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How to explain dd calling step father daddy to his children

(26 Posts)
FigRolls Sat 16-Nov-13 15:45:52

Dh and I met when dd was 18 months and she naturally grew to call him Daddy as her own father chose not to be involved. He has two similar aged children and they're all aged around 6. He's just re-established contact with his children but me, dd and our new dd haven't been involved yet as I feel he needs to rebuild his relationship with them first. When we do all get together though, I fear dsc will take exception to dd calling dh daddy and keep reiterating to her that he's their dad, baby dds dad but not hers. I appreciate dsc have missed out on time with their dad but that isn't dds fault. Any ideas how to deal with this?

Whereisegg Sat 16-Nov-13 16:02:31

'dad' can mean many things IMO.

I have a great relationship with both my df and my dsf and call them both dad.

Perhaps something along the lines of
" some daddy's make the babies, some daddy's choose to look after the babies once they're already made, and some daddy's do both"?

Labro Sat 16-Nov-13 16:03:52

I wouldn't presume that this is going to be a problem. Children of this age probably won't even think about it, especially if there is a younger dd who is also his. If it does come up then get their dad to gentlysay that he is dad and like a dad to all of the children in his family.

Floralnomad Sat 16-Nov-13 16:06:34

I can't see it being an issue either ,I assume your dd does know he is not her biological dad .

Whereisegg Sat 16-Nov-13 16:44:48

to clarify, I would only say something if they do op

lunar1 Sat 16-Nov-13 21:52:50

Can I ask how long he has been out of contact with his children?

FigRolls Sat 16-Nov-13 22:51:36

Yes she knows he isn't her bio father. I think it will be an issue unfortunately as they used to say it before he lost contact and their mum reiterates to them about him being their dad and not hers. I wouldn't bring it up but do foresee tension which I'd like to plan ahead to reduce/avoid. He's been out of touch for 20 months.

lunar1 Sat 16-Nov-13 23:23:11

I was in a situation like this when my dad took on the ow's child. She called him dad and I hated it. He didn't really care about my brother and I when he was with this step mum and her daughter, we saw him once a month if we were lucky and they would always be there in the way. It didn't last past two years I think as they both cheated on each other. Poor temporary step sister ended up with a few daddies I think.

I think you really need to tread carefully and to be honest it's when they get a few years older you will have problems. I felt anger every single time she said dad, I hated her and her mum. We were the same age.

Obviously looking back I feel very sorry for my step sister as her childhood was just as crappy as mine. She should never have called him dad, it made it worse for everyone in the long run.

Why did he miss contact for all that time? When the children are old enough they will probably feel like they were replaced with your dd and new baby.

FigRolls Sat 16-Nov-13 23:49:15

Lunar I understand completely your feelings which are totally natural in the situation. Dh is the opposite in that he is 100% committed to his children during contact and I encourage him to not always have us there - we have him the rest of the time, his kids need him alone too imo. Their mum encourages the idea that he is too busy with us to see them as much as they'd like, which is untrue. His ex stopped contact and he buried his head in the sand, it's been me that's pushed him to get it reinstated but I think my dd is going to end up suffering for it. Obviously as we have a child together too and are married I intend and foresee that we are forever hence not stopping dd calling him daddy but am dreading it making an already difficult situation worse.

lunar1 Sun 17-Nov-13 00:03:19

You sound like you will be a lovely and thoughtful step mum and it is brilliant that you helped your dh go back to his children.

You have to think how they will see it as hormonal teenagers in a few years though. He abandoned them for you and your dd, during this time he had another child. No matter what his ex did he hid from the situation and played happy families. There is no way to explain this that makes him look like anything other than a complete and total shit. He abandoned his children.

I think the best you can hope for is that they take any anger they have over what happened out on him. You and your dd don't deserve it but thinking back to myself as a teen I couldn't separate the anger for the man who caused my pain from the people he replaced me with. He needs to take responsibility for his terrible behaviour.

FigRolls Sun 17-Nov-13 00:10:01

Thank you smile

This is what worries me - that they will take their hurt out on my daughters. I completely understand they're hurt and rightly so but he says they're absolutely fine with him which only leads me to believe they're pointing the blame elsewhere. If it wasn't for me pushing he wouldn't even be seeing them but obviously they're not, and never will be, aware of that. It only came out this week that he saw them once when we were out during the no contact months and didn't acknowledge them. I hadn't seen them or I would've gone to them but I can completely see how it may look to them/his ex that he'sddowntrodden and controlled by us and therefore cause anger at us and pity for him.

lunar1 Sun 17-Nov-13 18:38:35

After reading your other thread it does look like you are trying to control when he sees his children. He abandoned them he has no rights to make demands. He has to spend a very long time proving himself to them and their mum before they should make even the smallest compromise on his behalf.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:40:05

Why does your DD call him Daddy when she sees her own Dad every other weekend?

