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Is it creating a "dangerous" environment for a step child to call their step parent mom or dad?

My 22 m. old step daughter calls me mommy. She has since way back before she turned a year. We used to have her call me "Samm" *which is my name* however she went back to bm's saying nothing but Samm. She wanted Samm. so every time she said "Samm" her mom would slap her hand and say "NO. Mommy, I'm Mommy". So from that my step daughter learned to call me Mommy. She clearly distinguishes between her mother and I because last friday when we picked her up as my step daughter reached for her father's arms she looks at her mother and goes "mumma, that's my mommy" and pointed 2me in the car. Her mother's yelling at us telling us we're forcing her to call me that & that we're creating a dangerous environment for step daughter to be in. So just curious what are you opinions on that? I could see "confusing" but my step daughter pointed out showing she knows difference. And being a step child myself I grew up calling my step dad-dad

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Asked by AMaesmama at 11:39 AM on Apr. 19, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (9)
  • Sounds to me like her mom is just insecure.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:48 AM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Watch out. If Mom wants to make legal trouble over this she can. Your DH could find himself in a bad situation. It is concidered parental interference. Neither parent is allowed to usurp the other parent's role in the child's life. That includes allowing the child to call step-mom any variation of mom.

    If she's the type to make trouble like that you've GOT to find a way to teach the child to stop. For your families sake. It doesn't matter if you and your DH thinks it's okay. If mom says no way, you *must* respect that. If you don't it could, eventually, lead to dad losing visitation and/or any joint custody he has.

    Dangerous to the child, no. She's clear on the situation and is expressing love. Dangerous to Dad's position? Absolutely.

    Answer by desert_diva at 12:00 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • What is dangerous? Is she going to punish her for calling you mommy??
    I don't think she is confused by it, like you said, she calls you different things.
    I agree witht he pp, she is just insecure.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 12:02 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • I'm sorry, I haven't ever heard of a judge taking custody away because a child calls the step parent mom or dad... Our boys choose to call my Hubby DAD, and he's their step-dad.. We don't say anything, it's up to them,it's what they're comfortable with. They love him and I'm not going to change how they feel because of an insecure adult. My boys biofather throws fits over the silliest things, I tell him if he doesn't like something then get an attorney and put it before a judge... I would love to show a judge what a positive influence he is, and how unstable he is....
    So don't stress, just don't make an issue of it in front of your (step) daughter. Let the Mom deal with it.. She can't do anything to you or Hubby...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:29 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Yeah, she can. I've spent hour after hour researching this stuff because I have an ex that's an idiot and wants nothing more than to get custody of our daughter and play 'happily ever after' with his new wife. With enough proof it most certainly is grounds for mom to file for, and win, full legal and physical custody of the child.

    First time it's brought to court, dad would get a stern talking to and be put on notice that he is to stop the behavior. The more times it goes before a judge the worse thing will get for him and his new wife. Including a restraining order that would force the wife to leave the home when the child is there for visitation, and evenutal loss of custody/visitation.

    Your ex is not his ex. She may very well be vindictive enough to drag them through that.

    Answer by desert_diva at 1:37 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • I just don't understand how it's possible 4her 2cause trouble over it. she's the one that taught my sd 2call me that.. any time after we did try 2correct her.. because at first it upset me. I felt like maybe she was only calling me mom cuz she missed her mom *which is understandable... but still hurt inside if u can understand that* So we tried to get sd to say my name again...however she just wouldnt or she come out w/ C*** or B**** or the likes -her mom taught her 2call me those as well.. now that she's fully distinguishing a differnce between me and bm I dont mind her calling me "mommy" like I said since bm is the one that taught her how can she cause problems for dh? but yes she's the vindictive type. we've been going thru nothing but problems w/bm even a 4month period she took off every time we were supposed 2pick sd up. we get 2see her 4days a month. and it's nothing but hassles and harassments

    Answer by AMaesmama at 2:10 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • My step kids were a bit older when I came along - they were 3 and 5 - and at first, I was "miss Katy," which moved onto "Mama-Katy." I have told them, with their fathers help (of course) that they have two moms - one that lives with them, and one who doesn't - but we both love them very much. We even assured them they are lucky to have two moms when most only have just one. They fully understand that they came out of their BM's tummy, and so on, and now I'm "Mama" and their birth mom is "mommy." (The children stay with us full time though, even though the biological mother has partial custody still.)

    I don't think (with as young as your step daughter is) that any judge will look at what she calls you. The child doesn't grasp that yet at that age. And as for the mom - she should be happy that you are there in the childs life to love them and help take care of them. I think she is insecure.

    Answer by katygirl83 at 8:48 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Oh plz Desert Diva. Sounds like you're just mad at your own situation. But, every step mom that comes along doesnt want to replace the mom. My step son calls me Mommy and has since the get because that was what he chose and everybody involved in family court knows it. He told his lawyer that he has two mommies! No judge in the world will condsider it parental alienation just because a child feels more comfortable calling their step mother mom or step father dad. Try talking from real life experience Diva and not from "hour after hour" of research online. Good luck trying to get your ex's visitation away, but if your lawyer is giving you this information you really need to find a new one!!!!

    Girl, you know she's a crazy so don't even pay her any mind! And if she keeps hitting A for calling you that call CPS!!!
    P.S.-sry i havent gotten back to you in a pm yet, but I will just been busy

    Answer by MiSSHiSCAMP0S at 10:30 AM on Jun. 24, 2009

  • I have 2 step kids when I moved in they were 15 and 11. The younger one never calls or has ever called me Mom. The older one always calls me Mom. It doesn't bother me but she calls everyone Mom. She is now 22 and pregnant and the other is almost 18. The 18 yr old lives with her mom but comes to visit once a year and the 22 year old lives near us but is a total mess. She calls everyone Mom though.

    Answer by TigerBaby69 at 11:30 AM on Jul. 22, 2009

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