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stressedmommy
stressedmommy asks:
Q:

My son is calling my boyfriend "daddy"

i have been dating my boyfriend for a short time, he is a wonderful man that has fallen in love with me and my son.  My  son recently started referring to my boyfriend as daddy.  my son does not know is biological father and never will due to extenuating circumstances.  my boyfriend has said he is willing to take on the the father role, but we are not sure about my son calling him daddy. is this okay?
In Topics: Blended families
> 60 days ago

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Expert

ShirleyCressDudley
Jan 26, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

You are right in wondering if it's O.K. for your son to call your boyfriend "daddy." Now that you are a single parent, dating has become more complicated.  You are no longer just looking for a great husband, but also someone who will be a wonderful co-parent and step father to your son.

Younger children easily accept a new spouse and will call them mommy or daddy. Having two parents in the house just makes sense to them. If you are not ready for a commitment, and aren't sure if your boyfriend will be the best co-parent he can be for you and your son- then it's time to stop dating him.

I would also encourage you to not expose your child to a boyfriend until you have been dating several months and start feeling that the relationship is heading in a more permanent direction.  Your son will be confused if he is around one boyfriend for a couple of months and then you decide it won't work out, and start dating another man.

I know it's hard, I was single for many years before remarrying; but remember- you want to be a great mom, while dating.  I wish you the best in figuring out what the next step is for you and your son.


Kindest Regards,
Shirley

Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC
Founder of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center

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Additional Answers (3)

zenfather
zenfather writes:
I see nothing wrong with your son calling your boyfriend Dad. It is ok as long as everyone feels comfortable with it. At some point your son will know that this is their step dad and not their biological dad.

My wife took on a new Dad when she was 13, she calls him Dad and he fill this role better then her biological dad ever did.
I think specially young kids feel the need for the father figure and it's great if your boyfriend is there to fill up that role. best wishes to you.
Zenfather.
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi stressedmommy,

I think as long as everyone in the relationship is comfortable it's great.  It's important that your boyfriend has plans to live up to that title (daddy) for the long haul, that you believe he's someone you'll keep in your life, and that your son is not feeling pressured to call your boyfriend daddy.  It sounds like all of this is in place and that you all are forming a loving new family that everyone's happy about.  You'll decide when it's right to talk to your son about his biological father but in the mean time it sounds like he's got a great male role model in his life who he loves and who loves him...great!

Congratulations on your relationship and please keep letting us know how things are going.

Kat

Education.com Community Team
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
This can have some negative effects if your boyfriend decides to leave one day. Where is daddy your son asks? I would play this situation our very cautiously. It is good to be honest with any child about the parental situation. The more you are honest, the more likely the bond between you two will never break. But if you lie or keep the fact that boyfriend isnt daddy, you may have an issue later if the relationship goes sour.
> 60 days ago

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