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Living with children can be difficult, especially if they are not even your own kids. Children of all ages tend to be quite messy and full on. If your roommate has step children that live with you during the week or on weekends, then you will need to get used to living with children, which is often like living with a pet. Even if you are not yet a parent it is important that you set a good example and behave in a responsible way whenever the kids are around.

Spending Time With Children

Unless you plan on camping out every weekend that your roommate's kid's are in town, then you are going to inevitably build a relationship with them. It is important that you are friendly and happy around the kids and that you are trying to best to make them feel comfortable. What this means is trying to make the environment as kid friendly as possible. If there is space, let the kids have their own room or set up a corner in the house for their belongings and their items. You don't have to redecorate the living room in a Dora the Explorer theme but try to make the place seem a little less adult and a little more fun.

Talk to your roommate about how he would prefer the situation be handled before the kids come to stay. Would he prefer that you stay out of their way while they are here or would he like it if you joined in on some of their activities and outings? If your roommate wants you to play an active role in their life, then make the effort to do something with them when the kids are there. Go bowling; head down to the park with a soccer ball and some sandwiches; take in a movie. This is a great way to not only make the kids feel comfortable but also get to know your roommate as well.

Appropriate Roommate Behavior

One of the biggest concerns for divorced or separated parents is that their kids are safe when left with their former spouse. What this means is that you need to make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable when staying at your home. If your house is not up to a certain standard in terms of safety and sanitary then it is possible that your roommate will lose custody of the kids and will not be able to see them on a regular basis anymore, unless of course, he moves out. You need to work as a team to ensure that your rental house is suitable for children, even if they are only living there part time or only staying there on weekends.

So what is a suitable living environment for children - somewhere where they feel safe. If you constantly have strangers coming and going, if you are smoking and drinking around the kids, if you have tools out that are not suitable for children, such as knives, weapons or drug paraphernalia, then you are going to need to change your habits quick. This also means removing the naked ladies off the living room wall and placing all inappropriate items in your own room.

When it comes to living with roommates with step children you need to make the effort. Even if you do not really like kids or if you do not have much experience being the fun 'uncle', it is important that you do try and that you do set an example. If you really cannot handle being around children then try to stay out of their way as much as possible or talk to your roommate about the situation.

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