The HGTV star "started the conversation" with his and ex Christina's daughter Taylor, 9, first "because she's older"

By Maria Pasquini
December 06, 2019 01:08 PM

Tarek El Moussa wanted to make introducing his kids to girlfriend Heather Rae Young as seamless as possible.

The Flip or Flop star, 38, recently opened up to Today about the gradual way he let Taylor Reese, 9, and Brayden James, 4 — whom he shares with ex-wife Christina Anstead — get comfortable with Young.

“I started the conversation first with my daughter, Taylor, because she’s older than my son, Brayden,” he said. “After going out with Heather Rae a few times, I started bringing her into my conversations with Taylor and would mention her little by little, sharing with her that I had met someone. I shared that just like Daddy, she is also on TV and in real estate.”

“After getting the initial conversation started, I would also show the kids photos and videos of me and Heather Rae laughing, being silly and hanging out, and that made them laugh and be able to put a face to her name,” he continued, noting that the “introduction before the introduction” really did help.

Tarek El Moussa and kids with Heather Rae Young

And when it came time for Young and his kids to actually meet, El Moussa made sure to include his entire family.

“We have family night every Wednesday evening at my house and she met my whole family and the kids all in the same night,” he remarked. “Having the entire family there all at once made for a lot of interaction and helped keep it light and fun. It was a great night and everyone loved getting to know her.”

On Thursday, Young also addressed her relationship with El Moussa’s kids, calling it “amazing,” as well as making it clear that she also gets along with his ex, Anstead.

In response to a fan who praised Young for her relationship with the children, the Selling Sunset star and real estate agent admitted that while “it’s been an adjustment” the experience has been “soooo fulfilling.”

Credit: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Although Young and El Moussa spent Thanksgiving in Europe, they previously celebrated Halloween together with Christina and her husband Ant Anstead, who wed last December.

“It was a lot of fun — we took the kids out and it was the first time we all got together,” El Moussa told PEOPLE at the time.

The next month, the proud papa also shared a sweet photo of Young spending some quality time with Brayden as they cheered on Taylor at a soccer game.

“I just had to share this because it melts my heart :),” El Moussa wrote alongside a photo of Brayden making himself comfortable on Young’s lap as they watched the match.

Tarek El Moussa, daughter Taylor and Heather Rae Young
| Credit: Tarek El Moussa Instagram

Young had previously won over Taylor after the elementary schooler invited her to join a father-daughter date.

“For the past few years, Tay and I have always gone to her favorite steakhouse!” El Moussa wrote in September, alongside a photo of the trio. “It’s special to her because it’s a ‘me and her only’ dinner spot. This time she asked me if we could bring @heatherraeyoung and my heart melted.”

Christina and El Moussa filed for divorce in 2017, finalizing their split in January 2018. Christina later married Ant, with whom she shares son Hudson London, who was born in September.