If you don’t like kids, forget the whole idea. When dating a single mom, the children are part of the package. This fact may not be evident at first, but as soon as your date begins to really like and trust you, she’ll introduce you the most important people in her life: her children.

If she’s a good mom, her children will be her number one priority and you’ll have to accept this. In fact, you should admire her for it. It’s a sign that she honors her commitments. If and when she decides to make a permanent commitment to you, she won’t treat it lightly. You’ll be able to trust her with your heart, your wallet, and your future.

Dating a girl in current times itself is a herculean task as you have to cater to her every whim and caprice and one in which you are more serious. But dating a single mother is quite intriguing and therefore needs to be looked into, especially as her child is also involved.

How you win your date’s trust and affection is your concern. Be assured that she values the same qualities as most women: politeness, quiet strength, thoughtfulness, interest in her life and activities, dependability, and the ability to be calm and rational in a crisis. Single parent families tend to have a lot of crises.

I’ll leave the romance department to your discretion. In this article, I’ll give you tips of how to gain acceptance, at least, from the children. You need to lead them gradually to the realization that you’d be a definite benefit to have as part of the family.

The journey to this goal can be slow. Children in single parent families often have a poor image of men in general, especially if their father was abusive, had anger issues, or the divorce process was long and bitter. If they believe they’ve been rejected and almost abandoned by one man, they’re not going to be in a great rush to trust another, especially a stranger.

The first meetings should be short and casual. Be friendly, smile, inquire about their interests and their school work. The occasional small inexpensive gift would be fine, such as a comic book, or a package of gum .Don’t overdo it. You want them to look forward to your company, not your gifts.

The first outings together should be family-type trips: going to the ice cream shop, to a parade, something casual, there and back, a fun while it lasted but then back to routines, type of deal.

Keep your eyes open for ways to help that only a man can do right: fix a bike, show a boy how to tie a necktie, help with Algebra homework, explain how to train a puppy, things like that. With access to Google these days, you can learn quickly anything you need.

The first time they ask their mom if you can stay for supper, or whether she’ll call and ask you over in the evening to help with homework or some other child-oriented task, you’ll know you’re making progress. You’re becoming part of the circle, a person they feel they can trust and count on.

If, at any point, you realize that you weren’t cut out for the father role, do the honorable thing and bow out of the picture gracefully as soon as you can. Whatever you do, don’t let the children know it was because of them. They may come to regard themselves as pariahs and this could have negative effects on their long-term emotional health.

You might have a new project at work that will take up much of your time, or perhaps be starting a night course to upgrade your qualifications. There are many creative excuses as to why you won’t be around as much anymore. Children are adaptable and they’ve already lost the most important man in their life, their dad. They won’t miss you for long.

If you decide that you want to be part of the family on a permanent basis, congratulations! The rewards will be many, but always remember that, while the children’s mother is your wife, you are not and can never be their father. Your role is to be a trusted friend and advisor. You support their mother, you formulate strategy together with her in private, but she must do the actual disciplining.

If you start bellowing like King Kong and issuing orders, you’ll hear the stereotypical retort of unhappy stepchildren to an authoritarian stepparent: ” I don’t have to listen to you. You’re not my father ( mother)!” Once the disrespect and bitterness sets in, it’s hard to overcome.

You can see that, to enter into an endeavor like this, it’s imperative that you have a basic love and interest in children and young people. If you don’t, you’ll never make it through the months and years ahead when these particular children will be an intricate part of your life, your family.

When you’re old and gray, if you’ve fulfilled your chosen role well, these same children, then adults, will regard you with the same respect and affection as their mom. Families are meant to be forever. Though yours didn’t start out in the usual way, it can end just as well.