Is it bad parenting to let children get involved in what SHOULD be adult decisions?

[deleted account] ( 224 moms have responded )

I know I'm pretty much alone with this but I'm going to ask the question anyway.

I don't think children should be getting involved in adult decisions or be part of the decision making process.

People these days seem to think that the childs "desires" are more important than anything else....no matter what !!!

I think that some things should be only for the parents (bio parents) to decide and the child should be kept out of it and not be expected to voice their opinions,pick a side or get involved in any way as it potentially causes upset for the child and the feeling that they are favouring one parent.

My big issue is with kids "deciding" to call a step parent "mum" or "dad".
Although i can see and appreciate that lots of kids are very close to a step parent,i think that if both parents are involved in the childs life ...that no one else should be called mum or dad.

People keep saying on other threads that it should be for the child to decide and a parent is selfish if they don't want their child calling someone else mum or dad...I think this is totally wrong.

I think it would be pretty rare for a child to come up with this idea on their own,especially if he/she sees both parents. I think it is put in their head by PARENTS who desire a "new" happy little family.

I think what a person(any person) is called should be up to the parents. If a child wants to call their grandmother "mum" because he/she sees the grandmother every day because the mum is at work...well i don't think thats acceptable and the mum should explain to the child that grandma will be called grandma and thats it !!!

What if "little jonny" wants to call his auntie by her first name and not call her "auntie whatever"?....just because he is comfortable with this and really really wants to? Well im sorry but i would be saying that i am the parent and what i say goes...as well as the auntie who may not like it either. Surely the adults involved(all of them) should have the right to be called what they believe to be an appropriate name....not bow down to "king jonny" and his little boy desires??? To me,making what the kid wants happen...every time...is a great way to screw with a childs head and to let them know that they are the boss and the parents are basically nobodys !!

Same goes for step parents. I think the difference here is that parents are often angry at the other and don't really care that they are causing hurt feelings or that they are alienating the other parent. I don't believe it is about the child. Often it is selfishness.

I think this can contribute to why bio parents can't get along and don't like the "new" wives and husbands...because they have no consideration for them or their childs "other"family...it's all about THEM and THEIR family...no one else is important.

I think this can really screw with kids head and i'm not surprised that the divorce rate of second marriages is so high and why kids from blended families generally end up with more issues than other kids...does no one ever think about this or what ?????

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Jodi - posted on 06/13/2012

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"Children should be seen and not heard" went out with the dinosaurs. Children have opinions too. I don't think anyone here necessarily believes that the child's view should be the over-riding decision on anything, BUT, the child also has some level of entitlement to an opinion. Kids have reasons for the way they act. It will depend on the age, it will depend on their comprehension of the situation, but I do think that they deserve to be heard. But being heard doesn't always mean it is appropriate or in their best interests, yes, the parents have the ultimate decision. BUT if those parents really care about their child's feelings they WILL consider what their child has to say about the situation and weigh that up in their decision.



On the what to call step parents issue....well, actually, parents have to grow the fuck up. Stop influencing the child either way and just let the child go with whatever is most comfortable. You are wrong about children not choosing to do it themselves. They do. My son FREQUENTLY had to correct himself when calling my husband dad. He would often call him dad, and then, because his own father strictly FORBADE him from doing so, would instantly correct himself. I personally think that if he felt comfortable calling my husband *dad*, then how is it any of my or his father's business?

Elizabeth - posted on 07/10/2012

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Im sorry I have to disagree. But I have good reasons so hear me out. I have two daughters....but I also have three boys I consider my sons, and if you throw in the 29 year old nephew that makes four. I did not plan on raising these boys in any way. God put them in my path via the demise of their parents marriage. Its like they threw the kids out with the marriage. they got front row seats and it was uglier than anything I have EVER witnessed in my life. I got the first one when he was abandoned at the local hospital...and then the other two a bit later when they ran away from the mothers abusive boyfriend. The 29 year old...I raised for a time when his parents did not want him. Two of them call me mom, hands down. two , don't. Well one of them does, but only when he's upset or nervous or needs me. He calls me by my first name, the other calls me aunt Beth. Now , I did not give birth to a single one of these boys, but I am more mama to each of them than theirs ever was. And they will tell you this. I stopped thinking of them as "nephews" LONG ago. Giving birth IMO doesn't give you the right to the title of mom...its what you do. I love them I nurture them, I defend them and scold them...hug them and care for them..laugh and cry with them all. You can't tell me I am not their mama or I don't deserve to be called that. It is up to the kid in my case. I never wanted them to be uncomfortable with anything in my home...they had had enough of that. Im delighted two of them call me mama and one does on occasion..what is important is what they think of me. In their hearts, its who I am. Mama. Its just not about blood man, its about love.

