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My GF has two kids, she lives in a big suburb, a little bit out of nowhere in the country side and I used to live in a global city. I moved to get closer to her, hence now I'm living with her and the two kids. W've been together for almost a year.

Day to day is ok, I have a job , I'm doing my fair share of the chores.

However, I miss the city and sometimes, I'm rambling about it. Relationship with the kids are fine.

Where the issue lies is the kids are often around us, their dad is here not often because of his work schedule (air flight attendant).

The other things that bugged me a lot is that my GF has a view to what I consider too protective of her kids, not letting them resolve their issue (14 & 11 years old respectively) by themselves.

Because of these two things , we are bickering although not intensively but we are bickering. I feel I'm not understood and I don't have my place with her and the kids and she feels like I'm a loner , because I was single for a long time before meeting her.

I thought about having some activities with the kid. I run and the boy goes with me, on his cycle. With the girl , I'm clueless.

What kind of activities would connect me with a young girl and what kind of global activity would help us , in trying to make us like a "family", which we are clearly not at the moment.

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    Your question is basically on topic, but could you clarify a bit: How long are you and your GF together, how long have you been living with them? How log has she been separated from the childrens' father? AND: What exactly is your question? That said, welcome to Parenting SE! – Stephie Dec 18 '15 at 15:18
  • Much better. I don't have time now, but would you be fine with me suggesting an edit later? I think your question could be "sharpened" a bit. In the mean time, we have an interesting Q/A about father-daughter activities: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/19622/… and parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/16440/…. (Younger children, but the principles stay the same) – Stephie Dec 18 '15 at 16:25
  • @Stephie It would be better to have an answer ;) Thanks – Andy K Dec 18 '15 at 16:26
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I'd suggest a few things. First let go of the city life. As they say, if you want a family, then "it is not about you anymore".

Second, be there. Be at home, be available to, say, drive the girl (or the boy) to places where they do stuff (gym, ballet, their friends' house, the mall, etc). Then, things will come at their time, be patient here as the girl is a teen. On day for example, you can stop by with her to get a burger on the way back home. Kids will open up after they feel some consistency in the relationship. This may mean sacrificing time with other friends such as going to a superbowl bbq.

Third, think of the girl as your daughter, and the boy as your son. You can start by mentioning her with a friend a coworker as such (example: "This weekend I'll take my daughter to the mall"). Say it aloud. You can always clarify later that she's step-daughter, as needed. Then some day you'll introduce her as your daughter, and if she says she is not, then just say that "that is how I think of you". She may not care, but if you plan to stay with your GF, then make up on your mind that you're basically signing up too to be a dad.

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    by dauther in law you probably mean step-daugther :) – Ida Dec 22 '15 at 20:04
  • Hi @boanerges-aleman-meza, many thanks for your answer. Concerning the city life, this is the toughest part. We had many conversations with my partner and had another one this morning: Plan is to move , not to Global city, but to a closer bigger city. I'll try to help for taking the girl to her lessons. For calling her and him , step-daughter and step-son, it will take time. I'm not used to that yet, hopefully in the near future, hopefully. – Andy K Dec 23 '15 at 7:40
  • Hi @boanerges-aleman-meza, giving you some update: Not sure how but Christmas time probably helped us connect. It is not perfect yet , but I feel we are more like a family. Yesterday and today , I took care of the kids while my GF is on a work trip and the kids were happy :) Giving you some updates and thank you for listening to me during an not so easy time. – Andy K Jan 7 '16 at 8:15
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    @AndyK, I started writing a whole answer on this but it's a bit off-topic so I'll keep it to a comment! Be careful about trying to "become dad" too quickly. Speaking from personal experience it can feel like they're trying to replace your biological father. Remember that they probably find it just as weird as you do! When you decide you're there for the long haul, talk to them about the relationship you'd like to have with them. They'll be adults before long; give them a chance to have their say, and you'll gain a lot of respect from them. – Ieuan Stanley Jan 20 '16 at 15:28
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    @AndyK, I'm glad that you are happy to consider the long game! I just felt it was important enough to say so that you didn't close yourself any doors before they had the chance to open. Looks like you have it figured out though. Good luck! – Ieuan Stanley Jan 20 '16 at 16:21
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You mention 3 issues in your post:

Disagreement on parenting with your girl friend

I don't have a lot of experience here, but treat it as a separate topic from everything else. Discuss your role in parenting your step-kids; explain why you feel you should have a voice. Once you agree to what extent you are involved in parenting, then you can agree on what type of rules and parenting you do. You can't just skip ahead to discussing 'how to parent' before you make your case for 'why you should parent'. You basically need to step from being 'mom's boyfriend' to 'step dad'

Activities with kids

What does the girl like? Does she like bikeriding too? Does she like going for walks? Going shopping? Learning to drive? Doing some homemade crafts or tinkering? Maybe you can chaperone at a concert (just stay back ;) ). Girls, like boys have a variety of things they like to do.

City life

This is tough, but think about the things you gain moving to the suburbs. Running in the woods/quiet roads, maybe? Do some of those things. In addition, depending on how far away the city is, go there. Make a day out of it. Go shopping, go to a show (even a kid friendly one), go to a park in the city. Bring the family, or take a day alone - in fact doing something family friendly in a big city (like a Science Museeum, or a kids show, or a ball game) could make you feel more like a family :)

  • Hi @ida, Many thanks for your answers. We had one of this conversation this morning where we agreed my GF and I , that we need a bigger place but closer to the city. Getting there, slowly but certainly ... – Andy K Dec 23 '15 at 7:49
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    Hi @ida, giving you some update: Not sure how but Christmas time probably helped us connect. It is not perfect yet , but I feel we are more like a family. Yesterday and today , I took care of the kids while my GF is on a work trip and the kids were happy :) Giving you some updates and thank you for listening to me during an not so easy time. – Andy K Jan 7 '16 at 8:15

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