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to not want him to be called Dad?

(67 Posts)
AnimatedDad Mon 03-Aug-15 08:40:52

my ex and I share our childcare equally. the children are with her for half the week and live with me the rest of the time.

the kids arrived home yesterday saying that my ex had decided they should call her (live in) boyfriend, 'Dad' and his parents 'granny and granddad'

I can't work out whether this is:

a) just a natural progression of their relationship and none of my business anyway


b) an utterly unacceptable manipulation of the children's feelings and a thoughtless attempt to minimise my contribution to their lives which I should be objecting to in the strongest terms.

I FEEL that it's (b) but I'm aware that my feelings are not the most important ones and my perspective isn't the most objective.

what do you think ?

Penfold007 Mon 03-Aug-15 08:43:40

What do the children want to call their mother's boyfriend and his parents?

catabouttown Mon 03-Aug-15 08:44:09

Yanbu I don't understand why people do this when the dad is fully involved and on the scene. I'm sure she wouldn't appreciated your partner being called mum if it was the other way around. Even if she doesn't care about that kind of thing, she should have asked you if you mind first

Eternalsunshines Mon 03-Aug-15 08:44:50

Even when my mom had long term partners I was never encouraged to call them dad, just by their name.

I might be ok with the idea if you were not in their life but since you are it makes me a bit uneasy.

Hassled Mon 03-Aug-15 08:46:33

I think the answer is (b). He's not their father - you are, and you're clearly very involved in the DCs' lives. I had a similar set-up with my older kids and my DH was always just "Fred" to them - their dad didn't have to share his title.

Do you think this is coming from your Ex or from the boyfriend?

SoreArms Mon 03-Aug-15 08:48:08

This would upset me if it was the other way round, and my kids were calling their dad's partner 'mum' - so yanbu in my opinion

contractor6 Mon 03-Aug-15 08:48:41

Granny grandad could agree if they were married etc, but he's only a boyf and he definitely shouldn't be dad, unless you aren't on their lives and hes looking to adopt them...

Nolim Mon 03-Aug-15 08:49:40


HolgerDanske Mon 03-Aug-15 08:49:44

I can't stand that except in cases where the actual father has no involvement with the children. Same goes for mums. In cases where the children already have a father, a new man who comes along is not by extension a new dad!

I'm with you that it's b, and I'm sorry, it must be really painful for you to feel replaced like that.

Mrsjayy Mon 03-Aug-15 08:50:16

I call my stepdad by name and my dad wasnt around i dont think your dc should be calling him dad what are you going to do?

PtolemysNeedle Mon 03-Aug-15 08:50:50

That is completely unacceptable, YANBU.

I don't think the granny and grandad thing is too bad, children often have more than one granny and grandad anyway, but the Dad thing is just completely wrong.

broomchickabroomchick Mon 03-Aug-15 08:50:54

I think B. He isn't their dad, you are. There's no way my kids would be calling another woman Mum, so I wouldn't do it to their Dad either.

Saying that, my kids do have extra grandparents, my step parents and then their parents. They all love them as their own grandchildren & everyone is happy

OTheHugeManatee Mon 03-Aug-15 08:51:46

YANBU. Horrible for you and probably very confusing for your poor DC.

Jackie0 Mon 03-Aug-15 08:53:18

Yanbu, its ridiculous, they have a dad, you.

supermariossister Mon 03-Aug-15 08:53:32

yanbu and she needs to think how she would feel if the situation were reversed. it's not fair to you or the children and as a child who went through this repeatedly it does have an effect.

HolgerDanske Mon 03-Aug-15 08:55:18

Grandparents is different, but really, this isn't on. Is your ex friendly enough with you that you can talk about it with her? I'm guessing not from the way she's gone about this sad

I'd be loath to drag the children into this, but on the other hand if I were you I think I'd feel justified in telling them that no, that man is not your new dad and you do not need to call him that. I'm your dad and will always be your dad.