Jodi - posted on 06/27/2012

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Kel, I can understand that. I let it go too, because my ex absolutely forbade my son from calling my husband dad. I was not going to turn it into a shitfight. BUT if you had seen my son's face every time he accidentally let slip, you'd understand why I believe it is an utterly immature, pathetic thing to do to a child, and why it should really just be left to the child without pressure from EITHER parent. I do, however, recognise this is not always reality. But it also doesn't make the parent who allows the child to choose a bad parent. If anything, the parent who interferes and forbids the child from calling the step parent certain endearing terms is the parent who needs a swift kick because the child shouldn't HAVE to be the bigger person.

Mary - posted on 06/15/2012

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MeMe and Jodi - I think the two of you are talking about two very different things here. I don't mean to be rude, or overstep my place, but this seems to be a common occurrence. I don't think it's always about the two of you disagreeing on the topic, but rather that you both seem to misunderstand and not communicate well with each other for some reason.

The tendency of a young child to refer to all males they encounter as "Daddy", is not the same thing as an older child making a conscious choice to call a specific and designated male in their life that same title because of the role he is playing in their world. When a one or two year-old calls their uncle, grandparent, or the next-door neighbor "Daddy", it is more of a reflection of their limited language and immature cognitive and reasoning skills. It is along the same lines as my daughter, at 14 months, calling every animal she saw "puppy" (or Sam-Sam) because she lived with two dogs. Incidentally, I did gently correct her, because that is how she learned that not all animals are dogs, and not all dogs are named Sam. I wasn't trying to "sway" her opinion or feelings on the topic - it was simply teaching her that a cat is a cat, and that cat's name is Fluffy.

MeMe, the pattern of behavior is actually pretty common among the under-3 group. Obviously, not all children do it. To the best of my knowledge, Molly never called anyone else Mommy or Daddy - she just went through a stage, well before two, of calling all four-legged, furry creatures "puppy", including my parent's cat. It was not a phase that lasted long, because someone always did correct her, and she quickly caught on the "right" title for him. I think you are misunderstanding what Jodi and Toni are referring to, and taking it to mean that a child is deliberately and consistently calling another male "Daddy", and therefore applying a specific meaning and designation with that title. What they are talking about is a child's tendency to mistakenly refer to someone or something with a specific name because of it's similarities to that namesake they know (i.e. Daddy is a male, so therefore all males must be named Daddy).

In cases of divorce or separation with small kids, I do think some parents use this behavior in small kids to sort of assume that the kid is implying more about the step-parent than what they really are. They use it as an excuse to justify their desire for the child to not only accept their new partner on a familial level, but, in some situations, as a means of hurting their ex. They not only won't correct this behavior, but often encourage it. They will say it's the child's "choice" to call their stepfather Daddy - when in reality, it is just childhood assimilation. They are choosing to place much more emotional meaning to the child's developmentally normal behavior and reasoning than what really exists. I'm sure this is even more common in blended family situations where step siblings are living together, and a small child is hearing another child in the household refer to that adult in their lives as Mommy or Daddy.

Karla - posted on 06/19/2012

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Sorry, I didn't read all 125 comments... again.
When I opened this thread and started reading it I thought it would be about big things like home-schooling or public schooling, or whether or not to move to a new neighborhood, or decisions about elderly relative's care, or changing jobs.

I personally do not understand why calling a step parent mom or dad should NOT be part of a kids decision. One of the most messed up kids I know was forced to call her mother MAMA because this mother had some hang-up about being called Mommy or Mom.

Forcing kids to call the adults in their lives by certain names is truly micro managing the situation. It's hard enough to have to deal with divorced parents, and added adults in your life as a kid. I should think the issues in the family are much larger then what the kid call's his or her step-mother.

Don't sweat it, know that you are their mom and they will always love you as such. If they also call the step-mother "mom," and it bother's the bio-mom then I think she's the adult and as such should get over it. Put it in perspective, it's a small annoyance in a family that has big problems to overcome.

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Cole - posted on 11/28/2015

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As a step parent I can say that is it up to the child and how they feel for that person. I told my 3 that I could never replace their mom and would not try and they understand that. Sometimes they call me mom but no one has ever pressured them to. They have been yelled at for doing so and I think bio parents who get bent out of shape should get over it. Telling a child what to call someone is not up to them, it is the kids choice no one else's. Parents who are not confident being a good parent are the ones who complain and yell about it in my opinion. I even call my step mom, Mom because that's how I see her she put in just as much effort to raise me and I would have told my bio mom to get overself of she told me I couldn't call someone else mom, it was my choice to make on my own!

C.A. - posted on 12/24/2014

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I agree with your viewpoints.
If I can add: first, the person or couple who brought the child into the world (or adopted one who didn't have parents) deserve the "honor" of that title. If a child gets along well with a stepparent, it should be up to his real parent to decide on an appropriate "title" for the person.
Second, it's also up to the real parent/parents to teach a child what he should call extended family members- Aunt Mary, just plain Mary, etc.

