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Old 03-26-2012, 03:51 PM
 
16,835 posts, read 14,346,020 times
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I called my stepmom "Ma" and my mom "Mom". Can't you do something similar here?

Additionally, waiting for a ring, seems silly. If you are going to be a family than hammer out the REAL issues now (like this one) instead of waiting for buying a ring.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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She is 5, your daughters are 2 & 4. If all of you are going to be living under one roof, you can't blame the 5yr old for wanting to call you "dad". And at 4yrs old, you need to sit down and talk to your own children and explain to them that yes, you are their real dad, but through love between you and girlfriend (and co-habitation) you are a "dad" to the 5yr old- in her eyes. Doesn't matter that she has a biological father or not. If you are IN the house doing the things a father does for his child (such as laundry, bathing etc) you ARE her father. How long have you guys all been living together? In my honest opinion, it isn't fair to ANY of the children to be treating them differently.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:57 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 61,206,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanson7183 View Post
i do want to add that my girlfriends daughter (not sure what DD means???) DOES on occasion call me daddy when they are not around but its so infrequent i didnt think to mention it. she honestly calls me Jeff like 99% of the time.

As a matter of fact this last weekend she was telling me things compared to her dad. like i had her on my shoulders walking around in home depot and she said "my dad does this with me too but hes much taller" or just innocent stuff like that

so obviously she does refer to him as dad (and rightfully so)

is she just confused? not that i blame her
Since she knows her dad and calls him her dad, I think you shouldn't make any big deal or her calling you dad when your daughters are calling you dad.

She just wants to fit in and she sees you as one of the dads. It may feel weird for her to call you Jeff when the other girls are calling you dad. It's even like one parent starting to call the other "mom" or "dad", sometimes kids will call their close friends' dad "dad" or the mom "mom" knowing full well they have their own dad and mom.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,908 posts, read 14,660,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanson7183 View Post
i would gladly approach the topic again and change my stance depending on how things were doing.
In our blended family this is how my husbands parents approached the issue. They didn't want to be called grandma and grandpa until they were "sure" the relationship was serious enough. By the time they got that point my kids were so used to calling them Mr and Ms last name that they never became comfortable with calling them anything else.
At this little girls age I don't think she's old enough to get the reasoning behind why you aren't comfortable with being called dad, and I don't think she'll take to a change very well when/if you change your mind later on. Whatever you choose to do now is most likely the way it will remain.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,156 posts, read 22,090,364 times
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Has your girlfriend talked to her daughter? I understand why your children are getting upset, but you are a blended family now. You have to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy. You are basically your girlfriend's daughter's father, denying her to call you daddy while everyone else can will make her feel excluded IMO.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:13 AM
 
12,888 posts, read 15,673,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOhioBound View Post
She is 5, your daughters are 2 & 4. If all of you are going to be living under one roof, you can't blame the 5yr old for wanting to call you "dad". And at 4yrs old, you need to sit down and talk to your own children and explain to them that yes, you are their real dad, but through love between you and girlfriend (and co-habitation) you are a "dad" to the 5yr old- in her eyes. Doesn't matter that she has a biological father or not. If you are IN the house doing the things a father does for his child (such as laundry, bathing etc) you ARE her father. How long have you guys all been living together? In my honest opinion, it isn't fair to ANY of the children to be treating them differently.
jhanson7183...I agree with this....I think it's very unfair to expect this little girl to call you something different than the other little girls........your daughters just need to be told that "this" is the way it's gonna be, whether they like it or not...they're so young, I doubt that it would be any kind of an issue for them...not like it seems to be for you.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,069,569 times
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You got great advice. Alll I can add is that I totally get where everyone is coming from. Totally. I see how your daughters would be resentful, I see how your girlfriend's daughters wants to let it be known to your daughters that she is as special as they are. Also at that age, kids are competitive and I bet she looks at their reactions when she calls you, daddy. I agree, talk to this child, and come up with a new name that is special, that only she can call you. Sit down with your older daughter and talk to her about empathy, and about how lucky she is to have a daddy who sees her so much. This mostly depends how mature your dd is and whether she can get it. She is still young. GL
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,005,259 times
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You need to have a talk with your little girl and tell her you will always be her daddy but that you are also playing daddy to your girlfriend's little girl - explain to her about people's feelings - I think it is mainly YOUR reaction that is causing this problem - if when it first occurred you had just told your daughter "I will always be your daddy" and left it at that and explained something about manners and being polite and not hurting other people's feelings, I don't think this would have become such a big issue.

I think the issue is with you and your ambivalence about being a new little girl's daddy. If you do reject this new little girl, it will cause tons of damage to her. . . the kind thing to do is to treat her like your child IF you truly do plan to marry her mother.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 13,014,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanson7183 View Post
So to make a long story short (lol i wish), My girlfriend and I have made a blended family. I have two young girls from a previous marriage (2 and 4), and she has a 5 year old daughter. So thats 3 young girls running around, pretty crazy, but a lot of fun and we have a very loving household that integrates everyone.

