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babygalll's avatar

What to call your step-mother?

Asked by babygalll (2716 points ) November 12th, 2008

I have a friend who has a 4 year old step-daughter. The little girl gets offended when others refer to her step-mother as her mother. We are trying to figure out what step-children can call their step-parents other than mom and dad. Any ideas?

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18 Answers

Megan64's avatar

She could call her Mommy__________ or Mama__________. ie: Mommy Susan or Mama Susan. I’ve always thought this was a good idea if two moms were in the picture.

AstroChuck's avatar

I have a step-mother? Wow!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Just let the little girl call her by her real name. In situations like that, you can’t force a 4-year-old to have a bond with the step-mom. It’s understandable that a 4-year-old may have those kinds of feelings and they should be respected. The more respectful you are in a situation like that, the more the child will see that nothing is being forced down their throat. It will make them more comfortable and a little later on, more inclined to eventually give affection to step-mom once the kid realizes no one is actually trying to replace mom.

EnzoX24's avatar

All of my friends with stp parents simply refered to them by their first name. Whether people deem this as acceptable or not is beyond my knowledge. But chances are she may start calling her step mother by her first name regardless.

Judi's avatar

My kids always called my husband dad, but their real father was deceased. I loved hearing someone interview Joe Biden’s son and being corrected by the son when he referred to Jill as his “step-mother.” How proud and honored she must be.
Back to your question, has anyone asked the little girl what she thinks she should be called? Maybe she’ll invent a whole new title! To my grand kids I’m gigi and their other grandma is yaya. I’m sure she could come up with a creative yet endearing title.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Give them the choice. When i was young my parents divorced(i was around 5), my mom remarried before my dad did. She was still very bitter towards my dad at this time and she forced me and my sister to call her husband Dad. Now we still saw our dad every other weekend, which made stuff incredibly awkward for us. It later caused many fights with me and my step dad because he was “trying to be my dad” when i already had one. Now me and my sister dont call him dad, and we dont call him by his name either. Its just a big awkwardfest.
My dad on the other hand remarried some years later and talked to me and my sister and said you can call her by her name, but if you want you can call her mom. we of course call her by her name.

babygalll's avatar

I agree with all of you. The little girl isn’t being forced to call her step-mom mom or anything. The little girl calls her by her first name, but her dad thinks it’s disrespectful. I told my friend to let her call her what ever she is comfortable with and time will tell.

cdwccrn's avatar

I would let her call her what she feels comfortable with. The step mom may earn the priviledge in being called mom one day but it should be up to the little girl when.
In our family, step kids call step parents by first name most of the time.

mzgator's avatar

my step daughters called me Momma Dana. They lived with us, and rarely saw their Mom . Their mom was not very interested in seeing them. They are eighteen and nineteen and still call me Momma Dana or Mom. We never forced them. It was their choice. I would have been happy if they called me Dana or whatever they wanted, as long as they knew I loved them . My husband and I have a daughter together. I think calling me momma made them feel like they were my children. I raised them from the ages of one and two years old. I was the one who took them to everything. They have a relationship with their mom now. The oldest is living with her now as a room mate. She considers her mom a friend to party with and shop. She considers me the mom who gives advice and cooks meals and loves her no matter what. The younger one has very little to do with mom. There is and has never been that connection..,sometimes even with me. She is very independent. I love her very much. Just because you didn’t give birth to your step children doesn’t mean you don’t love them or they love you. Each situation is different with regard to what they call you. Just do whatever fits best in your family.

Judi's avatar

Maybe she should put a “miss” in front of her name so it sounds more respectful? Maybe that would help dad feel more comfortable.

jsc3791's avatar

An old co-worker of mine said he never like the “step” part because it made it sound unloving or like she wasn’t a real part of the family. They had the best solution – one which I use as well now – his little girl came to call his wife her “bonus mom.”

Kar's avatar

My stepsons always called me by my first name. I never minded, they already had a mother.

nocountry2's avatar

My 7-year-old stepdaughter is always VERY quick to correct people that “no, she’s my stepmom.” What’s strange to me is that some people will actually chide her and reply, “No honey, she’s your mommy now too,” which kind of baffles both my stepdaughter and I, and I don’t really know how to reply to that yet. I think she really identifies with her mom and is very protective of her, and worries about ‘cheating’ on her or offending her loyalties. In the meantime she and I are defining our own relationship, just the way we like it. I guess I can relate – it’s a little strange calling my in-laws mom and dad.

susanc's avatar

In-law names are a good model. My mother called her
in-laws “mama” and “papa” and her parents “mummy” and “daddy” (they were sorta Englishy). This worked out fine. My father called his in-laws by their first names. He already had good parents; my mother not so much.

My stepson was 14 when I met him. His mother was living, though far away. He always called me Susan. But he sometimes refers to me as his “other mother” because… you know…. I’m good. My adopted son also calls me Susan because we didn’t adopt him till he was almost grown up. We played around with him calling me mommy after the adoption, but it was ridiculous, we were already old friends by then.

punkrockworld's avatar

call her the stepmonster

sweetcherry84's avatar

I have a step-daughter and I have ALWAYS treated her as if she was my own just as she has always treated me as if I was her mother. I don’t beleieve in calling family “step” anything wether it’s a “step parent” or “step sibling”. To me, that means that the person/child isn’t being 100% accepted into your life. So my daughter calls me “Emmy” which is short for “Extra Mommy”. I think it is disrespectful for children to call adults by their first name. I NEVER wanted her calling my by my name or even putting Ms. infront of it because thats what they refer to their teachers. She lives with her mother but her father and I play an active role in her life as well. Therefore try to come up with something that works for both the mom and the stepmother that will also sit well with the child.

trick4life's avatar

I have 2 step-kids and when their mom used to have custody they would come over and call me Miss Tracy, I hated it. We have had custody of the 2 boys now for over 2 years and since then their dad and I have gotten married, and the other day they both asked if they could call me step-mom, I told them I would feel honored if they would call me that, since they only have one mom and I do not want them to call me mom (their real mother is quite a….. and would have a field day over that)

thecourtneylynn's avatar

When I was younger, I had this issue. I didn’t know what to call her, and it felt awkward calling her mom! I didn’t understand the concept so I called her “new mom” It isn’t the same as mom, and I knew she wasn’t. This made it easier on the both of us.

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