Ashley - posted on 04/11/2013

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My youngest calls my husband daddy cuz he is the only dad he has known. We are taking the Superman donor to court to terminate his rights and my husband is going to adopt my son. Also my husband's ex left NY stepdaughter hone alone at 2 years old and they are about to terminate hee rights and NY husband will have sole custody and I will be adopting her. She does not call me mommy but if she chooses to that is her decision. I will not correct her but I will not make her call me mommy either. She has called me monmy in occasion but not all the time. But her egg donor and my sobs sperm donor are not in there lives and before long I will be here mom and NY husband will be his dad and we are the ones caring for them day and night so we have earned the titles. It is completely the child's decision.

Jodi - posted on 02/27/2013

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But that's your family, and your individual circumstances. Let's say the kids decided just to call you mum, should they feel BAD about that and be told no?

I am a step-mother too, and neither of my step kids call me mum, but isn't the choice up to the child?

Kerrie - posted on 02/27/2013

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jodi i see where you are coming from. i am a step parent to 2 boys who i love deeply and treat as my own, however i personally dont think i would feel right with them calling me mum.
i am not their mum.
they show me how much they love me by the way they treat me

Shell - posted on 02/26/2013

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Jodi, no I TOTALLY agree with you!! That is not an adult decision... that is one made from a childs heart. Not a parent forcing it... but simply allowing that bond and love to simply BE. Nothing wrong with it.

An adult decision is letting them vote if they get to play call of duty at 5 years old. UHM??? NOT!! =) sorry for the confusion. =)

Jodi - posted on 02/26/2013

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Except that calling a step parent mum or dad isn't an adult decision, it's generally the child's decision when and if it happens. There should be nothing wrong with it.

Shell - posted on 02/26/2013

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I think that a step parent is just as much of a parent as a bio parent. Most step MOMS deserve just as much love, and have earned it, as a bio parent. They give just as much love, taking care, bathing, helping with homework, driving the child around, kissing booboos, laundry, cooking for, picking up after and EVERYTHING that a "bio" parent does. Why shouldn't they get the special name of "Mom" ... short for Step Mom???

I wish the divorce rate wasn't so high. I wish that so many children were NOT born out of wedlock. I wish that little girls and boys were not making babies. But all my wishing is for naught. Unfortunately... it is what it is. And step parents are here. They are here to stay in many cases. They deserve just as much love from that child as a bio parent. They do exactly the same things, why do bio parents think they are soooo much better than step parents??? THAT is what I think is confusing to the kids. Just let it go.... Children today sometimes have 4 parents... 2 moms and 2 dads. Whether we like it or not..... it is the world today, as screwed up as it is.

And NO WAY should children be involved in grown up decisions. Nope.

Kerrie - posted on 02/26/2013

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i totally agree with you. children should not be dictating to their parents but should do as they are told.
i feel kids dont need to know about adult problems or issues and it often puts a lot of pressure on the child

Lorraine - posted on 02/26/2013

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In this age, where children grow up too fast, I think they should remain children as long as possible. Maybe when they are in secondary school ie 11-16, then they should be consulted but not before then. I know this is a side-step from the topic subject but ...

Sally - posted on 02/22/2013

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It depends on what "should" be an adult decision. Some parents consider their children to be individual human beings worthy of respect. While we have the final say on matters of health and safety, we value our children enough to get their input on other topics that concern them.

Kathryn - posted on 02/19/2013

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I think every family should find what is best for them.
Maybe if they call the step parent a different name than the bio parent.

A lot will depend on the relationship of the bio parents, when the step parent became invoved with the family.
Many grandchildren have pet names for their grandparents.

I'm a step mom to one. He came into my family at age 11. He called me Mom a couple of times to 'try it on', and then went back to calling me by my first name.
I'm not trying to be his Mom, because he has one, even though he never sees her. (her choice)

Lorraine - posted on 02/18/2013

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I do agree with you actually. Because if my daughter had a step parent it would hurt if she called her step-mum Mum. It think it is best for all if the biological parents are mum and dad and step-parents are called by first name. My dad had a step-dad and called him Dad but he never sent him a Father's Day card because he was not his real dad (who had died in 1943 when my dad was 2) and called him Dad just for his mum's sake really and it was a generation thing.

It must be nice that step-kids and step-parents have that sort of relationship where the child does want to call them mum or dad and must be great for family harmony.

Merry - posted on 02/17/2013

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I think kids just need a special title to call a step parent if they so choose. What are they supposed to call them? Dave? Janet? This is so awkward. So maybe the fix would be a new name that could show I love you and love having you as my parent. What I don't think is that parents should be driving a wedge between their child and their child's step parent if the step parent is a genuinely nice person committed to the child's well being. Of course it would hurt to have your child calling someone else mom. But a kid should have some way to show respect and love to a step parent if it's deserved.
The answer? I have no idea. But I know the fix would be a new name which would show love to a step parent

Stefanie - posted on 02/17/2013

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depends on sitioun like if a child dosenbt want to live with one parent becuse of whatever going on an really want to be with the other say in a devoice situion i think the judge should listen to the child sometime we when your a kid an why some adults forget this .get tread like we dont no anything or are stupid when i was dating someone his daughter wanted to live with him so bad when i met his ex i could see why .it wasnt till she was 13 the judge agree .i dont like how childern are tread at times. but ya something they dont need to no about

Cecilia - posted on 02/16/2013

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"Firstly, the reason most second marriages fail is that they are undertaken by people who already showed they couldn't keep their *first* marriage going."

