This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
I am a single father to an almost 6 year old little girl. I have had an unexplainable number of problems with my ex that would take a lifetime to even get into, but my most current problem is one that i dont quite know how to handle. My ex has just recently (within the last few months) moved in with her boyfriend. She has been with him for about a year or so. Ever since they moved in together, my daughter has been calling him dad. The first time she did it I was shocked and told her that she only has one dad and one mom. I told her he could be like a "pretend" dad, but I was the only real dad she had. She proceeded to argue with me about it becuase thats "what mom had told her". Since then, whenever she brings it up, my girlfriend and I both try and explain to her that she only has one dad. She even started saying that she has brothers a few weeks ago too (the children of this guy I am guessing). I got a text message from my ex a few days ago saying that my daughter was devastated and crying becuase me and my girlfriend had told her that her boyfriend was not her father. This situation obviously concerns me for a number of reasons. My daughter is going to be completely confused! Please give me some advice on how to handle this. I have been with my girlfriend for as long as my daughter can remember, but neither of us would ever think to tell her to call her "mom". It is just not right. It is hard enough being the dad with almost no rights, but now I feel like I am being completely bumped out of the picture. I don't want to upset my daughter (if she was even in fact upset by it) but I don't think this is right at all!
This exactly what happens to children this is a familiar story with children being caught up the middle of quarrels between parents . I do understand your pain , but it isnt your daughters doing, it perhaps would be a good idea if she called him (say his name is Bob) Bob-Dad it is short enough for a child to say, you could suggest it to her and perhaps ask your ex if it would be okay .Be diplomatic not hostile , he is a step dad so you arent going to change that and for the childs peace of mind you guys had better get over it .I think you are making her unhappy by bringing up the subject and telling her he isnt her dad, h isnt her bio dad , she will always know that . Take a deep breath and think of her well being ....
This is a difficult situation, you should talk to your EX, explain to her how you feel and how confusing this might be for a 6yr old to understand. Her boyfriend is just that a boyfriend, he has not made a commitment to her so they need to slow down. How would she feel if U did the same thing and had her call your girlfriend MOM. I'm sure it would drive her crazy. Tell your EX, if and when they get married. You will help explain it to your daughter.
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