MY 3YR OLD CALLS BIOLOGICAL FATHER AND HUBBY "DADDY"!

Ivanna - posted on 03/09/2012 ( 45 moms have responded )

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so i have a 3yr old daughter who calls both her biological father and my husband "Daddy". i have tried to explain to her that my husband is her step dad over and over, but she still chooses to call him daddy. her biological father is very much in her life even though we were never married and never lived together. He does call and pick her up at least once a month. she seems to love these two men so much and at this point i really don't know how to go about it. SHOULD I JUST LET HER CALL THEM BOTH "DADDY"?

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Amy - posted on 03/13/2012

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My son at 15 months old called a teenage cashier at Kroger's "Daddy". The point being they don't know the difference at that age, or even 3 years of age, every "man" is a "Daddy" to them. Don't worry about it. When she's older, you can decide how you want to handle it, but trust me, it's not even something you need to explain to her, she's not old enough to understand the difference.

Monique - posted on 03/11/2012

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Hi, my daughters also 3 and she calls her biological father who is my ex husband daddy and my boyfriend daddy. I spoke to my psycologist about whether it's a bad thing as i was worried she is going to be confused and the psycologist said no often little children do do this and it's fine. My daughter does see her biological dad often though maybe 3 x a week and she does see him more as her real father. I am sure as she gets older she will understand it more. Hope this helps you.

Claudia - posted on 03/10/2012

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Without a second thought....you should stop trying to explain the difference ...even at the child's age..they know and understand what a parent or "father" is...the man u are married to is with this child more than the biological father...and has placed a significant role and place in this child's heart.....Allow the child to call them both daddy.....you may even find that later down the road she will on her own decide to call them something different....don't confuse the child by trying to make them understand "stepfather"...I've seen several times that a stepfather can end up being more involved in the child's life and become one of the most important role models in the child's life...let it be...and watch your child make their own decision as to what they feel is comfortable to call both of the father figures in their life!!! :)

Christal - posted on 03/10/2012

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i'm sorry but i dont see a problem here. If your husband is uncomfortable with her calling him daddy (which if he married you knowing you had a daughter thats most likely not the case) or her bio father has an issue with it. tell them to get over it. if both men are activly in her life and both actimg like a dad. then she has every right to call them both daddy. you trying to tell her that he's not your daddy, only confuses her at that young age. if you fell the need to explain it when she gets older thats fine, but let her call them both daddy, she is a very lucky girl to have 2, some kids have none!

[deleted account]

At 3 I don't think there is too much you can do about it w/out hurting or confusing her more. If it bothers bio-dad maybe you can encourage your daughter to call your husband 'Daddy whatever his name is' as a somewhat of compromise though.

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Ivanna - posted on 03/13/2012

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Pamela, thanks for your 2cents but lets be clear. Its not your place to teach me how to be a mother to my daughter. Am quite aware that you cannot claim to know all the details about the situation just coz you were able to read my question. unlike you, i have to put what's best for my child in matters concerning both men. One is her biological father and the other is the wonderful man in her life throught marriage. it is my job to secure her integrity not just now but also in the future. As i mentioned earlier, her dad is very much in her life and its my job to give her accurate info then let her decide based on her affection and love towards both men who evidently love her. U COULD HAVE JUST ANSWERED THE QUESTION WITHOUT BEING RUDE!!!

Pamela - posted on 03/13/2012

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Why are you using society's CRAP to confuse your daughter. Why do you want to SEPARATE the men in her head just because that's the way it is in yours.



It's society that uses such words as "step" this and "half" that. I taught my sons, one of whom is from his biological father but gained a second father when I remarried that he was a LUCKY boy because most kids had only one Father, but he had TWO!!!



Of course you should let her call them both Daddy....she is expressing HER LOVE to both of them. Why are you trying to put labels on it?



Step back and LEARN FROM YOUR DAUGHTER!!!!!!!

She seems to have her act together and is obviously not confused!!!

Sylvia - posted on 03/13/2012

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Is this her choice? Her idea? Nobody is pushing her to do it?