My first husband was when I was 18. He was abusive and slept with prostitutes. Yep I ran like a bat our of hell from that marriage. So you're saying because i left, i will fail at my 2nd marriage? I really don't see how this works. I do believe that many times if you remarry quickly it might cause issues. I didn't remarry until I was 32. I took time to get my life on track without relying on anyone else. I also think in my old age (i'm kidding) i'm much more stable emotionally and able to deal with working on a marriage.

Anyways back on topic... as i mentioned i had a lot of time between marriages so my children were quiet old themselves.I did not expect them to call my husband dad. Sorry to me that is silly. It was never even asked to be that way by my husband. For 4 years while we were friends he was always "Jeremy" to them. Now all of a sudden he's dad? No that doesn't work out in my mind. Although his father is Grandpa Tom and his step mother is Grandma Vicki. We give the title with the name for a simple reason. There is too many family members. There are two grandma Carols too lol. I was adopted yet i know my parents. He has step parents. So yea It gets confusing if we don't use names. For some reason great grandparents go by last name. Greatgrandma Sebring and greatgrandma Pierson.

Mind you as i said there are step parents in my husbands life. He never called them mom or dad. He called them by their first name also. My foster sister's oldest daughter calls her husband dad when introducing but calls him by his first name.

My children are expected to call my elders miss or mister [insert name here]. This means if someone is old enough to be my mother or grandmother they are expected to use formal titles. For example Mr. Joe lives next door. Mrs. Cathy is their bus driver. Make sense?

Aunts are born into title. It is not up for discussion. Like calling me mom. Sorry you were born with this in place. A step-parent was not a born into title. They already have a dad/father.

Julia - posted on 02/15/2013

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Kel80. Beautifully stated and on target! If only people could step back from their own selfish pursuits long enough to "get it".

Jodi - posted on 02/12/2013

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"If you are really good at making a marriage work, in most cases you won't get divorced in the first place (there are of course exceptions, I'm talking statistical trends). So people who enter into a second marriage tend to be people who struggle at making a marriage work. "

I actually beg to differ on this point, because a marriage requires TWO people to make it work, not just that one person who is remarried. Many people who remarry are more than willing to work on a marriage in a constructive way, but frequently, the reason for the divorce is because the other person wasn't. They were just ONE party in a marriage that didn't work. So people who enter into second marriages are not necessarily these people you believe they are. Just saying ;)

Statistically, you are correct, a higher percentage of second marriages don't work. But can I ask, have you EVER blended a family? No, it isn't the kids' "fault" if the second marriage doesn't work, but there are often many more elements in a second marriage that need to be dealt with that CAN make it much more complicated to manage that could potentially take their toll.

Ettina - posted on 02/11/2013

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Firstly, the reason most second marriages fail is that they are undertaken by people who already showed they couldn't keep their *first* marriage going. If you are really good at making a marriage work, in most cases you won't get divorced in the first place (there are of course exceptions, I'm talking statistical trends). So people who enter into a second marriage tend to be people who struggle at making a marriage work. Of course there'll be a high failure rate! And in most cases it has nothing to do with the kids, it has to do with the couple themselves.

As for why kids from blended families have more issues, again, this is nothing to do with not calling their stepparents 'Mom' or 'Dad'. It's to do with two things, both inherent to divorce itself.

Firstly, it has to do with why the marriage broke up. If you're getting divorced, it's pretty much guaranteed there's something going wrong that convinces you that divorce is necessary. In many cases, that same issue can have a negative impact on the child. An extreme example would be abuse, milder examples would be constant arguing or disagreement over how to parent (resulting in inconsistent parenting practices).

Secondly, when the marriages breaks up, this in itself is traumatic to most kids. They typically have strong emotional bonds with *both* parents, and no matter how you manage custody, the kid will be seeing less of at least one parent. And many couples don't resolve custody in the ideal way. Furthermore, the stress and arguing that usually takes place is deeply upsetting to children as well.

Regarding healthy discipline, children should be neither slaves nor uncontrolled. One branch of psychology, known as social domain theory, argues that children naturally perceive different domains of behavior.

Two domains refer to behavior that is inherently bad - the moral domain refers to behavior causing harm to others, and the prudential domain is behavior causing harm to yourself. Children readily accept and benefit from firm rules in those two domains (although older kids start to resent too much control in the prudential domain).

At the other end is the personal domain. This refers to non-harmful behavior that holds a deep personal significance to the child. These are things children feel that no one should have the right to dictate to them, and often include things like what toys to play with and who to be friends with. Research shows that overcontrol in this area has a serious negative impact on the child.

