the lives of their children and how you both will raise them before you walk down the aisle.

Something to think about…

What say you? Have you dated or married someone with kids? How did you make it work? Is it complicated? Please share your tips in the comment section.

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2. Share this post even if you don’t like it. Someone else just might…

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anita Ojeda October 6, 2017

You make some great points, Yvonne! Discussing discipline and children is essential to every engaged couple–whether there are kids involved or not! My husband often says that not providing discipline for one’s children is the most common form of child abuse. Kids need boundaries, they feel safe when they understand them. They test them often to see if they are still safe.
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Yvonne Chase October 8, 2017

@Anita,

I’ve never heard it said that way, but yea, I agree with your husband. Some form of discipline is necessary. My tolerance is low for misbehaved children.

Engaged couples and couples headed in that direction owe it to their relationship to discuss everything under the sun. No stone should be left unturned.
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Kimberly H. Smith October 11, 2017

I agree, Yvonne. Blended families are plentiful these days and both adults need to set boundaries. I know a couple who separated discipline responsibilities for their respective kids while engaged and living together. I could see the writing on the wall for them: TROUBLE AHEAD. Sure enough, when they got married, they continued that. It has caused turmoil and disagreements galore. It says to the child that the other adult doesn’t have to be respected. Also, situations arise where immediate discipline decisions have to be made and one adult should not have to wait until the other is available to do so.
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Yvonne Chase October 13, 2017

@Kimberly,

You’re so right. Blended families are plentiful these days and that is why having this conversation is super important. The chance of meeting someone without a kid/kids these days is rear. I’m in the minority.

Separating discipline responsibilities is surely a recipe for disaster. Like you said, what am I supposed to do if discipline is needed and the real parent is not around?

If you don’t trust your significant other to join forces with you in raising your kids then you just might need to find a new significant other.
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Lily Kate Myers November 10, 2017

I have dated and actually lived with a man with kids and yes, it was complicated. I totally agree with you Yvonne that when a child is with you, you have to discipline them but with limitations. I believe that when a child feels loved, they will never disrespect you as not being their mom. Great article! Good job!

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Yvonne Chase November 13, 2017

@Lily,

A child feeling loved is super important. That child needs to know the role you play in his life and that needs to be enforced by their biological parent. The child must know that even though I am not their mother, we as husband and wife are a united front and both need to be respected.
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