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Stepson help

10 replies

cosworth44 · 10/01/2023 00:08

Hi all,
I'm new here so this is my first post and to tell the truth I'm not sure where to start or even posting this is right, but here it is.
I have a 16 year old stepson who I am currently in the process of adopting and couldn't be any happier, we have been in each others life's for over 9 years.
When he was younger he was like my shadow, hes an amazing kid who I'm so proud of and so proud to be part of his life. me and his mum also have a 7 year old together, they are both inseparable from each other. I have always looked at him as my son, his biological dad was out of the picture from the days he was born and the guy his mum was in a relationship with when he was younger wasn't the nicest of relationships. but here's where I'm a little lost and not to sure why I'm posting this, maybe in some hope that someone else on here is or has been in the same position. I tell him how proud I am of him and how much I care for him, I call him son to his face and message but still to this day he has never called me dad despite he refers to me as his dad to his friends or anyone ask who I am but will only refer to me as his dad if he thinks I'm not aware of it.
I would love for him to call me dad but not sure why he doesn't or ever think he will, now you see why I'm not sure why I'm even posting this as part of me feels I'm being very selfish, you cant force someone to call you dad i know this but has anyone here been or is currently in the same position?

OP posts:

Happybefree · 10/01/2023 00:20

I think if you have a close and loving relationship otherwise you should try and put it out of your mind, personally.


ACynicalDad · 10/01/2023 00:24

You could ask your wife to ask him why he doesn’t, but don’t push it. You may find one day it happens and I’m sure it will be amazing. I’d do nothing before the spring though, it’s an obvious trigger point to start calling you it.


Boringcookingquestion · 10/01/2023 00:27

I wouldn’t see it as a reflection of your relationship, the fact that he calls you his dad to other people means he sees you as his dad.

My cousin has a stepdad who has been in her life since she was three. He walked her down the aisle, helped her with her homework, is a brilliant grandad to her children. He is her dad and she loves him… but she calls him by his first name. I asked her why when we were teens and she said she had just always called him that, it was her normal.

When you came into your son’s life, you obviously won’t have been introduced as ‘dad’. Calling you by your name is his normal. It doesn’t mean you’re any less of a dad to him.


cosworth44 · 10/01/2023 14:52

Hi all, thank you for your replies. It has helped.

OP posts:

orangegato · 10/01/2023 14:59

Sorry, once the ship has sailed they’ll never call you dad. My stepdad is still ‘John’ despite being in my life since 4 years old. He doesn’t mean any less to me it’d just be bizarre to start now.


MrsTerryPratchett · 10/01/2023 15:12

You're in the process of adopting but haven't actually yet. When it goes through is a great time to say, "if you want to call me dad now, you can. If not, don't worry. I fee like your day anyway." Or something in your voice like that.

Sounds like a lovely relationship.


Delectable · 10/01/2023 16:19

You sound like a lovely man who's a great husband, dad and step dad. Perhaps ask you wife to ask him. Gently bring it up saying you've been wondering and will like to know with not obligation to start.


UnicornsHaveDadsToo · 03/03/2023 12:35

Another stepdad here, and here's a different perspective.

Little Unicorns 1 and 2, both boys, were 7 and 9 when I first met them. Their father is around and although he'd been a dick to Mrs Unicorn (multiple affairs), he did actually care about his boys and was around. Over the years, though, his interest waned a bit with his 2nd, then 3rd wife, 2 more kids with 3rd wife, the boys grew a bit more distant. We always had an amicable relationship without a single bad word said about biological father or either of the new wives to the boys. In the meantime, we also had Little Unicorn 3 ourselves. LU1 and 2 and I had a great relationship to start with, had the usual teenage wobbles like any other parent, then came out the other side stronger than ever. Life is great. As far as I'm concerned, they're my sons and they treat me as if I'm their dad. However, they've never called me dad, just my first name.

Anyway, fast forward a decade and a bit, and LU1 was 22, at home while I was working from home. We have a Ring doorbell, and when it went off, as I had just managed to connect to the video and sound, LU1 had opened the door so I ended up listening in. It was a man who asked for me by my name saying to, the adult, LU1 "are you Mr Unicorn?" LU1's instant and completely natural reaction to the question was "oh no, that's my dad."

Somehow, being called dad when I'm not even there to hear it actually made it even more special for me. There was no need, there was no complusion, it was his choice, and his choice as an adult to refer to me as dad. It was one of the greatest moments ever. I did go and see him afterwards and gave him a huge man-hug. I think you should feel immensely proud that your late-teen stepson is referring to you as dad when you're not there, because, to my mind, there's no greater compliment.

Take care and be proud of what you have achieved.


Thirtyandflailing · 03/03/2023 15:16

My step dad has raised me as his own since I was 2 years old and even now at 30 he’s more involved in mine and my kids lives than my mum and I don’t call him dad to his face either. I think when you have called someone by their name for a long time it’s almost awkward to try and change that. Doesn’t mean I don’t love or care for him I do so I think this will be the same for your stepson hope this helps x


Nimbostratus100 · 03/03/2023 15:28

I think you will be your name to your step son forever.

My parents are long dead, but I still have a step parent, who has been in my life nearly 40 years, and is one of my best friends.

I have only ever called them by their name

However, my children don't use their name, they call them that children normally call their grandparents

If and when he has children, maybe say then that you would like to be "Grandad" - have a conversation at that time

Don't put any pressure on him now

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