In between is the conventional domain. In this section are behaviors that are not inherently harmful, but not very important to the child, and children instinctively accept that this category of behaviors falls under different rules in different situations. An example might be raising your hand before speaking - need to do that in school, but not at home or with friends.

The thing is, for most kids, what they call their stepparent will fall into the personal domain. If a child does not feel emotionally close to someone, or resents them replacing their parent, they will not want to call that person 'Mom' or 'Dad'. And forcing them to do so can be psychologically damaging - and *will not* improve their bond with that person.

S. - posted on 12/05/2012

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10 pages of comments I have to admit I haven't read sorry.

I myself could never call anyone else mum/dad/ nana/grandad or even auntie so and so if their wasn't.

My friends often thought my mum was wonderful and called her mum (she was however more of a mother to others then her own kids but that's a whole different story) and my point being I could never bring myself say it to someone else. I personally find it disrespectful.



My oldest daughter is not my hb and her father isn't around and I have let her choose what to call my hb family, she mostly calls my hb by his name, occasionally she says dad and she refers to him as her step dad.

Mil asked if my daughter would like to call her grandma i left it down to my daughter and she said " NO it seemed odd" and my mil was utterly offended. My daughter would call my mil's sister by her name and my mil would be calling out "it's auntie-----" my daughter doesn't call my sisters auntie----- the only in-law my daughter call by "title" is my hb grandad and again although they all would have been offended if she called him by his name I left it up to her. I wouldn't force her and I wouldn't stop her either, I think if bio dad would have been present calling my hb dad would have been disrespectful to bio dad, the Same as if bio dad would have a wife and my D called her mum I'd be devastated.

Amanda - posted on 12/04/2012

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I dont think kids should be allowed to call their step parent mom or dad, unless they are old enough to choose which parent they want to live with. If my mom ever re marries Id consider calling that man Dad and i wouldnt care what anyone else thinks.

Roxanna - posted on 12/02/2012

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Personally, I never asked my girls to call my second husband "Daddy". Both the girls have different Dads and although the youngest one hsees her Dad regularly, at two she was calling my husband Daddy. I explained to her that she already has a dad so maybe calling my husband Daddy was not a good idea. She said that Chris (my husband) was the Daddy she lived with and Manny (her Dad) was the Daddy that made her, now she has two daddy's. Logic froma two year old. My ex wasn't too pleased, but he came around after a while because he sees how well my husband takes care of her.

My oldest ones dad was never really there. At 12, my oldest decided to call my Chris, Daddy. Much to our surprise, HER logic was that Chris had been more of a "Dad" to er than the Bio Dad.

How would I feel if my daughter (the oldest) called her Co Mom "Mom"? I'd be jealous, BUT, if she treats my daughter well and loves her dearly, by all means, I have to get over MY jealousy and feel blessed my daughter is so loved.

Sara - posted on 11/24/2012

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Anyway, OP, I agree -- and no, people don't think about it. They just want things and then rationalize them.

Sara - posted on 11/24/2012

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"I see your point. But if an adopted child is okay to call someone who isn't a bio parent "Mom" or "Dad" why should it be different for a step child/ step parent relationship?"



You're kidding, right?



Because a stepparent isn't the new mom or dad. The old parent hasn't died, hasn't given up rights, usually hasn't gone anywhere.



Frankly, when older children are adopted, wise adoptive parents will refrain from pushing the mom/dad label. In the child's heart, it belongs to someone else. Wise adoptive parents also know that someday, even if the child was an infant when adopted, that child may one day go looking for "my real mom".

Shell - posted on 11/10/2012

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When we got married... I became step-mom. My (step) son chooses to call me Mom. When asked why... He said "because its shorter". And I'm sure its somewhat due to the fact that I met my husband when he was one and we were married when he was 4. It has been explained millions of times... how I became Step Mom via Marriage. He is not confused about my role as his Dad's wife and his step mom.



Much the same way I GOT 2 MOMS. I married my husband and now his Mom is my Mom 2. So my step son, myself and my husband are VERY LUCKY because we all 3 have 2 MOMS NOW =) And that is acceptable right? For me to call my inlaws mom and dad? And they never changed my dirty diapers or many of the things I do for my (step) son!! =)



Additionally when we have my SS I do everything that a "real " mom would do. I'd say I've earned the right to be called and loved by him like A MOM, not his only Mom. But as one of them. I would NEVER turn him against her (even if I think she is a completely worthless ding dong) and I would never say anything bad to him about her.

Kristi - posted on 08/18/2012

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Kids know who is who in their mind as it relates to his little world. They know how they feel about an adult. I'm quite surprised your stepson didn't naturally start calling you mom if you had been the primary female care taker from the age of 18 mo.

