What do your stepchildren call your parents? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I have been married for just over a year and my Dss still calls my mom "lea's ( my little sister) mom" or sometimes Cibele. Same thing for my dad. I think of Dss as my own and my parents think of him as their grandchild as well. It always feels so awkward reffering to them like that, we see them weekly, but I wonder about how appropriate it would be to have him call them his grandma and grandpa. In the same that I wouldn't ask him to call me mom, out of respect ofr his biological mother. Dss doesn't know either of his grandparents on his mothers side, but sometimes mentions them, he's seen pics. I don't want to confuse him or offend his mom. Maybe I'm just overthinking this?

What do you do in your family? Is it okay to tell him they are grandma and grandpa?
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#2 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Also wanted to add that I have a Ds who is seven months old, so he does't call them anything yet but this might be more important when he does?
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#3 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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Dsd calls my parents the same thing my dd's call them - Grandma Silly, Grandpa Tony, Grandpa Jim and Grandma Nell. That evolved from hanging out with my dd's and just hearing them referred to as such. She calls dh's parents Mana and Papaw. I'm not sure what she calls her maternal/steppaternal grandparents, but it doesn't bother dh if she calls her stepdad's parents by grandparent-type names. Kids often have more than one or two sets of grandparents - due to divorce, etc - so it seems a little less of an issue for us, at least.

Maybe ask what she would like to call your mom?

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#4 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 02:52 AM
 
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I was a SM for 5 years; SS 7-12 and SD 11-16. I never ever wanted to be mom, but my parents were still Grandma Mom's Name and Grandpa Dad's Name. I'm pretty sure we asked the kids what they would feel most comfortable with. How old is DSSS?

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#5 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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My son was 6 when I met my Hubby (who then had a 1 year old daughter). My stepdaughter always heard my son calling my parents and Grandparents "Gramma Anne", "Grampa Chris", "Gramma B", "Grampa B", so it just rubbed off on her- that's what she called them. Likewise, My son always heard my Father-in-Law being called "Grandpa Frank" and my late Mother-in-Law being called "Grandma Katherine", so that's who they became to him as well.

Whatevern your stepson is comfortable calling your parents should be okay. If he hears you refering to them as Gramma and Grampa (even just to your 7 month old), he may consider calling them Gramma and Grampa.

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#6 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 08:54 AM
 
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It seems much easier and less controversial for step grandparents to pick up regular grandparent names. As a PP mentioned, most kids end up with multiple sets of granparents anyway from divorce and such, so I guess it's somehow more commonplace already?

Maybe in part it's cultural/regional too? Where I grew up and the way my family was raised we didn't call older people by their first name... (likely why it still doesn't sit right with me that my DSD calls me Jen lol I don't want to be Mom, but seems like I should be something, other than calling me by my first name, which as I said growing up it was kind of disrespectful to call an adult by their first name)...

Anyway.. lol DH and I knew pretty early on that we were getting married so suggested to DSD that if she wanted to call my parents Grammy and Poppy she could... she fell in love with my parents the moment she met them pretty much and jumped right on that.

She calls her Mom's boyfriend's paretns Mama Bear and Papa Bear... (have no idea, those are the names the boyfriend's parents came up with, should be interesting to see what that evolves into in a few years when DSD is older and those names seem, a little too little kid-ish)

She always called my sisters Aunt as well.

I'm the only one in the family without any kind of family name.

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#7 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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All of our kids call all of our parents (on both sides) Grandma, Grandpa, etc. Aunt and Uncles too are "Aunt.....and Uncle..."

I think it's not as intimate as "mom or dad" so it's okay to have that title. I don't expect my step-daughter to call me mom...but I wouldn't want her calling my mother by her first name, so she just says "Grandma" and that is fine with all of us!

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#8 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input everyone. I guess if ds where talking it would be a no brainer, Dss would call them the same thing, so I guess I'm just thinking about this too much. I guess part of the problem is my mom hasn't yet decided what she wants even ds to call her and I myself have a hard time referring to her as grandma sometines, she really young (40).

Dss is 4 and doesn't quite understand what different terms mean. They're just names to him. He sometimes calls my father, dad, because my little sister does. I think I will probably start referring to them as grandpa name and grandma name.
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#9 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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I call my step grandparents Nana and Papa... my step Moms sister is Aunt Tracy, her son is my cousin... basically all of that family is mine as well and I call them such. So do my boys. My Nana and Papa have 3 great grandchildren (2 are my boys) and none of them are biologically theirs (their great granddaughter is the daughter of my Aunt Tracy`s stepson) and it doesn`t matter at all... it`s who they are to these kids and who they`ve always been

But then, I call my stepMom Mom... I didn't always, it was a gradual progression. I call my Mom Mom as well. (It gets confusing when I talk about them both ) But she`s been in my life since I before I had memory and I can`t imagine my life without the impact it`s had from her in it. She is, and always will be one of my parents

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#10 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julesdsm View Post

What do you do in your family? Is it okay to tell him they are grandma and grandpa?

My 12 year old step son calls my parents Grandma and Grandpa. He calls his maternal grandmother Mama. He used to call his maternal grandfather Papa, but he is now deceased. My mom especially made sure he saw them in that way, by addressing cards to him signed by Grandma and Grandpa. My maternal grandparents include him in the same way.

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#11 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Where I grew up and the way my family was raised we didn't call older people by their first name... (likely why it still doesn't sit right with me that my DSD calls me Jen lol I don't want to be Mom, but seems like I should be something, other than calling me by my first name, which as I said growing up it was kind of disrespectful to call an adult by their first name)...

