What do SK's call you?

saxonsMarch 9, 2010

An interesting judgement in a case in an Australian court yesterday. I have linked a news article below.

What do you all think and how have you dealt with this issue? Or have you come to some amicable agreement?

I am curious as I am sure this would arise often.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stepmother title

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how interesting...it is bizarre to address such issue in court.

but saying that I don't think it is appropriate to train young child call other people mummy and daddy if in fact they aren't. It is easy to train young kids to call anybody anything, i think it is wrong to manipulate a young child this way. it would make me wonder what else dad will teach the child? (even if dad says he didn't teach her that, i am skeptical)

DD referred to her SM by her first name. I didn't remarry and didn't cohabitate so there was no one to call daddy but her actual dad. we both are fairly involved parents and DD would not call anyone else mom and dad on her own, on the other hand we got divorced she was 4, so it is possible she could be brainwashed if my ex was crazy LOL. well he is crazy just not to that degree. haha


    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:40AM
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My SS has ALWAYS called me by my first name.

Now this is interesting...but DD has a different situation. DH is *technically* her SF. But her bio-dad is not in the picture and never has been. Until DH and I got married, DD called DH by his first name, as well.

About 3 months after we got married, she just announced "I am going to call him Daddy now." And she just completely switched over. I have to admit, it was WEIRD at first. DH and I both felt *funny* about it, it just sounded soooo foreign. But it was TOTALLY HER IDEA. It honestly took ME a long while to get used to it. I'd still refer to him (to her) by his name. IE, I'd say "Go ask *John* if he can help you fix this" and she'd say "you mean Daddy!" LOL.

Now we've been married for coming up on 2 years, and it seems totally natural that she calls him Daddy. I can't really remember it another way.

But it took some getting used to.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:20AM
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SS and SD have always called me by my first name. They were already young adults when DH and I married.

SGKs also call me by my first name. At first I was a little uncomfortable with that as they are kids and I am a grown up. But I sure didn't want any variation of Grandma! So I've gotten used to the first name basis and it's ok.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:05AM
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When I married DH, my DD was a teenager~16. She called him by his first name but since turning 18, she often calls him dad; kinda flips back and forth. I think she enjoys the bond she is building with him and calling him dad is part of building that bond. She says he is more of a father to her than her real dad... of course he hasn't been a part of her life and I'm sure that makes it easier for her to want that relationship with DH.

When the kids were younger, they called exBF 'daddy' all the time. It wasn't a thought of "should they do that?" because it seemed natural. It wasn't encouraged or discouraged... I think kids want normalcy in their lives and if there is a mom & dad in the home (where they live), it is more natural to ignore the (step) titles and go with what feels right for the situation. Small/young kids are usually loving by nature and are probably more likely to use mom/dad with steps if nobody objects. With my exBF, his kids called me mommy until their maternal grandmother told them to stop. Their bio mother was not a part of their lives and their maternal grandmother did all she could to create a wedge in my relationship with them because she thought they would forget who their "REAL" mother is and therefore, she essentially deprived them of ANY mother.

Really, kids should be allowed to decide for themselves what to call the stepparent. That is a part of their bond and relationship with the person and it should not be encouraged or discouraged, just allowed to go the way it goes. It is a disservice to the child, when a parent discourages the child from things that the child could benefit from. That doesn't mean that I believe it's necessary to call the stepparent anything in particular, but if the child wants to or feels closer to the stepparent by doing it, how is that going to harm the child? It may hurt the bio parent's feelings or make them feel threatened (unnecessarily, in my opinion)... I admit I did not like my son calling his stepmom "Mama" but I never stopped him or made him feel bad about it... it was HIS relationship with her and I knew that I am his mom, I will always be his mom, and nothing can change that.

I will add that it's probably just as harmful to force a child to call a stepparent mommy or daddy... as it is to have a parent make a child stop, when they WANT to use the terms.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 1:42PM
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By my name.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 1:48PM
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They were 7 & 3 when we met, & it worked very well.

They knew, their mother knew, & I knew who their mother was;
nobody had to worry about what someone else overheard or any such nonsense.

"I don't think it is appropriate to train young child call other people mummy and daddy if in fact they aren't. It is easy to train young kids to call anybody anything, i think it is wrong to manipulate a young child this way"


When my brother was expecting his first child, he asked me what I wanted the little one to call me.

I must have blinked & gaped at him, because then he said,
"If you want them to call you "aunt", that's what it will be, but I was thinking they could call you "Sylvia".
You always called our aunts "Lily" & "Pansy" & "Tyra", & you always seemed to be very close to them."

& indeed he was right.

I think maybe using someone's first name makes us see that person as a whole person, someone who can be friend as well as "aunt" or "mom" or some other role.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:09PM
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forgot to say that dad & stepmom could have thought of some name or title for her that would not have upset the child's mother.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:11PM
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SS calls me by my name, but some of you may remember back when he kept insisting on calling me Auntie Ceph. DH and I were not keen on this, but it was because BM has "friend of the month" and would always want SS to call them Auntie So-and-so.

For a day or two after we got past the Auntie thing, he kept saying he should call me Mom, but I convinced him that Ceph was good.
The kid has enough confusion about who his parents are, we didn't need to add to it by calling me Mom too.

