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Changing to "dada"

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a 2 yr old ds from a previous relationship. I'll be getting married soon to someone who is more of a father to my son than he's ever had. He loves him like a father and my fiance treats him as though he's his own. My son's biological dad has never really been in his life but visits him about once a month (when i make him), but ds calls him "dadda". He doesn't really grasp what that means. He just sees it as a name, like "joe". Bio-dad will be moving to another country soon and we'll most likely never see him again. My fiance and I plan on starting the process for him to adopt ds as soon as we're married. My fiance really wants my son to start calling him dad, instead of his name but we're not really sure how to go about it. How do you tell a 2-year old "okay this is dadda now." Or should we avoid the word "dadda" all together and call him daddy, or dad. And even then, how do you get him to understand that he doesn't call him by his name anymore?
post #2 of 6
Is his dad willing to terminate his rights when you get married? Otherwise not sure how you can do the adoption.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by montlake View Post
Is his dad willing to terminate his rights when you get married? Otherwise not sure how you can do the adoption.
You can do an involuntary, if Dad disappears, on grounds of abandonment or failure to assume parental responsibility (grounds vary by state). There may be a waiting period (both for how long you and your husband need to be married and for how long your ex needs to be away before the court can declare that he abandoned your child).

To answer the original question: To avoid confusion, I probably would introduce a different nickname (Daddy or Papa or whatever), and then just explain that your partner wants to be called by this special name, and begin using it. Toddlers adapt.

Good luck!
post #4 of 6
Regardless of your feelings on your ex, it's my opinion that you should pick a different name for your partner than the one your son is currently using for his father.

A dad-like nickname works just fine in my book (though I'm sure there are dads who would very much disagree with me)-- some people use Papa or Pop or the word for "dad" in another language, or some sort of nickname based on their name or blending a "dad" like name with their first name.
post #5 of 6
If your child says "dadda" consistently in reference to your ex and not "daddy," I'd go with Daddy or Dad - basically, whatever name your husband would hope to be called by future kids you have together. Given the moving-to-another-country bit, it's not like you are looking at a future of your eldest child having EOW visitation and and a stepmother and two father figures in his life. It's not the standard deal.

He's two. He should have a Daddy. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
post #6 of 6
My son hasn't seen his dad in about a year, but he is also two, and he calls my SO a made-up shortened version of his name (like if it were edward, calling him eddie) and then daddy.

The last time he spoke to his bio father on the phone (about 2 months ago) he was very confused and aggravated because my ex kept referring to himself as "daddy." So I have made the switch to referring to the absent bio father by his first name (as in your daddy John) and referring to the SO as just daddy. But, if my ds weren't already calling him "'Eddie' daddy" I wouldn't have pushed it.

also a big factor for me is that if you ask him who his daddy is, he will invariably say my SO. The other individual doesn't even register in his mind. So if your ds's bio father isn't going to be around, I really wouldn't worry at all about starting to call your DH daddy.
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