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Is it ever justified for a parent to do this?

(176 Posts)
ChateauneufDuTwat Sat 13-Apr-19 18:31:08

Apologies in advance for frustrating vagueness as I just want a subjective answer to the question rather than a full analysis of the situation.

Q. Is it ever ok for a divorced parent to actively encourage/allow their children to call their new spouse (not their DC's parent) 'Mum/Dad' when said parent of DC is still 100% on the scene and involved in DCs lives?

DC are 10 and 8. Step-parent has been in their lives for 5 years.

It's not Daddy for actual parent and DaddyFred for step-parent btw but Dad for both. Or Mum.

<tries to maintain ambiguity>

TerribleTwosPhase Sat 13-Apr-19 18:32:35

Never been in the situation so I suppose I may not be totally able to comment, but I would say no it's never ok. Especially if the parent in question is still involved. I think this would be very hurtful for the parent.

Confusedbeetle Sat 13-Apr-19 18:32:37

For me its not ok

DizzyPhillips Sat 13-Apr-19 18:32:49

No I don’t think so.

Ohfuhfoxsake Sat 13-Apr-19 18:33:11


It’s potentially confusing for the child, complicates family matters and it’s unnecessary.

It could cause huge ructions and isn’t fair on the parent.

marypoppins10 Sat 13-Apr-19 18:34:20

No it's not ok, if my children were calling their dads partner mum I would be furious, that's my title.

Dontsweatthelittlestuff Sat 13-Apr-19 18:36:41

No I cannot see under any circumstances where that would be acceptable.

NaturatintGoldenChestnut Sat 13-Apr-19 18:36:49

Not okay at all.

queenrollo Sat 13-Apr-19 18:37:39

No. My husband is called by his first name and my son does the same for his stepmother.

DramaAlpaca Sat 13-Apr-19 18:38:41

I've not been in that situation but it sounds all sorts of wrong to me.

Tavannach Sat 13-Apr-19 18:38:49

No, it's daft. How would a teacher or someone know who was being referred to?
One title per person.

ShabbyAbby Sat 13-Apr-19 18:39:32

There are words for them
"Step-mum" or "Step-Dad"
Or "Kate" and "Fred" or whatever

I think sometimes it can get confusing if they have half siblings or don't have a relationship with the biological parent, but in that case it should be the child's choice never pushed on them.

I have met a couple of women who encouraged their kids to call their boyfriend of days/weeks/months "Daddy" but the man never stuck around and the kids ended up confused. One of the reasons those women are no longer my "friends"

Samind Sat 13-Apr-19 18:40:43

It's not ok. I wouldn't like it if my partner and I split up for lo to call his new partner mummy xyz.

picklemepopcorn Sat 13-Apr-19 18:41:13

I'm going to break the mould and disagree. Children generally know who is who. If there are other children in the family calling the person Dad, then the child will feel different calling them Fred.
Children shouldn't be told what to call someone, and equally shouldn't be told not to.
They get to choose.

BetsyBigNose Sat 13-Apr-19 18:41:33

Never. I'd be really upset and angry about this and would expect the exH or exW to put a stop to it immediately. I would also advise the child that they should refer to the Step-Parent as "Bob" or "Julie", rather than anything more familial.

Turquoisetamborine Sat 13-Apr-19 18:41:36

My mam left my dad when I was newborn. No abuse or anything but they weren’t suited. I always had weekly contact with him (still do).
There was possibly a cross over with my stepdad coming into my life but I always remember living with him and I’ve never lived with my real dad. When they had my brother when I was four obviously he called him dad so I did too.
He was quite honestly the most amazing man though (still is) and I’m proud to have two dads in my life and I think my real dad should feel glad I have him in my life.
He’s gone above and beyond what you would even expect a real parent to do.
He and my Mam separated when I was 9 but they shared joint custody of both me and my brother (still seeing real dad at weekends). He is still a massive part of my life 30 years on even though he never had any obligation to be. He deserves to be called Dad.

Xyzzzzz Sat 13-Apr-19 18:42:46


ChateauneufDuTwat Sat 13-Apr-19 18:43:19

There are no shared DC between divorced parent and spouse so no confusion over some DC using "Mum/Dad' and others 'Kate/Fred'.

OddBoots Sat 13-Apr-19 18:43:48

There is a difference between encouraging and allowing.

ChateauneufDuTwat Sat 13-Apr-19 18:44:17

Turquoise He sounds absolutely wonderful but that it is an entirely different scenario to the one I have described.

JacquesHammer Sat 13-Apr-19 18:44:35

I wouldn’t actively encourage because I feel the children should choose themselves.

I wouldn’t have an issue if DD wanted to call her step-mum “mum”.

hipposarerad Sat 13-Apr-19 18:44:54

This happened to me. I got sat down and my stepdad said "me and your mum thought you might like to call me dad now we're married." My mum didn't say anything, but I'm such a pathetic people pleaser I agreed because I felt I kind of had to.

I felt like such a betrayer to my poor dad. And my stepdad still left my mum years later because she had the audacity to age and put on weight. Oh and she found out he was fucking anything with a pulse.

All in all it wasn't a great experience.

IncrediblySadToo Sat 13-Apr-19 18:45:03


If the child is resident with one parent and there’s a good relationship with the step parent and the child wants to, then, I think it’s up to the child. Especially if there are (step) siblings too.

I think if the other parent IS genuinely very involved the child probably won’t want to call the step parent Mum or Dad, but if they’re fulfilling that role & the child wants to, then...

IF, however, it’s coming from the adults, it’s not acceptable.

JaneEyre07 Sat 13-Apr-19 18:45:40

No. Not remotely OK in my book.

Dontforgetyourbrolly Sat 13-Apr-19 18:47:05

My step son had a speech delay and for awhile Every one got called ' mummy ' - however I would still correct him gently and say oh I'm not mummy I'm Brolly!
I would never encourage that as a step parent, it's not right. ( unless bio parent wasn't in the picture at all )

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