My brother's SS is two, has never met his biodad and likely never will. He calls my brother Dad.
My brother's DD is six. She has about 65-35 split between her BM's and my bro's house. When she speaks to or about my SIL, she calls her by name. When she talks to her stepbrother, she says "Your mom". When she draws pictures, she labels my SIL as "Mom". When referring to my bro and SIL, OR to her mom and stepdad, she just says "my parents" unless she needs to be specific for some reason.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:28PM
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DS calls DH by his first name and always has. When he talked about DH to people for the first few years, he called him "my mom's boyfriend", if he talked about him at all. After we started talking about marriage and moved in, he started talking about him as "my future stepdad". Now that we're married, he talks about him as "my stepdad". He says it's much easier now.

He calls X's GF by her first name, too. Once, X tried to tell me that if DS felt comfortable calling her "mom" that he would let him. I found that ridiculous at the time (and still do) seeing as X has EOW visitation. That means X's GF sees DS like 4 days a month (throw in sports and school functions). Not really a mom-type figure.

Now....SD....that's a whole 'nother story. DH and BM separated in 2000 and divorced in March of 2001, when SD was 5 (almost 6) years old. BM re-married in January 2002 and was pregnant by August 2002. They told SD she had to start calling the stepfather "Dad" so as not to confuse the new baby. That was it. She calls her SF "Dad" to this day. DH tried to stop it, but it didn't work. (That was just the beginning of the parental alienation, IMO). It wouldn't be so bad if BM wasn't poisioning SD against DH.

SD has always called me by my first name; I like it that way.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:31PM
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"They told SD she had to start calling the stepfather "Dad" so as not to confuse the new baby."

They tried the exact same thing with me when I was a kid, it was a no go.

I think it's one thing if there is a missing spot and the kids WANT to. But it's another thing if there are both spots filled and even if the kids wants to, I just think it's a really bad idea. Whats the point of purposely hurting the other parent? Unless they just don't care. But if they do care and the other side pushes it, I think it's a really short sighted move for the co parenting relationship.

There's another stepfamily forum I read occasionally where they encourage the stepparent to make up their own nickname for themselves and then have the kid call them that. I just think it is beyond silly and really, it's all about the stepparent and their ego at that point. (unless it's a nickname the kid naturally goes to) But really, a grown adult saying hey, kid...you must now call me Stinkyboo cause I married your Mom! Just downright silly.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:52PM
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I showed a house to a couple-husband, wife, wife's 11-year-old son by previous marriage-last week-end;

the son was cute as a bug, just getting that adolescent male cockiness & "strut".

cute as he could be, but he was a handful.

He called his mom's new husband "Steve", but he treated Steve like that silverback male leader figure;
it was very nice to see.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:58PM
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I think in absence of a parent, it is understandable that kids would call someone else mom/dad. but when there are parents, what's the purpose of calling someone else mom/dad? for me these words have rather deep meaning. i can't imagine people being that mean as to tell their children to call someone else mom/dad, but apparently it gets done. stupid IMHO

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:58PM
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My SD calls me mom or mommy, and has off and on since we were awarded custody 10 years ago. She did this of her own choosing and against my suggestions, until I realized I didn't care what she called me and I wasn't going to make her cry and feel unwanted because her mother cared. In the past several years she has stopped calling me by my given name all together.
And yes, her mother gives her grief about it each times she sees/hears it. SD tells her that I'm more a mother than she has ever been, and I earned the title.
I love that she has finally found her voice.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:37AM
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I'm trying to think back what my DS33 called DH at the beginning. He's called DH 'dad' for years as it's the only father he's ever had in his life. DS called DH whatever by his own choosing. I know it it was 'dad' shortly and part of that may have been because when I and DS lived with my parents 'dad' of course is what DS heard me call my dad.

My SS called me various thing to begin. Mostly my nickname. He never really had a bio-mom in his picture either. She wanted nothing to do at birth and my DH and SS lived in the over garage apartment at DH's parents for years. The mother figure in SS's young childhood was his grandma, who he called 'grandma'. He was 9-ish when I came along.

SS calls me 'mom'. Sometimes he intros me as 'my mom' and other times 'this is my stepmom'. After his grandma died I was the only 'mom' figure he has left and we've always had a good relationship. I think it helped that he never saw or even thought that my own son or he were any different or treated differently than the kids my DH and I had together.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:43AM
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My stepkids called me by my first name when dh and I dated. Around the time we were planning our wedding my skids bm started her disappearing acts and moving around to who knows where. One day my sd's approached me at dinner and said that since I do all the mom stuff would it be okay if they call me mom. I told them they could call me whatever they wanted, mom or my first name. AFterwards I talked to dh and told him I was a little uncomfortable with it because they had a mom. He said that the kids feelings were more important than their bm's, and if i was okay with it why not allow the girls to call me what they wanted. So I agreed and eventually got used to it. SS just followed his older sisters and began calling me mom. I know their bm disliked this and had a hard time with it, but my feeling is if she was bigger presence in their lives they may not have chose to call me mom.

Thinking back I really think they did it to have a sense of normalcy. After we got married we moved to the area we live in now and most of the kids friends don't even know that I am really their sm. One of my sd's told me that is on purpose because they are embarassed by their mother and her actions.

On the flip side my son calls my dh by his first name. He has always had his dad in the picture though.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:32AM
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My young SS bounces back and forth between my name and Mom. It was his idea to call me Mom; he announced the evening of our wedding that that was what he was going to call me. I told him that he could call me whatever pleased him, and it's about 50-50 of my name/Mom.

He very rarely sees his BM, and when he does he is pretty much ignored; he hasn't lived with her since he was an infant, he said that she is Mommy and I am Mom. He realizes that she is his mother but informed my DH and me that he had chosen to call me Mom because I was his "real Mom", because I do all of the Mom stuff with him. His words.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:36PM
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