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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
Replies (111-120):
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I have a very similar situation. I had my daughter by my ex at 19 & he was in & out of the picture. Never provided any support so when she was 2, I met a great guy & she started calling him dad as well. It was never forced, just something that occurred naturally. I mean he was always there for her, watched her when I was working, went to all of her games..a father!! Something my ex should have been doing. I had my 2nd daughter with my BF at 25. My ex doesnt like the fact that she calls my BF dad but what can he expect? Hes not a dad. Just biological. I dont bad mouth him & have nvr held her hostage & i even went to court to get sole custody of her & gave my ex every other weekend & he still doesn't bother to be apart of her life. He swears I bad mouth him to her but that's hardly the case. He only sees her once a yr & she's turning 11 next month & so my BF & I have been together for 9 yrs & he's truly a great father. So as long as you know this is the man for you then it's totally fine with her calling him dad. Apparently he's been filling in those shoes & she knows that he supports her & is there for her!
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by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:32 PM

My ex-husband and I split up  when my dd was 5 and ds was just over 1 1/2. We divorced  10 months later. My ex remarried 3 moths later, and I remarried about 4 months after he did. My kids called my husband "Daddy Erick" and their step-mom "Momma Ruthie". I don't remember when it happened, but eventioaly my kids dropped my hubby's name and their step-mom's name. When they are talking about their step-dad to their dad, they always refer to him as their step-dad, and when they talk about my ex's wife, it's "my step-mom".

When my ex and I split, my hubby steped in has always loved them as if they are his childern., and he'd do anything for them. He doesn't even refer to them as his step-children. It's always "my daughter" or "my son". I can say that he's always been there and been more of a dad their than real father. It was really hard on my dd because she was always a Daddy's Girl. She'll be 12 tomorrow, and she will tell you that she's blessed to have two dads, two moms, and 4 sets of Grandparents.

I don't always see eye to eye with my ex, but I do my best not belittle their dad in front of them, but with the age my dd is, she's starting to see that he's not exactly what she thought he was.

by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM
My BF calls his step father Dad. His bio father he calls by his first name because he was very rarely in his life. His step father is the one that raise him.

Sounds like your ex wants the title without the time or effort. Counseling would probably help. So would taking him out of her life until he can act like a father.
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by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM
If the shoe fits, wear it:] Luckily she has two dads who love her and want to be in her life
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by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:47 PM

 I think instead of sending your daughter to counseling that perhaps you and her father should see a special therapist (family) to get some advice on the situation.

Hope it gets all worked out!!!!!

by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:56 PM

My daughter is 7 years old as well. Me and my DH got together when she was 4 months and were married when she was 10 months. I was with her bio dad for 2 years. I got pregnant and he vanished. He didn't come back into her life until she was 6 years old when the court granted him supervised visitaions. He has never had a problem with her calling DH dad and he accepts the fact that he has taken care of pretty much her whole life. But we did put her in counseling to help her adjust to the transition. I think it would be a great idea to get her into counseling.

by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:56 PM

I think she should call him whatever she feels comfortable.  So her bio dad is uncomfortable?  Deal.  He is the adult and any compromises should be made by the adult.  I can't imagine how it would feel but if I was the bio mom in this Dad's postion my FIRST priority would be my child's emotional being - not my own personal feelings.  Unless she is refusing to call him "Dad" as well, I don't see the conflict.  I'm guessing that you guys aren't all hanging out together and her time with her bio dad is separate.  

I WOULD explain to her that her bio dad's feelings might be hurt if she uses that terminology to refer to your boyfriend as "dad" while she is around him.  If she is mature enough, you could always encourage her to simply avoid that reference.  In your own home, she only has to abide by your rules - not her bio dad's . . .

That said, my brother dated many women (each one exclusively before they broke up) and many of their children called him Dad.  His bio daughter called each new girlfriend "Mom" which might have at some point been confusing but she is grown now and seems fine.  

by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Sounds like you have a handfull for an ex.  I called my step-dad "Dad".  I think if your ex was thinking about things like you were, concerned about doing the right thing, then this wouldn't be a problem at all.  I would tell her that she is allowed to call him whatever she feels comfortable calling him.  He's been helping to raise her and is "dadding" her so she shouldn't have to feel guilty to call him Dad.  Your ex should have worried about this years ago when he was being abusive.  Actions have consequences.

by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Any man can father a child, but the ones that step up, his child or not, are the ones that deserve the title of Dad, and Daddy. Tell your daughter that its ok around home to call him dad. She shouldn't be afraid to do that. 

I used to call my step-dad Dad growing up because my brother would end up calling him by his name because of me. I influenced him as an older sibling. If her "sperm donor" has an issue, then maybe he should step up and be her dad, not a condescending arse. 

If he is causing these issues with her, then you, as her custodial parent, need to contact the courts and remove his visitations. I don't know what state you live in, but in Ohio, just because you pay child support, does not mean you get visits, not to mention what he is doing, is morally wrong. He does not need to have anymore unsupervised contact with her speaking like that.

by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM

I went through something similar with my DD and my now husband (then he was my bf). She would slip up and call him Daddy here and there. She would then correct herself. I suppose she thought someone would get mad if she called him daddy. So what we did was just sit down and explain to her. That she knows who her biological father is, but if she wants to call my DH Daddy or in this case Daddy Charles (thats what she calls him for the most she still calls him daddy here and there because we have a 6 month old son together, so she hears us refer to each other as mommy and daddy), but that she didn't have to if she didn't want to. I know that her real dad may not be helping with the situation. But If he continously causes her issues, he will enventually try to turn her on you two permanently. She doesn't need such a complexity. Some people just cant nor wont change. But in this situation you need to look at what's best for her. If he isn't consistent in her life, and isn't paying child support and lacking being in her life. Then why allow it? I know that she deserves to know her father and be around him. Just as I know it's a hard decision to make. But maybe until he can straighten himself out to where he's consistent in her life, then let her see him. Mainly, do what you think is best for her. If she wants to call your BF dad and he doesn't mind, and neither do you. then let her. Just explain to her.

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