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Advice about ds calling my dh "daddy"

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

This is fine with me - my dh is ds's sf and as far as we are concerned he really is his dad.  My ex hasn't seen ds in 6 months and even before that he did not visit with him for more than 5 minutes at a time from about the age of 6 months.  (ds is 2 years old)


My ex, who moved thousands of miles away from our children without a word or warning, now would like to see the kids on the webcam.  My older children know who he is, but how do I explain this to my 2yo ds in words that he will understand?  Telling him "this is daddy on the computer" is going to be confusing.


Advice appreciated :)

post #2 of 7

I don't think there's a way to explain it to a two year old that won't be confusing. I'd let him learn from watching the older kids, and try to answer questions as they come up.

post #3 of 7

We refer to my ex, on the rare occasions that there is a need or contact, by his first name. I suppose you could refer to him as daddy firstname, to differentiate from the daddy that your ds knows and sees every day. I would just say " daddy first name" who lives a long way from here is going to see us on the computer. You probaby don't remember him, but he remembers you and we can see each other on the computer, isn't that neat!? And leave it at that.

post #4 of 7

What do your older children call your husband? Why not have the 2yo do the same?

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, very helpful :)

Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

What do your older children call your husband? Why not have the 2yo do the same?

My older two call him by his nickname...they know their bio daddy, that's why, but we've started using "daddy" for my 2yo.  My dh does EVERYTHING for them that a dad should do and he's the only dad that my 2yo really knows.



post #6 of 7

I like the idea of calling him "daddy - and his first name." I honestly wouldn't worry if the child calls his stepdad his daddy. He really is if you think about it, nothing at all wrong with it, it's bound to happen with a child that young of an age growing up with that male figure married to his mom. :-)

post #7 of 7

I think kids (especailly little ones) have a lot less baggage around names than the adults. We know several people named "Megan" and the kids get confused, so we often say "so-and-so's mom, Megan" or "Megan who I work with" to differentiate. Kids have the same capacity to understand multiple people named "Daddy" or "Mommy" as they do multiple people named "John" or "Megan." While the names might mean a lot to the adults, they don't carry the same weight with the kids. My personal philosophy is that what my step-daughter calls me is between me and my step-daughter, and what she calls her mom is between her and her mom. I shouldn't be invested in what she calls her mom any more than her mom should be invested in what she calls me, because neither one has anything to do with the other, at least as far as my step-daughter is concerned. As with all things step-family related, the adults should try to set their own feelings and baggage aside and keep the children free from carrying those burdens. 



However, the debate of calling a step-parent "mommy" or "daddy" is a fiercely debated one (though people seem, in general, more accepting of calling a step-dad "daddy" than they are of calling a step-mom "mommy," which I have to say is a confusing double-standard to me). Do you have a sense of how your ex would feel about your 2-yr-old calling someone else "daddy?" You could always choose a variation for your husband if your ex is going to be upset about someone else having a name he feels should be his. Papa, Dada, Dad, Pop, etc... Of course, you can also just stick with the nickname... like I said, kids don't give names the same weight we do, and your two-yr-old isn't going to think the relationship with his step-father is less than it is just because he doesn't call him "daddy." His step-dad's special place in his life is determined by what he does, not what he's called.


Personally, if your ex doesn't know the 2-yr-old at all, I would set up the webchat for the older two, but let the 2-yr-old wander in if he wants to. I can't really imagine you could explain the relationship to a two-year-old in a way that would make any sort of sense... he's not going to understand his relationship to your ex, regardless of what name you call him.

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