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Time Frame to Meet Step Child

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From Canada: I have been dating my boyfriend for a few months now, he has an almost 3 year old son. We have no idea when I should meet his son (my own therapist suggested 6 -12 months after the split to give the child time to grieve it has been 8 months since my boyfriend and his ex split).

We both want a life long commitment and me to eventually step into a step parent role. We also have only been dating since May, so were not sure as a couple if we should wait longer to become stronger before introducing a child into the mix. Beyond the when to meet his son, we don’t know how, short visit? visit only with other family not just the 3 of us? do I participate in bedtime routines or not till much later etc.

Time Frame to Meet Step Child

Answered by on -

A.

I suggest you slow way down on this. You and your boyfriend have only been together a few months. It’s very soon to be making a life-long commitment, much less to involve the little boy.

I’d go a step further than your therapist. The boy’s parents split less than a year ago. That’s almost a third of his little life. Many kids are still adjusting to the change in the family at that stage.

Without talking with him and his parents, I don’t know if he is feeling at all abandoned by his father or worried about his mother. Another consideration is that little children open up their hearts to people quite readily. It’s unfair to involve them in creating a new family until it is 100% certain that the relationship between the grown ups is stable. If you hurry into his life and then something were to happen to cause you to break up with his father, the boy would again have to deal with the disruption and feelings of abandonment. That’s not fair.

I understand that you are eager to get your life with your boyfriend started. I suggest you wait until there are concrete plans for a wedding or legal commitment before involving the child. Going slow now will pay off big later.

As for steps to take for introducing yourself into his life: Do talk this over with your therapist. She knows you and is in a much better position to advise you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Time Frame to Meet Step Child

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Time Frame to Meet Step Child. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/09/26/time-frame-to-meet-step-child/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.