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The 'dad' word - advice needed!

(4 Posts)
Mairena40 Mon 22-Jun-09 22:40:49

DS?s father hasn?t been much involved. Ds is 2.5 - unplanned, much adored outcome of short relationship which ended before I knew I was pregnant. Ex lives locally, visits every couple of months or so, usually at my initiation. Doesn?t contribute financially. Has daughter from previous relationship with him half the week and would like her to have relationship with DS.

Early on asked Ex what he wanted to be referred to, as always talked to ds about family/friends. No response. Decided to refer to him by his name rather than dad as felt the dad word came with big expectations that couldn't be met by ex. Have told ds he is his father but he can?t be around much.

Ex and I met today to talk about trying to sort out something more regular as getting increasingly fed up with chasing. Ex agrees, acknowledges not good at contact. Doesn?t want to have any involvement in childcare but would like to see DS more regularly. Would like ds to call him Dad.

Glad about the prospect of regular visits - ds always v happy to see him - also poss of relationship with half-sister and onus poss not on me to arrange and should feel glad about the D word but feeling jittery. Feel ex has made so little effort to date that feel he hasn?t earned it. Also concerned he will start this with all good intentions but it will fizzle out.

Does that make sense? SO want to do the right thing by ds, who is a fab, confident, happy, loving boy. More confusing to have Dad who doesn't do much of the dad stuff or to have a father who isn't called a dad??
Help!

blinder Tue 23-Jun-09 15:28:27

well, contact between my DS and his dad has been sporadic. Long gaps up to a few months in some instances. My son is now 12 and (touch wood) contact has finally settled into something regular and consistent. This is partly because I no longer have to mediate it - they basically sort it out between them.

I say it's simpler to call him Dad. This isn't really related to the sort of relationship they end up having. Everyone has a slightly different relationship with their dad after all - sometimes more rewarding than others. But still, knowing that you have a Dad is a sort of stability, even if the relationship itself is more unusual or unreliable.

And in my experience, it evolves. The relationship they have now isn't necessarily the relationship they will have in ten years. It may have fizzled out or it may have deepened. Whether he is 'called Dad' or not, he IS Dad, and still will be then. To some extent (as long as it is safe), you have to allow that relationship to be what it is. Your son will decide how he wants to feel about him, based on his behaviour. The name isn't the deciding factor smile.

Mumofagun Tue 23-Jun-09 19:42:38

Perfectly put I think blinder! smile I understand how you feel, I really do because I was in a similar position when DS was very little and tbh I never mentioned the D word because I didn't want to face possible questions. Once it reared itself when contact was established of sorts I just decided that regardless of the complexities, this man WAS his dad, DS HAD a dad and whether now or later it was going to be a matter for discussion. You can quote the phrase "Any man can be a father but it takes a real man to be a dad", but dad is just another name for father. Personally I think it may just cause you more problems in the future. If he knows he's his father, he'll know he's his dad and wonders why he calls him "Dave" (! iykwim) when other kids say dad.

Mairena40 Tue 23-Jun-09 22:51:49

Thanks, blinder and mumofagun. Glad to hear the d word has worked out in your cases. Sounds encouraging and i just need to get my head round it! Thanks again.

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