I was in a very similar situation. I, too, had been raising my "step" son. I love and care for him as if he was my own. He's called me mom for the last 8 years and even though his father and I split last year he still calls me mom. He calls me for help with his homework. I live in WA now and they are in NE. We talk regularly and I intend to keep it that way. He also calls BM mom.

My own son calls his SM mom. Does it sting, yes. But knowing that she loves him enough for him to want to call her mom makes me happy. Long story why she is the primary female care taker. It's all about how the child feels, not what adults think, with exception of a BP forcing a child to call the new partner mom or dad.

Jane - posted on 08/17/2012

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My step-son was 18 months old when I started seeing his father and we married when he was 6. I have always been Jane to him, and would have corrected him if he called me 'mum' as I know this would have upset his mother ( as it would upset me if I heard my son calling my ex's partner mum). That doesn't mean he does not see me as an important parent figure in his life. He's 23 now and we have remained 'family' even though I've split up with his dad. Kids get confused about family relationships, particularly in this time of blended families. I think it's fine to explain to them who is who.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2012

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LOL @ Tony...We have (had, I should say) a Grandpa Grumpy in our family too...He and the boy picked his "grandpa" name during our first visit out.

Allie - posted on 07/31/2012

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I see your point. But if an adopted child is okay to call someone who isn't a bio parent "Mom" or "Dad" why should it be different for a step child/ step parent relationship? What I mean by this is, If a child sees their step parent the same way as their bio parent then they should be allowed to go with their instincts. A child calls a person Mom or Dad when they see them as loving. nurturing . caring and give them a name. Its not about "giving them their way", its about allowing them to put a name to their caregiver. A first name is very formal and it can be disrespectful, depends on who you are. I don't have this issue with my own children so I don't know what it feels like to be in the recieving end. But I am a step parent that has two boys wanting to call me "Mom" and their own mother cutting them down about it because she hates me and is projecting her feelings about me onto them. And the issues between parents is not going to be caused my a name issue, if that is such a huge thing, then to me that means that there were all ready problems between the bio-parents and their parents long before the name thing became an issue.

Jessica - posted on 07/29/2012

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I think you have a point to a point, depending on the age of the child and how long the SP has been involved. When it come to Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents, I feel they should always be referred to as Anunt or Uncle so and so or grandma or grandpa, that is just showing respect.

When it comes to SP, I really think it depends on how long they have been around and how involved they are. If the child the child feels comfortable calling them mom or dad, it should be ok with the BP, just because the child calls someone else mom or dad it does not take away from the BP, they are still the Biological parents. In this case I think it is all about the child and what they feel comfortable with, if they don't feel comfortable calling them mom or dad it should be their decision to call them by their name or a nick name of their choice...Not anything disrespectful like bimbo, because that is just rude and teaching your child to be disrespectful.

Toni - posted on 07/21/2012

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The only thing that is important to me and my husband is that we are called mum and dad. What he calls other adults is up to him, as long as he shows respect.
He calls his grandma Nana, and his grandpa Grumpy. He gets away with calling his grandpa Grumpy because Grumpy loves it and thinks it is hilarious.
As long as he shows respect to adults, he can call them what ever he is comfortable with.

Chaya - posted on 07/21/2012

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It depends on the decision. Where are we going for vacation is one thing. Do we move to Africa is quite another.
When I was growing up, decisions were always made for me, even if it was none of my parents or siblings made the decision, When I went to live with my aunt and uncle, we voted on everything related to do we go to Disneyland or Russia for vacation, to do we move to Africa or Israel. (In the space of four years, we did both) Those things really affected our education, life, even our music lessons. My uncle actually picked people to go with us who could help with music.
Paying bills, which house to move to, medical issues, that's adult stuff. If the child is dying, that's quite another thing.
All in all, it depends on the parents and situation, the age of the child, and a myriad of isues I'm probably not aware of.

Samantha - posted on 07/09/2012

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Ok do not agree! I have a 5 year old step son and 2 kids of my own. I've had my stepson since he was 2 and he's always called me mum. Until his mother messed with him and started forcing him to call me Sam, the poor kid was devastated when he'd slip up and call me mum I hated the look on his face just pure fear that he was gonna get a flogging or something for it, so in the end he made his own name for me he started calling me mummy Sam which I thought was a great idea for him he got his wish of calling me mum and was still doing as his mother told him. Now at age 5 it's plain mum or mummy. I think the parents should just leave the kids alone by trying To manipulate them ur only stuffing them up more. Children have a right to express there feelings for adults in anyway they feel even if that is calling a stepparent mum or dad! No one ever finds it weird that adopted children call there parents mum and dad just leave them alone

Kristi - posted on 07/09/2012

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I just read the first 2 pages...this is some seriously crazy s***! First of all, every situation is different. What works for one child may not work for another. As a non-custodial bio-mom and a regular mom and a stepmom all rolled into one fat lump, I can tell you this...

