needs of children

What Children Need

Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve been dating a wonderful man and think he’s “the one.” The only issue is that he has a two-year-old child. I never wanted to be a parent (I’m not sure I even liked kids), but that’s changed. I think I’m ready to be a stepmother and even have a child of my own, once he puts a ring on it. But my friends say I’m getting in over my head. Do you think I can do it?

A: The fact that you’re asking is a pretty good indicator that you’ve what it takes. But be prepared: parenting, especially in the early years, is about making sacrifices (time, money, personal space, activities, plans for the future, and so on.) and putting the children’s needs ahead of your own. There are tremendous rewards (a sense of fulfillment and purpose, for example), but it’s a challenge. So can you do it? Yes—if you’re willing to give your children the following.

  1. Children won’t feel secure around you if they don’t trust you. If you sense that your boyfriend’s child is uneasy or unhappy, you’ll need to figure out what the problem is. Otherwise, long term, his or her health and learning could be negatively affected and ultimately, so could your relationship with both father and child.

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Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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