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??
August 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I have no advice but here is a hug for you!
by daerca574August 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM
counseling sounds like a good idea, not just for your daughter, but for all involved with her upbringing.
by elasmimiAugust 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM
Keep doing what you are doing. Tell her it is up to her what to call you bf, that he will still love her no matter what she calls him. When she is older, she will see right through her bio dad. Counseling never hurts, either.
by tessaadaraAugust 26, 2012 at 3:07 PMI would sit down with just her and have an open heart to heart talk with her explaining from all points of view(the best you can)how this is affecting each person. they I would let her make her own decision as to who she wants to call "dad". empower her, not only to make her own choices but to believe in them and to stand up for them in any situation.
by tnnikkijAugust 26, 2012 at 4:18 PMI did the same thing @4 I asked my moms husband if he was the new baby's daddy (my 1/2 brother) if I could call him daddy. They said yes.
It probably has Alot to do with the new baby. My BFF little girl had her bio dad in her life. When mom was due to have baby with new hubby, she started calling stepdad daddy too.
Explain to her it's ok to have two dads who love her & want the world for her. Maybe she could call them
"daddy (insert bio dad name)"
"daddy (insert step dad name )"
That might make things less confusing.
Beware if bio dad remarries he's very likely to make her call SMom mommy. I've seen men do this to moms who've lost that battle b/c they allowed the children to call SDad daddy.
by aneelaAugust 29, 2012 at 11:55 AM
i cant tell you what to do....but i think since her bio dad still has some role in her life ...for all intents and purposes....he is still her dad...
i think its great she has another man in her life who also treats her with respect and is kind to her....but i have no clue what she should or should not call him...
i hope you all work it out and wish you all the best
by amy7243August 29, 2012 at 5:45 PM
I hope it gets better, good luck!
by CarolynC71September 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM
I have a 39 year old step brother who calls my father Dad. His father is not around much. I don't think he has seen much of him at all over the past few years. My step brother's daughter doesn't even know her biological grandfather. She knows my Dad. His mother and my father got married 15 years ago. He never even grew up with my Dad as his step father. I think it is whatever the child or in this case the adult child wants to call the step parent is appropriate. If her father is bothered by it point out that soon to be step father is the one there all the time. If he wants the title of Dad he needs to be one. And if he is bothered by the soon to be step father being called Dad maybe the two of you could talk and come up with an alternative name. Our oldest son actually calls his Dad (my husband) Pops. I don't know why he ever came up with that but that's how he refers to his father. Maybe find a nickname for Dad in another language that she can use.
by CarolynC71September 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Here are some suggestions
German - Vater
Italian - padre or papa (pronounced pappa)
Step Dad in Italian is passo papa
Not advice but a different perspective.
Suppose you were the one in your ex's shoes. Suppose your daughter lived with her biological father and had a new wife and your daughter called that woman "mom". How would you feel about that?
Nothing seems wrong about trying to keep an abusive person away from your child. But you also said you've done a lot of growing, and I'm hoping your daughter's father has, too. Apparently the courts don't find him abusive enough not to have parental rights.
His character otherwise, is not a condition that can take away the fact he's her real father. It would be different if she NEVER knew her father, and that father made no attempts to be in her life. The reality is, her real father made attempts to be in her life, and IS in her life, and she has known him as her father.
If you think you feel confused ---what about your daughter! I would keep my focus on her potential confusion. And here's where my advice comes...
Whether you like it or not, she sees her biological father. He doesn't like anyone else to have the "dad" title, and therefore, he make comments to your daughter about it. Not much you can do about what he says, he's her dad. But what you CAN do is suggest another name for your husband, that she can call him, where your ex won't be offended. You might not care about offending him, but if you offend him, he's only going to cause confusion for your daughter, so this is about HER. No one else.