My son, who lives with his dad, called me mom and I thought he was calling his dad's new wife, Dana. (which he probably did at first) But one day we were in the car, with my daughter, she is 5 years younger and he is, talking, non chalantly (no idea how to spell that one) and he said ..."and my mom..." then he sucked in his breath and looked at my daughter like he had just bit the bullet. Did it hurt me? Like tiny shards of glass cutting into my bare feet. I said, "What? What's wrong, why did you stop telling me your story?" Then he stammered a bit trying to explain himself and I gently interrupted him and told him I was happy he had a stepmom that loved him so much that he felt comfortable calling her mom, too. When he asked if I was mad or if it hurt my feelings, I told him I was not mad but yes it hurt my feelings a little because moms don't like to share their babies but that it was absolutely fine and he could call her whatever he wanted to in front of me. The relief on my son's face was overwhelming. He was about 8. His dad and stepmom had been married for about 3 years, I think. But she was there for him more than I was, he had another little sister there and of course, she was always saying mom or mommy. I'd rather he have 2 women who love him enough for him to want to call mom, than none or a shitty one.

My daughter and my stepson both call me mom. My "current" husband and I are separated. So it's girls vs. the boys. lol Anyways, when he and I got together his son was about 18 months, 2 years old when he came to live with us full time. He only spoke a little Spanish then. He couldn't remember my name (at first) so he called me Papi's muchacha, which developed into Chacha. Well, that stuck for awhile, actually my own family still calls me that sometimes, but anyways that's what he called me until maybe 4-5 or so. Then "mom" started slipping out. So his dad asked him if that is what he wanted to call me and he said sometimes my heart tells me to. That's all I needed to hear before I got a big lump in my throat and wanted to cry. So, that's what he did. His mom was in and out, sometimes more than others, sometimes less. Either way, it didn't mean he loved her any less. My daughter loves my exhusband,they hit off right away, but the whole "dad" thing never took hold for her, so she called him by his first name. At her dad's she was forced to call his new wives, in order of appearence, mom. She hated it. She could barely stand the women, let alone being forced to call them mom. She asked me if she had to. I told her she shouldn't have to if she didn't want to but that ended up creating wide spread fear and hatred about the land (drama!) so she and I decided she should try. Her dad goes through wives like most of us go through/went through feminine hygiene products! So she just got used to calling everybody "mom," just kidding, she was old enough to know the difference. But by the 4th mom we all start to look alike!

So, that's it from all 3 sides...take it or leave it, entirely up to you. IMO, if somebody (partner) loves your kid so much that they feel like calling that person mom or dad, let them. They aren't calling stepmom, mom too hurt your feelings, they are calling her that because of their feelings for her. (Substitute dad, in appropriate places) Get over yourselves.

Julie - posted on 07/08/2012

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Sorry, I can't join you on this theory either. And I am from a blended family. Let me remind you that the child is the ONLY ONE WHO HAS NO CHOICE in anything happening to THEIR LIVES during a life changing and often TRAUMATIC experience. Why not let them have SOME SORT OF CHOICE on how they choose to IDENTIFY with these new people/parents that they probably wish never showed up anyway.

As far as properly addressing an adult. Yes, the adult teaches the child how to address them, but if the ADULT doesn't care that Johnny says, "Jan instead of Aunt Jan" then no respect is loss, so what do you care?

Are you calling the child of a step parent selfish? DUH, they are a child. Adults are mature enough to grow up, and out of selfish behavior..children are still learning. Besides, who is the selfish one? The parents who split up and put this kid in the situation probably did not have the "childs best interest to begin with"

You need to lighten up and remember, You have to GIVE respect in order to GET it. Yes, rights of passage plays a part in that, but children have voices too, and like the saying goes,"out of the mouths of babes" maybe you should stop talking and listen...

Corlissa - posted on 07/02/2012

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I think you are right that children should not get in adults decision but I could see how you are feeling about your child calling another women mom but I also think is that it depends on how long he has been married to this women. My thought is that you sit down with your ex and his wife and tell her your concerns and just ask that you prefer if they not call her mom but maybe they could call her step mom for respect because she is apart of there life weather you like it or not. Also maybe you could talk to your kids and tell them how you feel depending on the age. I know people who call there step mothers mom. Maybe just ask your kids if they would not do it around you or when they refer to her. my brothers and sisters call my mom mom and I have no problem with it but just don't make it a big of a deal to were it might make you child think you are a mean parent.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 07/02/2012

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Except a team doesn't dictate, to the extent that can cause another to feel inappropriate in their feelings. Such as said child.

Michelle - posted on 07/02/2012

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My own children have been taught that the only people they call mum and dad are me and their dad. We are not together and their dad has re-married but we both agree our children do not call his wife mum. That's the same with their grandparents, etc, the exception being that they can call very close friends of the family (those we classify as family) aunt or uncle, but not all friends. That suits our circumstances and feelings. It doesn't suit everybodies.

