WWYD nephew calling DH "dad"

(43 Posts)
PirateJones Thu 03-Apr-14 15:55:38

My nephew is 6, he has lived with me and DH for 2 years, in that time he normally calls us by our first names, recently, the last 2 weeks he has called my husband “DAD”. We occasionally talk about his mother and his past (who he hasn’t seen in 2 years) when he wants to, just so he knows who she is.
But he can’t remember his dad, who has been out of his life almost since the day he was born, so I can’t get photos out and show him, i can't tell him anything about him, so there no presents at all in his life.

I’m not sure DH is comfortable with it, we have never set out to replace his mum and dad, just to be his fmaily IYSWIM.
We have both just ignored it when its happened, What would you do in this situation?

Foxsticks Thu 03-Apr-14 15:59:53

Is he set to live with you forever pirate?

PirateJones Thu 03-Apr-14 16:12:36

Probably

YellowStripe Thu 03-Apr-14 16:13:42

I would imagine he is realising his classmates etc talk about Mum and Dad etc. I'm in a similar situation with DGS who sometimes calls his aunties "my sisters". He obviously knows they're not, but it's just to be fitting in with his peers.

PirateJones Thu 03-Apr-14 16:16:29

should i correct it?

Well to all intents & purposes your DH is his dad...

Why do you think DH isn't comfortable with it?

YellowStripe Thu 03-Apr-14 16:19:14

How does DH really feel about it? He is effectively being Dad isn't he, he isn't taking the role off any other present person. Have you asked DN about it? Could he call him Daddy [first name]?

callamia Thu 03-Apr-14 16:20:04

I feel for him. He probably wants a mum and dad, and it must be tough to go through childhood without someone to call that. I don't think it's inappropriate, but if you're not quite happy with it then maybe some kind of compromise? Do you have your own children who call you mum and dad?

I think you should talk to him about it & try to settle on names for him to call you & DH that all 3 of you are happy with

Are there other kids in your family?

callamia Thu 03-Apr-14 16:20:39

Ps. I wouldn't correct him - I think I'd let him lead.

CorporateRockWhore Thu 03-Apr-14 16:20:55

I think that's lovely, actually.

If that's what making him comfortable, I would go with it. He might want to fit in, he might just feel like you are his parents. Which, to all intents and purposes you are. You must be proud!

Foxsticks Thu 03-Apr-14 16:21:27

I guess your DH is a dad to him in every way but name. Maybe he has called him dad a couple of times to test the water and is looking for you to say its ok. I tried I would probably have a talk with him about it and understand if he is looking for an "official" dad. Would it cause issues with his mum if he called your dh dad?

horsetowater Thu 03-Apr-14 16:24:50

Who has parental responsibility?

LittleMissGerardButlersMinion Thu 03-Apr-14 16:25:41

I don't seem the harm personally, especially if he is likely to stay with you.

You have been honest about his past with him, if it really bothers you perhaps you could agree a name that is acceptable for you all, but he is a father figure to him, I actually think its sweet he wants to call him that.

You don't have to replace anyone by using a name, especially someone who has never been in his life.

OriginofSymmetry Thu 03-Apr-14 16:26:24

This is really tricky and you'll have to tread carefully to not cause your nephew a lot of upset. Have you had a discussion with your nephew about his mum? And have you and your dh talked about him being called dad? You and your dh need to be open with one another about how you're going to deal with this.

PirateJones Thu 03-Apr-14 16:28:30

How does DH really feel about it?
Why do you think DH isn't comfortable with it?

Because he has avoided the subject and has gone extremely quiet each time he's been called it.

Do you have your own children who call you mum and dad?
Are there other kids in your family?

I have an almost 13 year old daughter.

He is effectively being Dad isn't he, he isn't taking the role off any other present person.

We have the responsibilities of parents, but he has parents.
What if they were to come back into his life at some point, wont that confuse things?

He has names for us, our own names.

Who has parental responsibility?

We do

PirateJones Thu 03-Apr-14 16:30:57

And have you and your dh talked about him being called dad? You and your dh need to be open with one another about how you're going to deal with this

Not yet, i need some time with him to talk it out properly.

UriGeller Thu 03-Apr-14 16:31:06

I think its really sweet and a sign your nephew is giving you that he wants to be a full part of your family. Do you have other dc who call you "mum" and "dad"?

Honestly though, I'd take it as a massive compliment if I was your DH.

Foxsticks Thu 03-Apr-14 16:33:46

But is it any different from a step parent. My dad married my mum when my older sisters were 4 and 6 and they both call him dad. They have a biological father somewhere but he isn't a dad to them, our dad is the only one they have ever known. I'm not sure if that's a clumsy comparison and apologies if it is. I think small children have a real need to fit in and feel like other small children, and having a mum and/or dad is important to them.

callamia Thu 03-Apr-14 16:36:46

He's six now. He knows you're not actually his mum and dad by birth, so if his birth mother and father ever return to his life, then he will know about their existence. I think he'd be able to manage. You're always going be open about his birth parents, so I see no harm in him choosing to call your husband dad now. Of course, it's up to your husband to be ok with it though. I still don't think if correct him.

PirateJones Thu 03-Apr-14 16:50:09

But is it any different from a step parent.
Well someone marrying your mum would be your dad, DH is already his uncle and that's how it's been known for 6 years.

it's up to your husband to be ok with it though.

Yes he will have to sort something out.

EverybodysStressyEyed Thu 03-Apr-14 16:53:00

Just because someone married your mum doesn't make him your dad.

Your dh is fulfilling the role of father. If your nephew ever meets his biological father that is all he is - your dh has been his father

I would see it as a compliment. Your dh has earnt a very special title!

HerrenaHarridan Thu 03-Apr-14 17:28:04

Ultimately it is your and dhs decision but personally I would say take his lead.

Timeforabiscuit Thu 03-Apr-14 17:42:38

I completely get your trepidation , but this is a huge compliment, its almost more awkward trying to explain the family dynamics which got you here than being honest and saying that your dh is more of a dad than an uncle.

As long as your nephew knows his history, then I can't see the problem in letting him call you what he is comfortable with - grown ups over complicate things grin

PirateJones Thu 03-Apr-14 19:04:41

I think we are all going to have to have a talk and let him decide for himself.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now