My son's father's step children call him dad and it bothers my son

Amy - posted on 01/26/2015 ( 8 moms have responded )

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That might sound confusing, but my son has came to me multiple times as well as his father that it bothers him that his step brother and sisters call his dad DAD. I have mentioned it to his father, but it continues to happen. It seems to me that his father is not taking his son's feelings into considertion. What can I do to get through to his father or what can I say to comfort my son?

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Raye - posted on 01/27/2015

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Amy, it's possible that your son feels like he's being replaced by the steps. You need to let him know that's not the case. People have the capacity to love many other people, and it doesn't/shouldn't mean that his father loves him any less. If the step-kids feel comfortable calling your ex "dad" then there's nothing wrong with that. There are many different types of families in this day and age.

I am a step-mom who feels like I'm more motherly to the kids than their own mom. My SS actually already asked his dad if he could call me mom, and my husband said to ask me, but he never brought it up to me. My personal feelings are that "mom" and "dad" should be reserved for their natural parents. I would first explain to my SS that his mom might be upset about it, and he should call me by my name. But if he really wanted to call me mom, I wouldn't want him to feel like I was putting a limit on our relationship.

I plan on being married to their father for the rest of my life, so then I would be a mother-figure to them for a long time. I don't want to do anything to drive a wedge between me and them. My situation is a little different, though, because I don't have any other kids. So my stepkids are my only kids. My attention is not split between them and some "outsider" children.

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Amy - posted on 01/27/2015

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Well it is the two youngest ones...5 and 7...not the oldest. The stepmom has referred them to his father as dad within 6 months of dating. I think she should have let the children decide what they wanted to call him not throw it out there when they were 1 and 3. That was 4 years ago. The two oldest girls call him by his first name. Just throwing that out there.

But anyways, I will talk to him and let him know that he should be honored to have others call his mom and dad, mom and dad. It really is just a name...nothing else.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/27/2015

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I'm with Jodi on this one. Yes, its going to bug your son, but he needs to realize that not everything in life will go his way.

If your ex's stepkids are comfortable enough in their relationship to call him dad, I think that's great, personally! I'm certain that SM didn't force her kids to call her new husband dad...That's something that the kids usually decide themselves.

I know that you've got counseling going on...perhaps the counselor needs to address with your son these types of things that are truly beyond his control, and simply semantics. As far as other kids calling you 'mom' and him getting upset, point out that they're doing it out of respect, and he should be happy that he's got the mom and dad that everyone wants to call mom and dad!

I've got several 'mom' figures in my life, in addition to my mother and first step mother. Likewise, several 'dad' figures, including my daddy, my stepdad (Pops), my (step) father in law, and a couple of my friends' dads from HS. I still call them all dad, except my daddy...he's always daddy...LOL. The one concession I make is that I don't refer to my MIL as 'mom' when my mother is around...or I try not to, but I do slip, because she's as much mum to me as my own.,

Jodi - posted on 01/27/2015

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If, as you said in a previous post, your ex is not particularly open to having a mature discussion, it may not even be an option he is prepared to consider. Is there anyone in your life you call mum, dad, aunt, uncle, etc, who isn't actually biologically that title? I'm just thinking in terms of the fact that I call my husband's parents "mum" and "dad" even though she isn't actually my mum, but because it is a term of endearment and respect to give someone you care about. If you could explain it to him like that it may work.

I think your son has to realise there will be many things that will bother him in life, but he really is just going to have to get used to it. You can't be saving him from every little thing that upsets him or bothers him. He needs to learn to deal with it on his own. He sounds like quite a sensitive boy, which is great, but may also become a burden for him if he can't learn to deal with it a little. Sometimes we have to put up with things we don't like and just learn to live with them. This may be one of those things for your son. He now just needs to learn to accept it emotionally, which can take a little maturity. But he will come around in time.

Amy - posted on 01/27/2015

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Jodi, When I ask him he tells me because he is my dad and not theirs. Sometimes his friends call me mom and he gets mad about that too. Maybe it is the fact that he is an only child and he is claiming us and no one else can have us..idk. And yes the other childrens father are in their lives. I personally do not care, cuz like you said it is their household, but if it bothers my son that bad maybe the should could up with a different name?

Ev - posted on 01/27/2015

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I have to agree totally with Jodi on this. Also just another thing to point out is that you really have no say in this matter. Just tell your son his father loves him a lot and that maybe the kids feel really close to his father to be able to call him dad. These kids may not have a close relationship with their own father and his dad is giving them what they need. My kids' dad has three step sons and they call him dad. Its not my house so I do not worry about it. My son does not care for this but he just shrugs it all off. Do validate your son's emotions. But also explain that if these kids feel comfortable to call him dad, there has to be a good reason.

Jodi - posted on 01/27/2015

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Hav you asked your son WHY it bothers him? I only ask because I'm a big believer in allowing the children to call a step parent whatever they feel comfortable calling them. I've been in the shoes where I have a son who was told point blank by his father that he is not allowed to call his step father (my husband) "dad". He made it very clear he would be very upset by this. I have no problem that my son calls my husband by his first name - I've never encouraged him or discouraged him one way or the other. However, he HAS slipped up at times, simply because he has a good relationship with my husband. And the look on his face, the GUILT when he does slip up, is just sad to see.

So in my view, if his step children are calling him that of their own doing, I think you need to tread carefully with this one. Find out why your son has such an issue with it, and explain that this doesn't mean his daddy loves him less, but shows that they must also love his daddy very much, just like he does, because his daddy is a special person.

Do those children have their own father that is in their lives?

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