Floralnomad Mon 03-Aug-15 08:55:39

How old are the children as surely it's up to them what they call people ,that said I would be pretty cross if my dc were calling someone else mum / dad . I would just tell the dc that they can make their own decisions about it.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 03-Aug-15 08:56:45

Your children already have a Dad.

It is not a natural progression to call their mother's boyfriend Dad.

I'm not surprised you are pissed off and hurt.

Dad isn't just the bloke who is shagging your mother.

He's the man you live with half the week, who has cared for you since you were born, whose crooked teeth you might inherit, who chose the middle name you hate, who will cry when you perform in your school play, who will take you for your first pint.

You can certainly become Dad to a child who has no Dad. But not to a child who has one already.

wannaBe Mon 03-Aug-15 08:57:14

yanbu. At all. Even if you weren't on the scene it would always be unreasonable to suggest that the children refer to another partner as mum/dad. if the children had expressed a wish to do so then this could be explored and the inappropriacy of it addressed, however for either your ex or her bf to insist the children call him dad is wrong on every level.

How do the children feel about this? Given they told you I'm guessing that they're not overly happy about it, in which case I would tell them that he is not their dad and they have every right to refuse to call him that. And then I would have a conversation with your ex in which I would tell her in no uncertain terms how out of line she and her partner are and how would she feel if they were calling another woman mum....

Often threads do come up on here where a poster says that the kids call her mum or her partner dad and the answer is always the same - this should never be encouraged, even if the dad/mum has very little involvement in their lives.

A friend had a situation a few years ago where his gf's dd asked if she could call him dad. he said no, even though her dad was no longer on the scene, on the basis that she only has one dad, and what she called friend would have no bearing on their relationship. The relationship ended some years later which reiterated his point.

HolgerDanske Mon 03-Aug-15 08:58:42

Can't actually believe she's had the gall to do that. The only thing I can think is that her new man is an insecure and controlling type and is driving this as a way of asserting his dominance in her life. Or she is very angry with you. Or maybe, maybe she's naive enough to think she's making their place in her new relationship more secure for them somehow.. If the latter there's some hope you could discuss it with her and explain that it's really not the best idea.

LilyMayViolet Mon 03-Aug-15 09:00:21

That's completely out of order. I feel for you. In response I would ask her how she would feel if you encouraged your children to call a partner of yours "mum".

bimandbam Mon 03-Aug-15 09:02:53

My dd is involved with her real dad. Eow etc. Always has been.

But also calls my dp dad and has done since she was 3 years old. It was her choice and what she wanted to do. We didn't have dc together at that point so it was that she felt left out etc. Just what a little girl felt more comfortable with.

If it is your dcs choice then I think you need to let it go. My ex really upset my dd by saying that she wasn't allowed to call my dp daddy. As he wasn't even her stepdad as we weren't married. It really upset and confused my dd. She obviously loved my dp and wanted us to be a family.

We got engaged shortly afterwards to show our commitment to her and to each other. And although we are still not married nothing as far as I know has been said by my ex since.

I do understand why you would find this upsetting but the dcs feelings come first not the adults feelings. If anyone asks my dd she says she has 2 dads. And that she is very lucky to have 2 dads who both love her very much.

HolgerDanske Mon 03-Aug-15 09:11:53

I think that's a little different, though - it's quite understandable that if a young child is living with one parent and their partner and sees the ex at weekends or once in a while for a day out, they might want the security of a family unit in their main home. But that's not the case here. The children might be older, first of all, which does change things a bit. But also they live half the time with each of their parents. And they were told to do this, it apparently was not driven by them.

Morganly Mon 03-Aug-15 09:23:36

I think this is very wrong, confusing for the children, hurtful to you and utterly thoughtless of your ex and her partner. I think you should tell your ex this. Ultimately, if she is insisting it probably won't be helpful for the children if you say anything to them as that puts them in a really difficult position. You could just keep referring to him by his actual name when talking to them and if they marry at any point, use the expression step dad just as a little low key no fuss reminder.

3CheekyLittleMonkeys Mon 03-Aug-15 09:27:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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