If the answer to all of the above is "yes", then what's the problem?



Someone else on another thread said a really smart thing: "mummy" and "daddy" aren't names, they're roles that we play in children's lives. Your DD has 2 people playing this role -- lucky her! -- and she's acknowledging that. She loves them both, and she's acknowledging that too. Good for her.

Amber - posted on 03/12/2012

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My son has the same situation......but he is 6 and knows who is his real dad is and who his step.dad is but he tells me that my husband is his dad and that his bio is clay which is his biofirst name....just wait tell she gets older and allow her to choose with her heart which one she thinks deserves the title of "daddy"

Sandy - posted on 03/12/2012

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Yes... your husband can be daddy (his name) and Her biological father can be daddy (his name). It sounds like she loves both daddys and sees both equally. Enjoy!!!

Joy - posted on 03/12/2012

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My bio dad was called "Daddy Dick" (it was ok name in those days). I didn't see a whole lot of him, but knew he loved me. My 1st step dad is "Daddy", he raised me and my older sister until the day he died, when I was 14. I called my 2nd step dad, "Bobby", for probably 10 years before I called him "Dad" - not because of anything other than although Bobby was much loved, Dad finished raising my five little sisters and me and I really was a Dad. My sisters and friends know who I am talking about when I use these names. Let your blessed child call her Daddys, just that. They both sound like wonderful men who deserve this loved and respected title from your daughter.

[deleted account]

Is your husband being a father to her? Does he hug and kiss her, treat her like a little princess? Love her, parent her and teach her new things? If so then I don't see a problem here. He is her daddy. She is just too little to understand the biology of it and is lucky to have two loving fathers in her life.

Julie - posted on 03/12/2012

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Call your hubby 'Nathan' or whatever and she will start calling him Tim also -



She will nto understnd th step-dad thing until she is older... and then she will come to you and ask -

Jamie Lee - posted on 03/12/2012

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Unless her biological father has a HUGE problem with this, I see it as no big deal. And the other man is your husband, not someone you are just dating. My son has called his step-mom "Mom" since his dad married her and I have no prob with that. Now he has two mom's that love and cherish him. He was raised to believe he is extra special because he gets to have two sets of parents that love him. It only backs up the idea of living harmoniously with today's extended families.

Lolita - posted on 03/12/2012

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If none of the adults have a problem with it, I say let nature take it's course. Those titles are earned and can be given to anyone that is seen as worthy to wear them. I am a mother/stepmother, my stepdaughter has 2 sets of parents and she calls us all Mom and Dad. She was 3 years old when I married her father and she 18 years old now.

Cynthia - posted on 03/12/2012

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She's blessed enough to have two father figures that love her and get along with each other leave HER alone. But make sure they both understand their role and respect each others boundaries. For instance make sure that your husband falls back when her bio father is there and that they discuss their ideas of parenting so that there are no surprises. She is not the issue now but when that cute lil 3 year old turns into a manipulating pre teen/teen and tries to play one against the other to get what she wants......that's when the headaches will start and I'm talking MIGRANE :). God bless.

Ivanna - posted on 03/12/2012

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What you say is probably true. i got with my hubby when my daughter was a year and a half and he happened to be the only man we ever lived with. she does love him and so does my hubby. i did some explaining to the bio dad just to be respectful, and he seemed to understand that at this point our lil gal is the best judge of her feelings and if she feels that my hubby has earned that title then there isn't much he can do to stop her. justt like one of the moms said, if at some point her dad marries and my daughter feels that her step mom has earned the title 'mommy", i may not like it, but if that's how she feels then it is what it is.

Shaz - posted on 03/11/2012

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The names 'mum' and 'dad' are not just the names we get because we have kids. those names are in fact 'doing words'. Children will call people who do as parents do in their lives those names - frequently by accident.

I think as parents we forget that and treat those names or titles as sacred and precious or badges.

