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QUESTION: Is It Unreasonable to Ask My Stepdaughter to Call Her Stepdad By His Real Name?
“I have been with my husband for six years. He had a daughter from a previous marriage that was 2.5 when we started dating. His ex-wife has been with her spouse the same amount of time. They live several states away from us, so we only see SD 8 weeks in the summer and alternating holidays.
Her mother has two other children at home (1 and 3), and we have a 2.5-year-old here. Stepdaughter has started calling her stepdad Dad/daddy at the encouragement of her mom and Stepdad. She says they told her she needed to call him dad or daddy, so the younger siblings don’t get confused when she calls him by his real name. But here, she calls me by my first name.
Of course, my 2.5 calls me by my first name every now and then from listening to her but I would never want my SD to call me mom/mommy just because I told her to. Is this something we should just deal with? Is it unreasonable to ask her to call her Stepdad by his actual name when she is here?
Obviously, we understand she’s with him the majority of the time but she’s said more than once that he’s not even nice to her. We aren’t huge fans of him either – he’s just not a nice person. I just feel bad for my husband. He Facetimes her every day when she’s away and she answers maybe once a week if he’s lucky. That’s a whole issue in itself we’ve been trying to address.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
My stepson is forced to call his real dad by his actual name at his mom’s house and his stepdad ‘dad.’ We don’t correct him here when he gets confused. We don’t want to make it harder on him than what it already is. He knows who his dad is and that’s what matters.”
“The child should choose what to call whoever… it shouldn’t be forced on her to call someone dad….”
“My daughter (biological) has me and my husband and she calls us mom and dad. My ex-husband is now married to a great person, my daughter calls them mom and dad. You don’t have to have just one set of parents. The more love, the better.”
“I have a stepson. I started dating his father when he was 2½… he called me by my first name. I never asked him to call me anything else. He is now 9 and I have 2 daughters (age 5 and 2) with his father. They call me mom and whenever they would ask why he called me Amanda instead of mom I would tell them because he came out of a different mommy’s belly. They never questioned it. Around 6/7 years old he asked me if he could call me mom. I told him to make sure it was ok with his mom first because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. So now sometimes he calls me Amanda and sometimes he calls me mom.”
“Just tell her to refer to her step father however she likes. Whether she wants to call him dad or by his name. At your house you dont care. Don’t force her to go one way or the other otherwise you’re just as bad as them.”
“Yeah not your choice. And you don’t have a right to ask. That’s what she’s comfortable with. You not being comfortable with it is not her problem.”
“Did y’all read the whole thing? they coached her to call him dad, she didn’t make that choice on her own. you shouldn’t take a hard stance either way, just sit down and have a talk with her about the fact that she should not feel obligated to call him that if she doesn’t want to (this conversation should include bio dad at the very least or just be him by himself). if she comes back next time and says she was punished or chastised for not calling him dad, then he should address that too.”
“It’s just as unreasonable for you to tell her to call him by his first name, as it is being told to call him dad. She isn’t property and her feelings should matter, let her do what’s comfortable for her. Y’all are adults… if you’re uncomfortable with it, I’m sure you’ll find a way to manage.”
“Unreasonable. She is an individual human being. Despite what you may think or how things MAY appear, maybe she is comfortable calling him that and it isn’t your place to tell her what she can or cannot call her step dad. I called my step mom by her name only.”
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