I have my children every wednesday night through friday, then every other weekend (which includes friday through monday morning) as part of my 50/50 split custody arrangements from the divorce.

My girlfriend has her daughter full time, except for the few days a month her dad visits. Unfortunately her daughters dad is not REALLY active in her life. He is present, she knows he is her real father, but he sees her like 1 or 2 days every other weekend. Very inconsistent though and calls off visits often or only shows for half of the alloted time.

From day 1 we have done our best to make all the girls feel equal in terms of time spent together, discipline, etc etc. I think we have a lot in common in our parenting methods, although i do believe i am much stricter with my girls than she is with hers. We dont really discipline eachothers children unless its an emergency (the other parent is not present or its something that would cause harm if ignored, etc). We are always taking the girls out and doing fun stuff, im involved in everything her daughter does just as i am my own. I give her daughter baths at the same time i do mine, i fold her laundry, i help pick her up from her grandparents or take her where she needs to go, etc. If my girlfriend is working and im not, i will take care of her daughter for the day, this happens periodically. I like the way things work like that.

However we do have one major issue... and thats in regards to her daughters outlook on "dads" and my own relationship with my girls. Ive noticed if my girls are over and are always running up to me and saying "daddy!" and giving hugs, etc etc... my girlfriends daughter will start calling me daddy too, as if not to be left out. While i understand this mentality, it then causes my oldest child to get upset. She will say "no hes not your daddy he is my daddy", and then its all downhill from there. Im always very strict towards my girls in regards to sharing stuff but im not some object or toy so its not this simple. The one other catch is that her daughter and my oldest daughter have the exact same name. I know thats kinda weird but we thought it was cute and actually how we met (the name isnt super popular). My concern is that i have ALWAYS had a super close and bonded relationship with my girls and now they are only seeing me half the time, and to top it off there is now another young girl with the same name calling me daddy in front of her and its upsetting.
My ex wife has mentioned that my daughter complains of this once in a while at her house (unverified), and she has been acting out in school a few times. Not sure this is the cause but im considering it. When i approached my girlfriend with my concern, she told me she will not tell her daughter she cant call me dad as its not fair for her considering she already is missing her bio dad and has issues due to that. She told me "imagine how that would make her feel to feel rejected on both sides". I totally understand where she is coming from and i feel for her daughter, i truly do. However now my primal instincts to protect my own children are kicking in and i hate seeing my daughter upset when hers calls me dad. My other fear is that she is only doing this to not feel left out which is the wrong reason to call someone dad in my opinion.

I guess the truth is that deep down i would prefer her child calls me by my first name, because even though we are together and are living as a family, im not legally or through blood her father and you just never know how things will work out. When her mother and i get married (we are MADLY in love and absolutely plan on making that next step within the next year, its just on me to save for the ring haha) i would gladly approach the topic again and change my stance depending on how things were doing.

So what do you think? Am i wrong and being a mean horrible person by not letting her call me dad? Is my girlfriend wrong in expecting me to instantly step into a role of that nature?

I realize this makes me sound unprepared and the truth is maybe we did let love get the best of us. But ill be damned if im not going to try my best to do whats right for these girls and provide a loving home for them all, because when things are good they are REALLY good. and even when times are hard and stressful, we still have lots of love for eachother

I just want some input on this whole situation

thanks!
My first advice would be to you to raise your children.
Forget your love life.
Be a father first before taking on another person's child to raise. You have two very young children, why would you complicate your life this way?
But you have chosen to do so.
What to do?
Apologize to your children for not putting them first and then spend the rest of you life doing that.
Now also commit yourself to this "non bio" (your words) child.
Find a way to explain to your children why this child has more access to you than they do.
There is your answer, good luck. Too bad you did not work this hard to keep your family together.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:16 AM
 
508 posts, read 1,673,944 times
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Being a child of divorce who calls her stepfather "Dad", it's a little sad how you're viewing this situation. I fully understand you wanting to reassure your daughter by telling her how important she is, etc., but I don't think that in the process you should be belittling or making light of your relationship with your future stepdaughter. Assuming you will commit fully to this new relationship, this little girl who lives with you fulltime will be your daughter as well. She will view you as a father (as she should) and I think you should treat her the same. My heart goes out to her.

Does she call her biological father 'Daddy' also? If so, perhaps the suggestion of having another special name may work (I called my bio father 'Papa' when I knew him, so 'Dad' worked for my stepfather-- he eventually adopted me but that's another story).

I understand that you are not biologically related to her, but it should not matter. If you commit to her mother, you need to commit to her too.
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