I'm the only one in the family without any kind of family name.
Same here. My step dad adopted my brother and I when I was 8 years old. I always called him Dad. I referred to my bio dad as Father so as to be clear which one I was talking about at any given time. I can't imagine having ever addressed him as 'Ron'. I think I would have been in big trouble if I'd ever done that, or if I'd ever called my mom 'Linda'. It just isn't done. My grandparents I called Grandma and Grandpa, never by their first name, either. I don't know why it's different these days. I must be getting old, I guess.

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#12 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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DSD calls everyone Grandpa and Grandma Whatever... both my parents and my stepparents.

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#13 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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I really don't think there's a right or wrong way to deal with this. It's whatever everyone is comfortable.

I have a dear friend with a stepdaughter, she was under 3 when he married her mom. She used to call him by his name, but (she's 16 now) I've noticed she now calls him "dad" sometimes too. She refers to her biological father as "my real dad" to distinguish between them. "My dad" and "my real dad" -- though of course her 'stepdad' is more "real" in many ways to her...

When I was 12, my grandparents divorced and my grandfather married his mistress (yes, he had a long-term mistress...) We call her "Aunt Viv". In this case, we thought it would be disrespectful to our grandmother, who had been so badly hurt by all this, to call her any kind of 'grandmother'. But at the same time, we like Viv, she was part of the family now (and they're still happily married, as awful as it was at the time, they did get it right, it seems), so we had to call her SOMETHING, so "Aunt" it was.

When I divorced DS's father and remarried, DS was almost 4. He just calls DH by his given name. He's still very attached to his father, that's always 'dad', though he will call DH "my stepdad" when say, introducing him to his friends. His father just got married a couple weeks ago -- so he now has a stepmom as well, who he also just calls by her name.

Now DH's parents, that was trickier, and that's exactly what you're talking about. They even asked us what we wanted them to be called. We talked about it freely, pros and cons of different options, with them and with DS (he was about 8 when this came up, he hadn't really met them much before then). We all settled on just their regular names -- no grammy or grampy or aunt or uncle.

They treat him like any of their other grandchildren (they're extraordinarily generous at Christmas for instance lol...) but it didn't feel right for any of us to call them grammy and grampy in regards to my son. If it feels right in your case, then do so. Obviously from this thread it's a very common usage.

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#14 of 21 Old 08-08-2009, 10:08 AM
 
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She calls them by their grandparent names (Oma, Opa, Nana, etc). We knew we would have more children and we wanted all the kids to call their grandparents by the same names.

On her mom's side, she calls her step-dad's parents by their first names, and I have always been curious if her little brother on that side will call them by their first names, too, or if they will be called something different by the two siblings. It's strange enough to me to refer to step-parents by two different names, I can't imagine having two sets of names for everyone.

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#15 of 21 Old 08-09-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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My step-kids call my parents and sibling the same thing my own children call them. Vice versa for my kids at their dad's with their step-mom's family. The kids were all young when we got together.

Our rainbow baby, Anna Beatrice was born April 11/2010 after 4 m/c. She joins 4 brothers and sisters.
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#16 of 21 Old 08-09-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Almost Grandma (Firstname) and Almost Grampa (Firstname)--her coinage. The "almost" will go away once we're married (at long last, later this year). Sometimes it's just first names.

My sister and her husband are "Auntie" and "Uncle" already (but on both sides of her family, there are "aunts" and "uncles" who are not actually related but are close family friends, so this one need not be as precise).

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#17 of 21 Old 08-09-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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My step-son calls my parents Grandmommy and Grandpop, just like my kids do, which I love and so do my parents.

He did this on his own, following my sons' example. But I know my husband's and my situation is uncommonly lucky, in that our kids just adored each other from the moment they met - well before he and I even entertained thoughts of dating! So the kids were all very enthusiastic about our wedding and the idea that it FINALLY made them brothers and part of the same family.

But it would be awkward to pressure a kid to use names for people which imply that he feels more "related" to them than he really does. Certainly, you should tell him that he's welcome to call them Grandma and Grandpa, but I wouldn't push it. It's only been a year, right? There's plenty of time for a relationship with them to grow and for him to decide what he feels comfortable calling them. Maybe he'll make up his own name.

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#18 of 21 Old 08-11-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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DSS calls my parents Bubbe and Grandpa.

DSD calls them Gigi and Jerry.

No one makes a big deal about it.

+ = (4/97) & (1/99) & (8/99) & (2/01), with , the prettiest pup this side of the Mississippi.
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#19 of 21 Old 08-12-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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All our kids call my folks Grandma and Grandpa and DH's folks Nana and Papa. It was natural for us, partly because our kids were very young when we married (3, 4, and 6).

The only trouble we've had is from SS's mom's parents. They resented it and claimed SS couldn't have 3 sets of grandparents. It got smoothed over somehow (I think SS's mom managed that one.), but that's the only potential problem I see: jealousy. But what happens in a newly blended family that doesn't make someone jealous.

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#20 of 21 Old 08-16-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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At first, dsd called my parents and siblings by their first names. Once dd was born she picked up on the grandparent and aunt/uncle titles and uses them almost exclusively now. I didn't really push it but she seemed to get a kick out of it at first and I think it makes her feel more included in that side of the family. Plus, I do like that dd doesn't get confused about their names.

She calls her stepdad's family by their family titles as well. I think it is not nearly as controversial an issue as calling a stepparent mom/dad, especially if you are not forcing the issue and just let it evolve or gently suggest the new names

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#21 of 21 Old 08-17-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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DS (5 years) calls DP (not his bio-dad)'s parents by their first names. He also calls them "Jason's mom" and "Jason's dad". My parents are Grandma and Grandpa. Ds's bio-dad's parents are "Grandma first name" and "Grandpa first name", though that almost never comes up in conversation. DS's bio dad is just called by his first name. DP is called by his first name, though if you ask ds who his dad is he'll tell you dp's name.

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