The fact of the matter is as parents we shouldnt be so full of ourselves. My kids father and i are also separated. If he was ever to shack up or remarry someone new and my kids called her 'mum' sure I'd be hurt.... But if my kids think she's earnt it and thats what they 'freely' want to call her then I can accept that. I can understand bio dad getting upset about her calling hubby dad but i think too on a mature level he understands its a natural progression. Hes probably feeling insecure and a tad jealous because hubby now has this 'dad relationship' with your young one.

If he truely gets really upset maybey you could make a special daddy name for hubby. Like daddy "...."

My great neice calls her bio dad - daddy sam when he's not there and her stepdad- daddy pete when shes with bio dad. but when shes with which ever one its just daddy. She kinda just does this on her own..... no one ever forced her to call pete dad. Hes been there since she was a baby....

Christina - posted on 03/11/2012

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your husband is her dad because he supports her the same if not more then her dad. my older 2 kids call my fiance dad and have done so since almost as soon as we got together. i didnt force them to do this they did it on their own. i feel like if they have that kind of conection with him that is between them and my fiance. they know they can depend on him so if thats how they feel then thats how they feel.

Samm - posted on 03/11/2012

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Your Husband is her daddy too. She's too young to understand the difference. Let her have two daddys, more love for her. Talk to her bio-dad and try to make him understand this also. When I got married, my dad and step dad gave me away. More Love.

Jenifer - posted on 03/11/2012

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Everybody keeps saying that it's okay as long as nobody has a problem with it, but you, yourself said, "Her dad(biological) doesn't like it", which, to me, makes it a problem. Also, everybody keeps pointing out that it is the step-father that does the day to day things with her. While this may be true, it sounds like this is because you have custody and he, obviously, is with her more often than her biological father. Wouldn't her biological father do all of those things, as well, if he was with her everyday? That is not to take away from what her step-father does for her - it sounds like he's a wonderful man and she is very lucky to have him in her life, but since her biological father is there and loving and involved, if he has a problem with it, I see it as disrespectful to him to allow her to keep calling her step-father 'daddy'. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks is right or wrong, he is her father and he should be given the same kind of respect as her father that you would want as her mother. It would be different if he wasn't involved, but he is and if he doesn't like it, that should be respected. As I said before, why not sit down with her and figure out a loving name for her step-father that she can call him that isn't 'daddy'?

Jensacutie - posted on 03/11/2012

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Yes. Daddy is just a label. Explain to her biological father that she lives with you and your husband, so it is confusing to her. To your daughter, Daddy means someone who is there to care for her, take care of her and love her. That can be both your husband and her biological father. Telling her otherwise will just confuse her. When I pick up my daughter from daycare her best friend calls me Mommy. She thinks that is my name. She does the same thing when she comes over for a play date. I think we put too much emphasis on the name Daddy and Mommy. What if you have 2 moms or 2 Dads? Should you not call them both Mom or Dad?

Kirsten - posted on 03/10/2012

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I don't see why she can't call them both daddy if no one is offended by it. That's what they are- they are both daddy. At three years old I don't think she will understand what having "steps" really means. Encouraging nurturing relationships with both dads will help those relationships grow.

Cheryl - posted on 03/10/2012

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That's what I did growing up. My step dad was the one that was there on a day to day basis. Good times and bad, supported my brother and I financially.

My "father" was a great guy too. But he only saw us every other weekend. Took us to dinner, hung out with us but being a dad is more than that in my opinion

I gave my step dad a card at father's day one year that said

"Anyone can be a Father, it takes someone special to be a dad."

If her father isn't angry I wouldn't worry about it, just be thankful she has someone in her life willing to fill that role.

Jenifer - posted on 03/10/2012

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I may be in the minority here, but if her biological father doesn't like it, I see it as a problem. Think about it - what if she had a step-mom and she called both you and the step-mom 'mommy' - how would you feel? And to take it even further, how would you feel if you expressed to your ex that you didn't like it, but he ignored your feelings about it and continued to let her call the step-mom 'mommy'? Maybe a good idea is to sit down with her and figure out an original name that she can call her step-father that would allow her to express her love for him without using the word, 'daddy'?

