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Influences from Others.....

Posted by on Aug. 18, 2012 at 8:55 AM
  • 150 Replies

Hi all, I decided to post this problem in this particular group because, for the most part, she is a positive child. But sometimes, my 7 year old daughter is easily influenced, which I'm sure most are. The problem is, she's influenced by people who should be helping her grow. Let me explain....

Her father and I have never been together. I got pregnant at 19 and had this beautiful bundle of joy. He was abusive, and I admit I tried keeping him out of her life. After court visits, paternity tests, and a little self reflection and growth, I came around and he got visits and what not. It hasn't been the easiest 7 years, but lots of things have changed. I met an amazing man. We are expecting a child at the end of this month and plan on getting married. We moved in with him 2 years ago when my daughter was starting school.

All this probably sounds great!! The problem comes in with the fact that she started calling my boyfriend Dad. Her real father causes a huge stink. He tells his daughter its wrong and makes her feel awful. Then she comes home with an attitude towards us. We never asked her to call him dad, she picked it up on her own. Her father is in and out of jobs, is behind on his child support and goes weeks without calling her. But he makes us out to be the bad guys. I was thinking of counseling for my daughter, but I'm so confused. Should we be telling her not to call him dad?? He provides everything for her. We don't speak a word of bad about her father to her, and I'm sick of him filling her head with this. Her father went so far as to tell her how I tried to keep him away from her. I have tried talking to him, with no avail. Any advise??

by on Aug. 18, 2012 at 8:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
LilyBeansMom
by on Aug. 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM
20 moms liked this
I think if she feels that calling him Dad is right for her, then it is. I really like the fact that you have managed to never talk negatively to her about her bio-dad. That is healthiest for her and will serve you well in the long run. If you have tried to talk to him and she is clearly too young to understand if you were to try to explain things to her, then counseling sounds very smart. That way she has an objective 3rd party to confide in who can help her sort things out. I have a 7 year old daughter myself. I am betting she already understands more than you think and her attitude reflects her struggle to mesh both parts of her life. Good luck to you!
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sweetlyblissful
by on Aug. 19, 2012 at 2:10 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree with this. Good luck!

Quoting LilyBeansMom:

I think if she feels that calling him Dad is right for her, then it is. I really like the fact that you have managed to never talk negatively to her about her bio-dad. That is healthiest for her and will serve you well in the long run. If you have tried to talk to him and she is clearly too young to understand if you were to try to explain things to her, then counseling sounds very smart. That way she has an objective 3rd party to confide in who can help her sort things out. I have a 7 year old daughter myself. I am betting she already understands more than you think and her attitude reflects her struggle to mesh both parts of her life. Good luck to you!
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fit4mommy
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM
18 moms liked this

I have a simiar situation. My 3 year old & I have lived with my soon-to-be husband for over a year now. Her bio-dad has NEVER paid child support, is barely around (I think he saw her once or twice this summer) My fiance provides everything for Ava. He is there for her everyday loving her, taking care of her, keeping a roof over her head & giving her everything she needs...being a DAD! She has been calling him Daddy for quite some time now & her bio-dad has a huge problem with it. But you know what.... "Dad" is a title that is earned & children should be allowed to make the decision that is right for them.

LucyHarper
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM
2 moms liked this

At her age, I think she should be able to choose, but I would still stress to her to call her dad dad as well. But dont do anything else to confuse things even more and keep him out of her life. My best friends six year old daughter is my husbands goddaughter. Her "father" never had anything to do with her and never will, sometimes she likes to call my husband daddy, she knows he isn't and will never be, but hes like a father to her and she just does it for fun sometimes, to fit in and see what its like to call someone "dad." Its confused the heck out of some strangers to see her call him daddy (hes white and shes black). Theres more to being a dad then genetics.

jenesis915
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:48 AM
1 mom liked this

if she wants to call him dad let her you need to have a serious talk with her father thoug i call my step dad dad all the time and iw as young when i started as well after a good talking with my dad as a group myself my dad and mom my dad came to a better understanding he looked hurt but he accepted it. try to talk to him together it might help


edit but i agree with other people like i said it hurt him so try to be gentel although hes not the best dad hes her dad and he loves her its gana hurt period

kailu1835
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:48 AM
1 mom liked this

 She should call him what makes her feel comfortable.  If your boyfriend is a better father, I can absolutely understand why she would call him dad.  Tell your ex to butt out.  If your ex is emotionally abusive towards your daughter, get her in counciling, make a record, and then go for exclusive custody.

Armymom134
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:50 AM
2 moms liked this

 Speaking from DH's experience with this issue, if you could put yourself in his shoes and imagine your DD calling another woman mom, I'm sure it would come as a shock to you and even with the child support issues and irregular visitation, he still loves her and I'm sure it cut him to the bone when she called your BF, not husband but boyfriend, dad. Honestly if it causes that many problems I would advise your DD not to call your BF dad in front of her Bio-dad if it means that much to her to call him dad.

I know how much it hurt DH when his children called their SF dad, because that man is not their father, they have a father. I could see so much anger in DH's ex's eyes when those kids called me mom in front of her, it hurt her, so atleast she got a taste of how it feels for DH. Just sayin you should really think about this.

HouseKatof2
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 1:07 AM
5 moms liked this

My daughter, now 14, went through this with her bio-dad too. She began to call my husband, her step-dad, "daddy" years ago. Her bio-dad would get very upset and tell her that he was her only dad. 

The way my husband and I handled it was to simply remind her that she can call her step-dad anything that she wanted. If she wanted to call him by his first name, that was fine. If she wanted to call him "daddy", that was fine. If she wanted help coming up with a nick name that was exclusive to him, we would work on it together. She made the choice to continue to call him "daddy", and it made her much stronger & more confident because she knew it was her decision. The next time her bio-dad tried to object she flat out told him that it was her choice and he would have to learn to accept it. 

Like with your daughter, my husband has been the one to fill the roll of a father for my kids. There were things that my ex-husband did that caused some major damage to his relationship with our kids. While the kids have forgiven him & moved on, there isn't much more than a superficial relationship between them and their bio-dad. He is fun to hang out with, but they don't look to him for any kind of parental support or influence.

My son, now 17, also calls my husband "dad' or "daddy. For a long time he managed to keep the two relationships separate and call my husband by his first name when their bio-dad was around. Now that he is older he doesn't really care what their bio-dad thinks either. 

To my ex-husband's credit, in the last few years he has gotten some intensive mental help, been diagnosed as severely bipolar, gotten on medication & has come to terms with the reality that he doesn't really fill the father role for the kids.   

Avarah
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 1:08 AM
6 moms liked this

Your daughter's father's work history isn't relevent. How often he pays child support isn't relevent, unless you feel he should pay for the right to be called "dad."

I absolutely think that it's worse for kids to not understand everyone's roles, and roles are created by title in a family.  I promise that if she started calling your ex's new girlfriend "mommy" you wouldn't care for it. You may not respect the man, but you should respect his right to own the daddy role in your daughter's life.

How about you come up with a different name for her to call your boyfriend? Maybe some kind of cutesy version of his name, or "daddy" in another language. 

AnakaAlisyn
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 1:18 AM
2 moms liked this

I know someone who had this same situation.  Biodad would tell the daughter that her step dad wasn't her real dad.  She just nodded very matter-of-fact like and said she knew.  He would tell her not to call him dad and she would just say okay.  Then when she would get home she just couldn't help but call her step dad "dad" because really that was the roll he had in her life.  I think her mom told her she could call everyone whatever name she wanted.  

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