Children in divorce

How do I deal with my partner's child

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How do I deal with my partner's child

When you start a relationship with someone everything is new and at the beginning some situations may be uncomfortable, such as meeting your partner's family. But when you do not only have to relate to the parents or siblings but also your partner's child, or children, there comes the inevitable question: How should you deal with them?. At we give you some tips on the matter.

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Steps to follow:


Remember that when you build a relationship with someone and progress into familiar circles your partner's children may take some time to adapt, it is paramount to be patient and give them time to become comfortable with the situation. For some the process is natural, others may take longer, depending on each child.


As a partner of someone with children you can assume three positions: disregard the children, try to be an extension of their parents (even in the matter of discipline) or relate to them as another adult and allowing this conduct to create a special bond between you. The latter is the most healthy and sensible option.


A good start is to stay in the background regarding the child's parents (your partner and the other parent) and not try to impose your opinion or discipline. Be willing to always collaborate but without pressurising and begin to interact with the kids as you would with any child around you.


It is important to create an environment of trust and confidence with the little ones, also understanding that these feelings arise over time. Look for things that they have in common and try to make them connect positively.


In their presence do not carry out any extreme actions: neither ignore or hog or harass, keep in mind that they are like adults as they may or may not connect with someone; to be successful they need to see interesting things that you may hold in common.


Once you feel you have created an atmosphere of cordiality and trust, where you share with your partner's children like a close relative,that is when you can move to the next point, which is a figure in which they can seek help, advice or company.


Try to create genuine emotional ties, take an interest in the activities of the child, his or her way of thinking and slowly win over a place in their world.


Once you have reached an optimal relationship level in which you can exercise some authority you must remember that despite all the confidence, you should not replace the father or mother and must exercise their functions only when necessary.


Be patient, not all children are the same, some can take longer to connect. But with perseverance and keeping the right attitude you will get along well with them and establish a relationship of harmony and respect.


But what happens if you can't stand the child? Let's face it, if you're not someone who is used to being around children or the child is a real handful, dealing with your partner's child can be more difficult. In these situations, the first thing to remember is that you should not be guilty about not liking him/her, children are a package that simply reflects that your partner has a past, the same way you do.

Let your partner know what it is that bothers you about the child respectfully and let him/her work on it. Children behaving badly need to have limits, make sure you and your partner set the limits and punish him/her when they react badly.

Remember, if you don't want the relationship to end, communication is key.


What about the ex? It obviously takes two to tango. It may be difficult to accept that your partner's ex is still in in his/her life but you should remember exes are so for a reason. Try not to come into conflict if there are any issues between the two parents and accept their decision. Remember that it is best for parents to be on good terms rather than not talking or disagreeing on everything, even if it is for the child's sake.

Plus, if the child sees his parents still have a good relationship, there is a better chance of the child warming up faster to you!

If you want to read similar articles to How do I deal with my partner's child, we recommend you visit our Being a Mom & Dad category.


  • The way you treat your partner's children must evolve over time, children are very sensitive to false positions and notice if you assume an exaggerated or hypocritical position
  • Build your relationship slowly as it will make it stronger.
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How do I deal with my partner's child