Ivanna - posted on 03/10/2012

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thanks so much ladies! your posts were very helpful as well as encouraging. At least i now know that am not doing nothing wrong by letting her be. she's indeed very blessed to have 2 strong men in her llife.

Teresa - posted on 03/10/2012

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I agree with everything said. At 3, your daughter knows your husband is the one who is there every day in her life. Also you said he drops her off and picks her up at daycare so of course she calls him Daddy. All the other kids call the men who drop them off and pick them up Daddy. Common questions like "Is that your daddy?" are hard for a 3-year-old to explain. To her the simple fact is both are Daddy. As long as you are explaining that the difference like the poster said so well above: "You have two Daddies--the one God used to put you in my tummy and the one God gave us to be my husband." That's all she needs to know. When she's older she may decide to differentiate with special names for both.

Brenda - posted on 03/10/2012

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When I remarried my son 6 asked if he was his stepdad and I told him yes. He then asked if he could call him daddy. I ask him if he knew who his father was and he said yes he knew but wanted to call him daddy since he only saw his real dad a couple times a month. I asked him if he really wanted to do that and he said yes. I told him that was fine then as long as he knew who his real father was. So for a few years he called my new husband daddy. Now he is grown with kids of his own and calls him by his name instead of dad. That was fine by all involved.

Sebrina - posted on 03/10/2012

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Yes. I told my daughter that she was blessed with 2 daddys - the one God used to put her in my tummy and the one God gave us to be my husband (she was 2 when we got married) She calls both dad. Now she's 13 and very well adjusted. There was never confusion because I was always honest with her about it - according to where her understanding was. Your daughter is happy and loved. Simple as that.

Missbetta06 - posted on 03/10/2012

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Yep let her, they r both good daddies to her, why not , no one is hurt, she is blessed to have two daddies.

Melmarie17 - posted on 03/10/2012

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Yes. It's that simple. If she feels comfotable enough to call her step father daddy then let them

Have that bond also. The step after accepted her in his life. Being called step dad and all that makes a kid feel less appreciated (from experience). My son calls his stepdad and dad daddy and it just shows how much love their is. My opinion. My bf never calls my son, step son either.

Charlie - posted on 03/10/2012

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and also the step dad is the one filling the daddy role he does the job he earned the name. lucky girl to have him in her life!

Charlie - posted on 03/10/2012

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yes...my son calls both his biological and stepdad dad, as long as the fathers don't have problem with it you shouldn't either, especially if she loves her stepdad that much and basically spends more time with him anyway.

Kelly - posted on 03/09/2012

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My daughter calls every man daddy and every woman mummy. We just accept it and move on. She knows who we are, and thats all that matters.

I grew up with an absent 'dad' and an awsome stepfather who I call by his first name. It doesnt matter what I call them, Its how I feel about them that matters most.

Ivanna - posted on 03/09/2012

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Her dad(biological) doesn't like it. But in all truth my husband is the one who wakes up every morning to make her breakfast, plays and reads with her, drop and pick her up from daycare on a daily basis. At this point she chooses to call him "Daddy" and i guess i will just let her be.

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2012

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Yes! Why would it be a problem for her to call your husband Daddy? She's a lucky girl to have 2 strong men in her life!

Jodi - posted on 03/09/2012

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I think the important thing to understand is that SHE doesn't understand the difference. She is confused and loves them both and sees both of them as daddy. Personally, I'd just leave it alone. At this age, it is also perfectly normal for her to call any man in her life *daddy*. A friend of mine has a little girl who is almost 3 and she calls my husband daddy simply because that's what my daughter calls him, and it makes sense to her.

S. - posted on 03/09/2012

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What do the "daddy's" think about it? If no one is offended by it I dont see what the problem is really! It's nice your daughter see's him as a father figure tbh, just a thought but maybe your husband could be daddy-name like my daughter has a grandad- jimmy just so we all can decipher who she's talking about. But I think it's just respectful to talk it over with the bio daddy first x

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