Step parenting.......

Erica - posted on 02/20/2011 ( 63 moms have responded )

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I have been following another thread on here and some of the comments are totally against step parents being called "mom" or "dad".....Why does this bother people so badly?
I have 4 wonderful kids....2 from my husbands previous marriage, 1 from mine and 1 we have together. The only one that doesnt call me mom is the oldest and he is almost 21. He was 13 when we got married and I completely understand. However when he is talking to friends at work or to his GF when he says MOM...he is refering to me! Not all SP are bad and dont you want them to love your child like their own?
Do I believe children should be forced to call a SP this absolutely not, however if they choose to do so why cant they?

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Jessica - posted on 02/21/2011

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No, I do not expect my child to love her step mom like she loves me, I gave birth to her and have always taken good care of my child. Her step mother has done nothing at all for her and my daughter knows her stepmother does not love her as she has made this perfectly clear to my daughter since her own daughter was born 2 years ago. If my daughter told me she wanted to call her stepmom "mom", whatever but if she came home and told me her father told her to call her stepmom "mom" I would call him and have it out with him and then not allow my daughter to visit him. This is also cuz my ex was terrribly abusive to me and when we were divorcing he told me repeatedly he would replace me and my daughter would never love me as he wouldn't allow it (his continual verbal, emotional and physical abuse helped me get sole custody). When my daughter was 6 shortly after she met her step mother to be the woman decided to have a talk with my daughter about sex and my ex told me I was not to discuss sex with our daughter as his wife already had. I had it out with the two of them then and made it perfectly clear due to ex's abuse I had custody and could choose to cancel all his visitation if they did not respect me properly. Every situation is different, my ex-fiancee had a little girl whose mother was a druggie, dad had custody and when the girls mom disappeared she called me mom, we broke up and then when he married his wife she was thrilled that this little girl wanted to call her mommy as this poor child had none, now the girl is 16 and is very close to her stepmom and last I heard her biological mother had not contacted her in over 12 years. I feel if it is a child's decision that should be respected but in the other conversation you mentioned it is the child's father who is making the kids call their mom by her first name and his new wife mom, that is very disrespectful and wrong.

[deleted account]

Usually I don't even get involved in threads concerning this (except in the stepmoms forum) because there are so many negative feelings on it - especially from people who just don't know what it's like.

My husband has full custody of OUR daughter (my sd) and she started calling me "mom" on her own about 2 1/2 years into our relationship and has been calling me "mom" ever since.

I think it's wonderful when a child is comfortable enough with their steparent to call them "mom" or "dad." That shows the child is being cared for and THAT is what is really important.

However, I do agree with everyone on the point that a child should never be forced to call a SP "mom" or "dad" because that's just wrong. It should be up to the CHILD and how comfortabel the SP is with it as well (I know some stemoms who don't want to be called 'mom' for some reason or another and their opinion should be taken into account as well).

Katherine - posted on 02/21/2011

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If the child WANTS to call the SP mom I really don't see what the big deal is. It should be between the step mom and step child. I know parents feel slighted but if they have a really good relationship I kind of think it's selfish of the BP to say NO!! don't call them that.



Does that sound harsh?

Gwen - posted on 02/21/2011

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I understand what you are saying. I was a step-mom to 2 great kids. We had a great relationship. They called me Gwen, but that was their choice. Even though their Dad and I divorced 3 years ago, they still introduce me to people as their step-mom. Yes, there are "wicked" step-parents, but many are awesome....just like biological parents, some are good, some aren't.

Kelly - posted on 02/21/2011

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Let the child choose and give them permission to do what they feel comfortable. It may even change over tie from a name to "mom" or "dad" or maybe the birth mom is "mommy" and the step is "mom" or whatever. Doesn't matter so long as the child is not forced and they choose what they feel comfortable with. They have a min. of 2 sets of Grandparents and they call them what they like. We had them call each set different names just so they didn't have to use a last name too but that was just to make it easier so one set is Nonna and Pappa and the other is Grandma and Grandpa. But my nephew likes Grams and Gramps. So if that is the least of your problems in a blended family you are doing well : ) Do what you like!

