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calling the step parent mom/ dad...

Posted by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 8:15 AM
  • 83 Replies
I see a lot of posts in here where the the child should always call the Bio mom, mom. Dosent matter if she was absent for years and the child dosent remember her.
What about stepdad? And Bio dad? If the dad is absent for several years and the child begins calling stepdad dad, should that change because the dad is now back? Same goes for sm.
Should a parent always be called as such or is that title earned by being a parent?
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 8:15 AM
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by Krystal on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:02 AM
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 I personally think it depends on each individual situation. Obviously, in families where both bio parents are actively involved in the child's life, they should be the only ones called Mom and Dad.

by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:22 AM

 I think it depends on each situation and each parents preference. Some people wouldn't think twice some are ok with each their own.

Me personally, I was a single parent home and dad was absent. I occassionally call my smom "mom" (haven't to her face yet). My brother calls both our smom and our dad by their first names cause dad is hardley a "dad".

My sd asked to call me mom from day one, bm is on board with it, ss goes between my name and mom and dd goes between calling dh his name and dad.

by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:24 AM
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Depends on why she was absent for years, and how many years. And how "absent" (some people consider an EOWE parent to be "absent").

by Silver Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM
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There are too many details that are individual to each case to make one blanket statement about what should or shouldn't be done. 

Happily Married | BM to DD13  DD13  DD12 | Mom to DS7 & DS4 | CP | Not a SM

by Gold Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 10:54 AM
I'm on the fence with it.

I was a COD and I called my SF dad. His kids called him dad. My younger sister (his daughter) called him dad. I felt left out, because the 'dad' wasn't mine. I think if it makes kids feel more comfortable and secure (especially if they other siblings) it's fine. Now - if the stepparent pushes the kid to call them mom or dad, that's not okay.

Our problem is that BM insists on SS calling SF dad. DH told her that he did not like that and was not okay with it. BM doesn't care. She flipped her lid when SS referred to me as his 'other mom' (he calls me by my first name), but she demands that SS call SF by dad and calls DH by his first name.
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM
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It isn't a title earned or bestowed upon someone, IMO.  I teach my kids that you get the parents you were given and you deal.  There are no replacements. 

by Gold Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

If the BP is present at all or there's even the slightest chance they'll re-enter the picture, I think it's best to stick with first names for the SP.  This doesn't mean that the kid can't or won't consider the SM to be like a real mom or SF to be like a real dad, but it does alleviate some of the pull between SM/BM or SF/BD. 

There is almost always loyalty to the BP, regardless of how good or bad, uninvolved or absent they are.  If they show up waving their BP flag with a mindset to enforce SP as a non-entity, you have a kid in the middle who may feel like they have to hurt one to please the other.  There's really no reason for this.  Relationships and titles are separate things.  You don't need to be called mom/dad to have a good relationship with a SK.  A BP who is insecure in his or her role or who feels threatened - which is often the case with an absent BP attempting to return to the kids' lives - that title can be very, very precious.  It does not hurt the SP to let the BP have it, but it very well might hurt the SP to fight for it.

by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Depends on the family. In my family my exdh is dad to 2 children that are not his. I believe if both parents are involved in the childs life the step parent should only be mom or dad when the child is old enough to make that call on their own. I never felt my stepmother was a mother figure. So she was always just her name

by Bronze Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I would never have his kids call me mom.

They have an active mom in their lives.

The only way i see it being ok is if the kids were small and young and the SP has been in their lives for yrs and the bio parents wasnt AT ALL. 

by Platinum Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Like others have said, it depends on the situation and those involved.

For me, I should be the only mom in my kids lives.  I have the boys at least 85% of the time and half of the time BF sees the boys, SM isn't around.  Yet, from the beginning, because SM would get her feelings hurt, she and BF insisted that the boys call her mom as well.  I argued it with BF. He admitted, if I remarried that he'd be devistated if I allowed the boys to call anyone else dad, but, this was 'different' because SMs feelings were hurt when the boys forgot to call her mom (called her by her first name, the name that was good enough while BF and SM were 'just friends', until they married), but apparently my having my feelings hurt didn't count for anything.  I argued it until the boys started getting into trouble and being punished at BFs home for not calling SM mom.  I let it go so they didn't feel pulled in either direction.  Now?  7+ years later, ODS will avoid talking to SM so he doesn't have to call her anything and YDS calls me many other names, because he wants me to be special and if SM insists on mom, he'll call her that (but he also tries not to talk to her at all) and then he chooses 'better' names for me.  Do I like that more?  Hell no.  I can't stand it. BUT, it's about my kids, not me, and not SM.  By doing this my kids don't feel pulled so I have learned to live with it. 

While the 'evil' side of me would love to be remarried and have the boys WANT to call my new DH 'dad', at this point it won't happen, but I can still dream... ;)  (I'd just like BF to know how it feels, to be hurt by it a great deal, and have his ex say 'too bad, get over yourself, you don't count anymore')  Fortunately those 'evil' thoughts don't pop up too much anymore.  :) 

Then there's my boss.  His kids grew up calling their mom and dad by their first names.  They are an intact family (been married for nearly 50 years now, maybe just over that), but they were both children of the 60s, and didn't want the 'label' of mom or dad, so their kids call them by their first names, and the grandchildren do the same, though they have learned to 'embrace' the grandma/nini and grandpa/papa before their first names from the grandkids.... They didn't want the 'titles' but the kids insisted so that's what they are. 

As for the absent parent, like others mentioned, it depends on how 'absent' a parent is, and who defines that absence.  For some it's EOWend parents who are 'absent'.  For others it's those who are LD and only get limited visits during the summer.  For still others it's those who haven't seen or spoken to the child in years.  Yet, unless there is an adoption, a signing away of rights, that biological parent can still be mom or dad, imo anyway.  But, again, it depends on the circumstances.  Some do not care what they're called.  Some do. 

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