As for other decisions, my children have an input in what I buy for us to eat, what clothes they wear (other than school uniform), trips out, what they watch on tv, etc but these decisions are "guided". I ensure my children have a healthy diet, dress respectfully (ie. they are not allowed to wear skirts so short that they show underwear when they bend over), watch appropriate tv and are safe. We work well as a team :-)

Ana - posted on 06/29/2012

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I was a step-child. I was fine with calling my new dad "dad" but it really confused me as to what I call my real dad? Since he was sort of still around...My mom didn't make me call my step-dad "dad" but she just told me he's going to be your new father (I was 5).

Other kids told me to be mean and act out with the new dad just to show him who's boss, (that he's not my real dad) which I always thought was stuptid and I never did, but all this was a lot for me to get a hold of at 5.

Being a parent now, I know my mom did what was best, including telling me that your real dad is still your dad, but you live with your new dad now, and you will still be able to visit your real dad. This kept me always knowing that I could still see the other side of my family that I missed.
So she didn't sever the relationship when she married, and she tried hard not to confuse me with the grown up changes.

I don't think parents should get involved with the (don't call her this, or don't call him that) it really makes it hard on the kid and kids normally go with who makes things easier for them, they really don't want to fight or care about our titles.

Bust since we care about our titles, we should just let it be ok for a mother figure to be called mom and a father figure to be called dad..

[deleted account]

meme i have been in the situation....it HAS caused anxiety.
I didn't fight either,but it didnt make a difference...my child knew that there were issues,he could feel it and it was expressed to him by the bio dad.
All the talking in the world would not have changed my exes mind or made him feel that he was hurting our child by not wanting him to call his step father "dad",so in MY situation it WAS better to just let it go...and if that meant my child had to also be the "bigger person" then so be it. I did not feel that there was much choice so i made the decision for him and expected that he would just accept it. If he was not willing to then i guess he could have talked to his dad about it but i believe he was just happy to have a parent that took control and the decision out of his hands so he didnt have to pick a side !!!!

Carolyn - posted on 06/27/2012

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I'm a step mom and due to my husbands bio mom being anything but that we were fortunate to get custody of her at 14.... She's going to be 16....in 2012 her mom has picked her up Zero times..... A Mom........ No PARENT in this world has the right to deliberately inflict any type of emotional pain on any child using poor behavior. If ALL divorced parents, being bio mom or bio dad would put their own bitterness, self-serving agendas, and resentments aside..... No Matter what the cirucumstances......these children wouldn't have to suffer. All it does is cripple their relationships with their child.... It is important for any child to have the presence of both parents proven actively in their lives.....and us parents who have custody.....suck it up and do what's best for the child not for self. Being absent from your childs life and playing the pawn games does nothing but pain and anger the child....... It's absolutely ridiculous that these days children behave more respectful and responsible than the adult. There's no back and forths to it....... Love Honor Respect....... I feel sad for my teenage step daughter, but I know that by our Love Nuturing and Structuring she'll grow and learn the meaning of life vs. the constant battles of parents of divorce and become better than it all........

Sarah - posted on 06/27/2012

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My son is not my own, he is my sister's child, biologically. At the age of 2 he started calling me "Mom", though she is in his life. I am his mother and she can't be, but she was unselfish enough to be okay with the fact that he calls both of us "Mom" and he was happy. And then his father showed up. He told that child, at age 2, I wasn't really his mom, though he knew the situation, and he had to call me Sarah. He came home sobbing because I didn't want to be his mommy. 6 years later he still has to call me Sarah in front of his father or face reprisal. That rat Bastard, excuse me, has manipulated the joy out of almost every relationship that child has. Thank goodness the bio parent had his choice. The parent the child rarely sees, but he convinced his entire family I made him call me "Mom", so everyone on his side enforces that stupid rule. My daughter goes to see her father every other weekend without fail, and if I don't utilize my son's extended family on his father's side, he feels unwanted and unloved. So, thank goodness, that jack a** was allowed to make any kind of choice regarding that little boy's welfare. He's obviously doing it for the sake of his child, not petty sh**fullness.
I will apologize if I have offended anyone by my language, but I will not back off of it. There are no okay words to describe his father, a sociopath he is, but it doesn't nearly cover the spectrum of nasty hatefulness that man is capable of. The petty lying, to try to get his son to hate the only family the child has ever known and will know until his mom can prove she can raise him. An example: his father told my son I tried to kill his mother by pushing her out of a moving vehicle because I was irritated. That's only one...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/26/2012

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We're also not talking when a mother has had multiple marriages. Yes, that could get a wee confusing for the poor kid....not something I would do, anyhow. I understand getting remarried once, during your kids at home life but several? No, my kids are more important than marrying every tom, dick and harry. As a mother, I was very careful on when a man even met my daughter. It was a long ass time before it occurred.

Patricia - posted on 06/26/2012

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i also agree t confused right from wrong i have found this through per kids to they don't know who to believe or trust and some times even what is right from wrong i have found this through personal experience i do not think kids should be allowed the choice they are emoitional unable and they are kids adults should make the choices

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