Merry - posted on 02/21/2011

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I was forced to call my step mom mom.
I was 15 when my mom died and 16 when my dad remarried this lady. He told us that she was picking up where our mom left off, and she was in all ways our mom now. He said it was disrespectful to call her barb and we had to call her mom.
My sister was 18
I was 16
My brother was 14
And my baby brother was 6
The three of us big kids absolutely refused to call her mom.
My sister moved in with our aunt and then attended college a state away.
I lived there for two years until I was kicked out at 18 and I never called her mom. I rarely looked at her or spoke to her either, too painful.
My brother, the older one, lived there for 4 years and he eventually called her mom when referring to her to others. Like 'my mom will pick me up at 5'
But never to her face.
My baby brother was actually spanked when he called her barb, he was punished for disrespecting her by calling her barb. Soon he followed orders and called her mom.
He is 12 now and he still calls her mom, but not to us other kids, to us he says barb.

Barb had 4 kids as well, two older ones were already adults who call my dad Tom.
One was the same age as my brother Kevin and she never calls Tom her dad.
But her youngest daughter was 6 as well and she easily started calling him dad because she was adopted and never knew a dad before him.

I actualy liked barb until they started trying to make me call her mom. Before they started changing house rules, and changing family patterns etc.
Once they started changing so much, and forcing the mom thing I hated her.
I thought they would have been smarter then that.
It seems like common sense to not force a teen to call a step parent mom. Especially when the real parent just died.

Now I don't even call my dad, dad. I call him Tom.
It's that hurtful to try to force that title on a kid, it backfires horribly. Now Tom is facing the fact that we won't let our son call him grandpa, and barb can never be grandma.
When those titles are forced it ruins so much.

Jodi - posted on 02/21/2011

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You'd be surprise JuLeah. My ex pretty much threatened our son with punishment if he EVER called my husband *dad*. My son has done so accidentally on occasion, and corrects himself very quickly. It is sad and it is wrong for a child to feel fear for expressing how they feel about someone because one parent can't get their head out of their arse.



On the other hand, it is also wrong to tell a child they MUST call a step parent mum or dad.

[deleted account]

Selfishness JuLeah- well at least that's the case with my BM- cant speak for everyone's obviously. Personally if I found myself in that situation, I'd try to be grateful that a decent woman loved my kids enough to treat them as a mother does.

JuLeah - posted on 02/20/2011

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If they choose to call the step parent mom or dad, then it is a sign they feel close. That is a good thing, and I think, most parents would want that for their kid. Why would any one object?

[deleted account]

Well said jodi- like other things in life- you cant please everyone but if as SP we know we are doing what is right for our SK, do we REALLY care what others think? I know I dont.

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2011

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You're doing better than me - I only read a small portion of the posts, LOL.





But to be fair, I would say that the majority of people who responded have probably never been step-parents, or have not really been placed in a situation where this becomes a real life issue for them.



And quite honestly, we can either deal with split family arrangements in a mature manner and focus on what is important to the children, or we can deal with it in a less mature manner and worry about how it makes us feel with little regard for how it affects the kids......I'd prefer to go with the former.

Erica - posted on 02/20/2011

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Jodi, I do understand the situtation in the other post but after reading all 210 comments, many of them were negative to SP!!!

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2011

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For me, it should be whatever the child feels comfortable with. The thread you were talking about sounds like the children are being coached into calling the SP "mum", and that is wrong. I also dont think it should be *actively* encouraged, but if it happens, it happens.



My step-son calls his step-father *dad* and while my husband had a bit of an issue with that initially, he is ok with it now because he recognises that it is his son's choice, no coaching involved.



My step kids have never called me mum, but we've never really encouraged it. My son has never called my husband *dad* because his father told him he wasn't allowed to (which I don't agree with telling them one way or the other).



I think perhaps if the kids had been younger when we married, it may have been different, but they weren't.

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