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Parents

17 Things You Need To Know Before You Meet Your New Bae's Kids

Because when the kids don’t like you, neither will their mom or dad.

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1. Don’t be scared.

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When you meet the kids for the first time, be prepared to be sized up. This introduction can be a little nerve stirring, but be cool. First impressions are lasting.

2. Be yourself at all times.

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If you're laying it on too thick or completely deviating from your normal self, you're going to be a tough sell. Just be yourself in all your corniness and the kids will love you for it.

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3. Don’t assume to know the kids.

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Just because the single Dad you're dating has a daughter doesn't mean she's into Frozen or all things Disney princesses. But a "Hey, cool shirt. I love sparkles too!" means you're paying attention to them as an individual, not a cookie-cut kid.

4. Invite the child to come along.

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Even if it's just for ice cream or pizza and a movie, the point is inclusion. It's a great way to break the ice — the kids will get the chance to get to know you AND see you interact with their parent.

5. Don’t get carried away.

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While you might be excited about meeting the kid that lights up your potential lover's life, don't overwhelm them with enthusiasm on day one. Of course, you want to get to know him/her, but take your time. Slow and steady wins the race!

7. Set your boundaries.

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Some conversation topics are off-limits when speaking with the kids — and this goes both ways! Children shouldn't open inappropriate discourse with you either. Sometimes a "Sorry, bud. That's not up for discussion today" is all they need to hear.

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8. Don’t make Mom or Dad choose.

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If the kid wants to sit next to their parent at the movies or dinner, let them. They're simply conveying a friendly reminder of who comes first. Remember, it's only day one!

9. Make a genuine effort to get to know the child's interests.

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If you know the kid likes football, ask them some basic questions about it. "I heard you're a Pats fan! What's up with that? We should get tickets to a game sometime, if it's okay with your Mom!" A little bit goes a long way...even if their team loses!

10. Don’t try too hard.

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Listen, if you're not a gamer and the kid is, spare yourself the judgment and don't even touch the joysticks. It's okay to just observe and ask questions. If you don't know the next thing about ballet, please don't attempt to twirl. You can be involved without participating.

11. Remember your inner child.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting down and sitting with the kids on the floor. Color with them, build some Lego bricks, and have a little fun!

12. Remember, the kids' mom or dad calls the shots.

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Your answers should begin and end with "If your mom/dad says it's okay." You'd be amazed at how easy it is to find yourself saying, "Yes, whatever you want!"

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13. Don't take it personally.

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Sometimes, the kids just won't feel you right away. More than likely, this has nothing to do with you personally and everything to do with the idea of having to share their Mom or Dad.

14. Do, however, try to be understanding.

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While being in a new relationship makes you and your single-parent partner happy, it may not be such an easy adjustment for the kids. So, cut the kids some slack and keep trying. They'll eventually come around.

15. Don’t try to win the kids over with gifts.

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As a rule you can't buy love, so trying to woo the kids with stuff is a surefire way to sabotage your burgeoning relationship. Just bring yourself and a positive, open-minded attitude.

16. Watch your mouth.

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Many people spout their favorite curse words as easily as they blink, but you have to keep a clean mouth around the ears of babes. And don't let the kids curse either!

17. Don't waste your time or anyone else's — kids included.

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If you're unsure about dating this person, playing games, or have ulterior motives of any sort, don't even bother. When those kids smell a rat (and they will) you'll be good as done. And never forget that when it comes to single parents, it's a package deal. Don't like it? Beat it.

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