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Author Topic: what are step parents called?  (Read 30122 times)

Kitty C.

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #10 on: Jul 14, 2011, 04:35:19 PM »
'Even before my husband was in the picture he didn't call his bio dad, daddy. He always refered to his dad by his first name. It's because bio dad would disappear in and our of his sons life every 5-7 months and not be heard from, so him and my son never bonded or formed a relationship.'
 
This bothers me.  At such a young age, there's no way he could understand the difference.  If the child was calling his bio-dad by dad's first name, the child was TOLD to.  I have no idea who.....heck, it could have been bio-dad himself.  But it doesn't change the fact that he was told in some way, shape, or form.  He could have even learned by omission, as my SS did.
 
When SS was 5, DH and I got married and so did BM.  SS knew that BM's last name changed and he innocently assumed his did, too.  The thing is, BM and SH NEVER corrected him on it.  They allowed him to believe that his last name had changed, when it hadn't.  We found out about it when SS came over one weekend with a toy bag with his first name and SH's last name on it.  When we saw it, DH asked SS what his name was and he responded 'SS SH's last name'.  When DH took SS home, he explained to SS that his last name was NOT SH's, but DH's, that it never changed.  Well, SS broke out in tears...which really made me wonder just how BM and SH really were handling it.  Then DH had a talk with BM, accusing her of not correcting SS and leading him to believe his last name had changed.  He also informed BM that if she didn't cease and desist, he would see her in court.  Not that anything could have been done in court, but it put the fear of God in BM and it never happened again.
 
Children learn a LOT by watching and listening to adults and often mimic them.  If you called ex by his first name and didn't correct the child when he did it, in my book, it's the same as if you had told him to use dad's first name. 
 
One other thing that bothers me....he's not just your son, he's you and your ex's.  It says a lot about general attitude of the situation.  JMO, but overall it gives me the impression that you would rather push the dad out of the picture.  Maybe that's why he doesn't take his son very much?  Pure speculation here, but that's how I read the situation.....
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


ocean

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #11 on: Jul 14, 2011, 06:04:11 PM »
I typed the same exact thing Kitty but then erased it this morning...
Your child was too young to even make that decision and he has a bio father (that you picked). When his bio dad showed up, he should of be told, "daddy is here". There are many kids that only see their dad's during the summer visits due to distance or jobs. When you met your now husband, he should of heard that his name was XX, and that should of stuck until you married. Depending on his age at your marriage, you could of explained what a step -dad is but that we are still going to both call him X.

gemini3

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #12 on: Jul 16, 2011, 01:11:26 PM »
My personal opinion is that the kids should be allowed to call their steps what makes them comfortable and happy - whether it is their first name, or mom/dad, or another term that they come up with.  I know some kids who have a special name for their step, so that they can express their love and attachment to that person without the loyalty bind of the term "mom" or "dad".  My stepkids call me by my first name.  At one time they were calling me "mom", but their mom had a complete meltdown about it, so they went back to calling me by my first name.  I never asked them or expected them to call me mom, they just did on their own after about 3 years.  But, they're not required to do it - and it doesn't bother me if they don't.
 
I know a lot of people will say that a child should never call a step "mom" or "dad".  I personally think this is a bit territorial, but I understand where that comes from.  Especially if there has been alienation.  When I was growing up I was very close to one of my friends, and we spent a lot of time at each others houses.  I called her mother "mom" when I was at their house, and vice-versa.  This wasn't out of disrespect for our own mothers - it was because we saw them as our collective moms, so to speak.  I give this example because I think that, often times, kids who have a close relationship with their steps will refer to them as "mom" or "dad" because that is the relationship they have with them.  I don't see anything wrong with that and I think forbidding a child to do it if that's how they feel about their step is to deny the importance of one of their primary relationships.  That's a disservice to the child.
 
However... the situation with twistedmama is slightly different.  What I find problematic about that situation is, as Kitty has already addressed, that he refers to his real father by his first name.  That should never happen.  Never should a child call a step "mom" or "dad" and then refer to their biological parent by their first name.  That smacks of replacement, and I don't blame the father at all for being upset.  The message that is sent to the child when they are taught, encouraged, or allowed to do this is that their bio-parent is unimportant, lacking somehow, undeserving of their love or respect, and so on.
 
So the issue here isn't so much that the child is calling the step "dad".  The issue is that the child is calling the step "dad" and then referring to his real father by his first name.  The rule should be that it's ok to add, but never to take away.  A step does not replace the real parent.  No matter how great the step is, or how bad the bio-parent is, it's not a replacement.  Ever.
 
