I'm somewhat of a shy guy, more precisely though I just don't know what to talk about. My problem is that I've moved in with my girlfriend, and she has two kids, a girl aged 12 and a boy aged 14, and I feel I should be communicating more with them like I do with her. So far everything has been going ok but I feel that it could be better for them, although other guys could be much worse.

Could someone please help me on how to overtone l overcome this and what topics of conversation would be appropriate, how to approach them and interact with them.

I am somewhat afraid that my presence would bother them, and not sure how to overtone this.

  • 1
    Hi Jack, and welcome. This is infinitely broad and very opinion based. These kinds of questions can attract some very poor quality answers. Please have a look at What types of questions should I avoid asking? for site policy. You have a valid concern, and we are here to help you. You will get better answers if you narrow this down a bit. For example, you say you don't have trouble talking to your gf. What do you talk to her about (basically)? Why wouldn't this work with the teens? This might help you get a more pertinent answer. Thanks. Mar 19, 2017 at 15:43
  • How about: How do I start a relationship with my new partner's teens? Something like that makes it less general.
    – WRX
    Mar 19, 2017 at 18:13
  • You might also ask this over on the Interpersonal Skills SE. Sep 9, 2018 at 10:16

2 Answers 2


Hardest thing I've ever had to do is integrate into my step sons life. I find it easier being a dad than a step dad and that's no exaggeration.

It's taken around 5 years to get into a good place with him. He's now seven so not quite the same age bracket but same concept.

What do you talk about? You talk about their interests. Something that makes them comfortable.

Anytime I want to have a proper conversation with my step son I talk about super heroes (Batman, Flash, Hulk, Ironman etc). I can sit and talk for hours on end with him about them. I have the same interests or at least I did so that helps. I'm a massive football fan and like watching rugby however I can't talk to him about that because he just has no interest in them. The moment I mention them he switches off. So keep it to what they like.

I'd also advise taking an interest into their school life. Don't have to go heavy on this as it can be quite personal but you could talk about their favourite subjects and maybe offer help on homework/coursework.

Remember they too will have similar worries, some of which they may voice to their Mother which isn't a bad thing. Talking with your girlfriend is key. I was lucky to have a lot of support from my girlfriend and I can't thank her enough for that. She's your starting point to understanding her children and what their interests are.

Good luck!


This is a difficult question especially as we do not know where you live or the maturity level of the teens.

I'd start with everyday conversational topics. These would be the same topics you'd speak to a guest about, and avoid sex, religion and politics. Ask them what games they play; what sports they enjoy; what television or movies they like. Watch their hobbies; perhaps someone collects or enjoys something that you could share with them.

Try not to ask questions that have yes or no answers. If you ask for explanations about their interests, it works better. "What is it about football that you enjoy? Is there a famous footballer or team that you watch? What is it about him or her/them that makes you think they are good?"

I'd also use your head and ask your girlfriend for help. Family meals are a great starting place. No TV or phones at the table and everyone talks. It is usually only fifteen to twenty minutes of time for a meal. Do not lecture or try to be cool. Just be yourself and don't try to make them like you. Show an interest but do not correct their point of view. (I'm not talking about saying something like, "that is a Volkswagen brand, not a Ford.") That is their parent's job.

If the kids wash the dishes, perhaps help. Or take out the garbage or mow the lawn every once in a while. Integrate yourself without taking over.

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