DismemberedDwerf Sun 17-Nov-13 18:45:43

Well, if all the other kids call him dad, she's going feel pretty crappy if she's not allowed to. It's just pointing out the fact that she isn't his and her dad isn't involved.

I'd explain to the kids that 'dad' is essentially an honourary title. 'Father' is descriptive. I think a man can be a dad without being that child's father.

FigRolls Sun 17-Nov-13 22:25:29

Lunar I haven't said he should make demands. But I don't agree he should pay for his mistakes forever by being at his ex wife's beck and call; contact is for the childrens benefit and they would be benefited by a more regular Fri-sun evening arrangement so he can have school involvement etc than they would from 1pm Sat til early evening Sunday - that's barely 17 waking hours.

Basgetti - she goes to her father's most alternate weekends but this is subject to change and several of the weekends are actually spent with his parents. She started calling him daddy because her father, when we were married, encouraged her to use his name instead of daddy so at the time she'd never known anyone as daddy. When she heard dsc calling their dad daddy she started using it too, despite me trying to discourage it.

Chocolatesandicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:30:46

Oh dear, op. Was it really wise to have a child with this man and let your other dd get attached to him?

Chocolatesandicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:35:09

You're not living together. I really would stop dd calling him dad. You are setting her up for a massive upset.

notanyanymore Sun 17-Nov-13 22:39:23

I think whereisegg's line was great. I'd say something like that to all of them ifvthe situation arose.
(You sound very thoughtful to everyone involved btw)

notanyanymore Sun 17-Nov-13 22:43:38

Where did the bit about them not living together crop up? Have I missed something? Why would you not be living with your husband and father of your child? confused

Chocolatesandicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:47:16

In October they weren't married or living together. He was still married to the other dds mother.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 22:50:57

But he does see her, unlike your DP who hasn't seen his own children for nearly 2 years. Oh and he is actually her daddy.

notanyanymore Sun 17-Nov-13 22:54:51

I'm going to bow out now as its getting a bit confusing as to what the situation actually is hmm

notanyanymore Sun 17-Nov-13 23:00:51

For what it's worth though, if DD has had this male in her life as a father figure for 4.5 years and shares a sibling with him, I don't think its unreasonable for her to call him dad.

lunar1 Sun 17-Nov-13 23:24:48

I just can't agree with you in this . If my dh abandoned my children hell would freeze over before he came back and started taking them fri-sun.

He would have to earn that right back. No way would I work around him if he had just pissed off for nearly two years. He didn't make a mistake, what he has done is cruel and harmful to the children he is supposed to protect.

DiamondsAndDust Mon 18-Nov-13 09:25:22

All I can see is a lot of confusion. Obviously I don't know your background OP, but if your DD is seeing her biological dad why have you allowed her to still call your DP daddy. I know you say both you and her dad agree to it but it must be very confusing for her too.

I've raised my DSD with my husband since she was 15 months old and I've always been known as Diamonds despite her mum showing as little interest as possible in any of her upbringing.

I may be flamed for saying this but sod it. Your partner went without contact with his own children but happily allowed another child to call him Daddy. I understand that for all intents of the word - in your relationship he may well deserve the title but what about the children he's not seen in 20 months? It's not your DD's fault no, but personally I don't think she should have been encouraged to call him dad when obviously he has stepping up to do with his own children first. Your DSC children are going to feel a lot of emotions now their dad is back in contact and TBH they have every right to feel like they do. It's going to feel terrible for them to hear someone else call their dad when he hasn't even stepped up to that role for his own biological children.

Why have you had to push for contact to be reinstated? Your DP should be bending over backwards to have contact with his children. He shouldn't need to be pushed at all.

His children now need as much one on one time with him as they can to re-establish a relationship. As much as you may not like it, what your DD calls him is irrelevant at the minute. It's about your partner making amends with the children he's not seen in so long. I wouldn't even worry about that at the minute. I'd concentrate on leaving your partner get on with his contact and once you are introduced back in to the fold then discuss how to go about things. I wouldn't make a big deal about your DD calling him dad unless his children pick up on it.

If it's brought up by one of the children it will be down to your DP to explain. It may be better coming from him with the explanation rather than yourself. There's plenty of ways to explain the situation. But for now I think it's the least of your worries.

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