Just look at kids who have been adopted.  They grow up (usually) never knowing their bio-parents, or forming any kind of bond with them.  In many cases, even when they have a strong bond and loving, supportive relationship with their adoptive parents, they still grow up wanting to know their real parents, wanting to find them, wanting to have a relationship with them.  That speaks to the fact that the biological parental bond is transcendent, and that it can't be ignored or replaced.  Why do some people believe that their children will be "fine" without the other parent in their lives, or that they can just replace them with another parent of their choosing?  In my mind it's selfish and makes no sense whatsoever.  People who do that are just hurting their own children for their own selfish reasons.

Kitty C.

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #13 on: Jul 16, 2011, 03:39:56 PM »
Well said, gemini...........
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

mandymay

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #14 on: Jul 21, 2011, 08:57:19 AM »
I think it is important to allow the kids to call you what ever they feel comfortable with, i have two beautiful children that came with my husband....and i get called all different things, the 4 yrs old decided to call me "meme" and the 11 asked what he should call me and i told him what ever he wished to. Sometimes i get my name, sometimes i get meme and other times i get mom... i respond to it all - what they call you is not as important and they way they treat you and love you...i am lucky to have two kids in my life that are sweet, kind and open and have accepted me with open arms.
 
 


Kitty C.

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #15 on: Jul 21, 2011, 10:53:25 AM »
I agree that kids should be allowed to call a step-parent what they want, but at what risk?  When SS was little, he would be physically punished if something happened while he was with us that BM hated.  And one time while I was washing our ambulance, SS and SF pulled up alongside at the storage units next door.  To be cordial, I said hi to SS and told him we were looking forward to seeing him the next weekend.  That's it...nothing else.  Innocent, right?  That next weekend, SS told us HE got punished because I 'talked to him when it wasn't our time with him'.......IOW, he got a spanking.
 
So unfortunately SS learned VERY early to tread lightly for fear of what BM would do or say...he was learning this at 5 y.o.  He learned VERY quickly that calling me anything other than my first name was a huge no-no.  Some parents will blow a gasket if they find out their child is calling a step-parent Mom/Dad.  Given all that kids go through with having a split family, I wish it were okay to just allow them to use whatever title is comfortable to them, but often that's not the case.  My recommendation would be to gauge how easy-going/volatile the CP is and act accordingly, even if that means telling the child they need to use another title for the step-parent.  There's plenty of other high profile issues that the kids might get caught in the middle of..........this issue shouldn't be one of them.  Another case of 'pick your battles'.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

twistedtmama

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #16 on: Jul 22, 2011, 12:23:18 PM »
yeah but bio dad never comes to see his son about twice a year, and he lives an hr from us. I would not force my son to call bio dad. Daddy when he doesn't even know him. Would you call someone dad just because it is the dad even if you didn't know them?

MixedBag

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #17 on: Jul 22, 2011, 04:06:18 PM »
Because when you look at it from the child's point of view -- That's STILL Dad.....maybe a horrible dad, but that's still DAD.
 
 

twistedtmama

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #18 on: Jul 22, 2011, 05:21:24 PM »
I am not going to force my son to call his bio dad just because he is the dad he never sees him. Any guy can have a kid doesn't make you a dad. If he wants the dad title maybe he should actually be a dad.

Kitty C.

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Re: what are step parents called?
« Reply #19 on: Jul 22, 2011, 08:16:31 PM »
Then you will reap what you sow.  You are NOT looking at this from the perspective of the child, only yourself.
 
'Any guy can have a kid doesn't make you a dad. If he wants the dad title maybe he should actually be a dad.'
 
That is only your opinion.  The child is only a toddler and does NOT think like an adult....he cannot perceive the difference.
 
Years ago, I swore up and down I would NOT force DS on a plane to see his father.  DS was only 7-8 and kept asking why Daddy wouldn't come to see him, then he started saying if Daddy doesn't come to see him, he won't go see Daddy.  It angered me and I vowed then and there that I would not force DS to get on a plane.  But since he only went to see his dad every summer and EO X-mas, once my anger subsided, I realized that he still needed to see his dad, no matter what.  So leading up to his flights, I would play it up to him, reminding him what fun the plane trip is and how much fun he has with family in CA.  And by the time he had to leave, he was really excited to go.
 
DS's dad died of cancer when DS was 13....he's now 22.  As an adult, he knows now what his dad's 'flaws' were, but still loves him anyway, because regardless of all his flaws, DS still loved him with all his heart.   I could have very easily turned him against his dad, but I also realized that no matter how much I hated his dad, I loved DS more
 
It was DS's perception of the situation and HIS perception was guided by his parents.  If you guide your child's perception positively, he will respond positively.  How his father guides his perception is totally out of your hands.  But whatever you do now can have either positive or negative consequences in the future.....it's up to you to decide.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

 

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