Would you let your child call their step parent dad if they dont know their biological father?

Kristin - posted on 06/25/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a 6 year old and a 1 year old with the same man. We split up when our son was 1 and after 2 years I started seeing another man and we lived together for 2 years. When my son was 4 his father requested a DNA test even after he signed the birth certificate to try to hget out of child support. I willingly went along with this and when the results came in that he was the father of our son he asked to see him, so I willingly let him see our son (with me there of course). My ex then proceded to try to win me back and said he wanted us to be a family and i foolishly believed him so I broke up with the man I was with to try to make my family work with my childs father. Well it didnt work and an ex is an ex for a reason, anyways I ended up pregnant with our second child and he bailed. So I went through the pregnancy alone. I kept my house so that was good. I remained friends with the man I broke up with and when the baby was born we ended up getting back together. Long story short this man has been there since my daughter was born and he treats her life she is his. She has never met her father as he refuses to even acknowledge she is his. Now my daughter is 14 months old and is starting to call this man dada, which is ok by him and me but i am just wondering is this ok or will it confuse my othert child who knows that he is not their father?

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Tiffany - posted on 06/27/2012

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I think if your child has started that on her own, you should go with it. That's a very different situation from INSTRUCTING a child to call a stepparent or boyfriend/girlfriend of a parent "mom" or "dad", which is confusing to the child and impacts the natural development of his/her relationships.

When my stepchildren were about four and six, the older asked me whether she could call me "mom". I told her that I wasn't sure how her mother would feel about that, so she asked her mom--who told her that if that felt right to her, she should do it. Over the years, both of them have alternated between calling me mom and addressing me by my first name. They're both adults now and one has stuck with "mom" while the other primarily calls me by name. I've always thought what was natural and comfortable for them should govern; after all, parenting (even if you're not the biological parent) is all about creating a safe environment for the child to grow comfortably in.

Becky - posted on 06/26/2012

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While this would be considered normal for your daughter to call him Dad as this is the ONLY dad she knows, I would be interested in what the son feels. He knows this guy isn't his real dad, even if he treats him like gold where as his real didn't maybe didn't...abandoning him, you still need to take his feelings into consideration and continue through out their lives to have an open and honest conversation with both of them. What's going to happen in a fit of rage when your son tells his sister that her real dad isn't the dad she knows? That's a kettle of worms I'd rather not be backsliding in. Just make sure to get your son's side and validate his opinions, keep ongoing open conversations...because eventually, she'll catch on and have questions.

Kim - posted on 06/26/2012

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I think it would be beautiful if yr daughter calls the significant man in her life dad. I think it would eventually be less confusing for you all and help meld the family bonds. While we have biological associations with labels, dad has many different representations. Dad is the first word we utter to identify the paternal person who is caring for us. If your man is going to be there for the long haul then he is the one who will be the dad in your daughters life. If things change in time or the real dad returns you can cross that bridge when you come to it. It sounds to me like you are very good at adapting to change and no matter what happens you'll manage and make right choices for you and your children.

Christina - posted on 06/26/2012

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Hi Kristin! What a great man you have there! lol... I'm assuming by the headliner that you have married this gentleman? In that instance, I'd have to say that your 6 yr old will go with the flow and may even eventually calling him "dad" too. However; having been a single mom for the better part of 20 years, when my ex (my youngest sons father) and I got together my eldest was about 6 yrs old and after sometime my ex started identifying himself as my oldest sons father and my son started identifying my ex as his father.....the only problem was that we were not married. Not saying that being married was the problem, but I think had my son been smaller when my ex and I got together when my ex left and broke contact with him, it would have been even more tramatic than the trama he (my son) experienced. ....lol...did that make sense? There's more chance of confusion if(big if) things didn't work out and all that.....I guess you could say I've become more conservative since that has happened and I don't assume what seems good and right is necessarily so when it comes to my boys. But if you all are married, he is technically the only "father" they have so as along as everyone is comfy with that then there is no reason why they shouldn't call him "dad"....and if the biological father comes into the pic and acts right, then you can say "hey kids! you guys are soooo lucky to have 2 dads!!"....That's what my mom use to tell me with regards to my dad and stepdad.... Be well! Christina

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