Post # 1
How do you refer to your step children? More specifically when you are talking about them to people who may not know them or know that you have a step child?
Darling Husband would like me to call him my son in these situations but it feels very odd, mostly because I’m 27 and he’s 13 so I can see the gears turning in their heads trying to figure out how old he is and how old I am, etc. It feels odd. I guess maybe I’m not comfortable in my step parenting role and that’s why it’s hard for me? Not sure.
Post # 3
@Mrs.Mittens: I have only ever heard people say stepchild. Unless they married into the family when the child was very young. I can understand why your Darling Husband wants you to refer to his son as your son though. I wonder if the son wants you to refer to him as your stepson or son? I think he is probably old enough where he will have a preference.
ETA: I don’t think there is a right answer. I think it all depends on what title you, your stepson, and your Darling Husband are most comfortable with. And your preference can certainly change over time.
Post # 4
Ok…I have a BRAND NEW step-parent as of 3 weeks ago. Long story short…my husband’s son from his first marriage has moved in with us after living abroad his whole life. He’s 15 and I’m 37. B/c he’s my husband’s son and our son’s brother (ours is 6 years old), I loved him instantly. I call him my son to everyone. The only time I ever say he’s my stepson is when I have to…such as filling out papers or calling his school, etc… I know my situation is different but I say give it time and also see how your stepson feels. My step son calls me mom already, so that has made our situation easier like that. Has your husband asked him what he prefers you refer to him as? Best of luck….
Post # 5
I don’t know if this helps, but I refer to my step dad as my step dad or my mom’s husband. If I had still been living at home when they got married I would be more inclined to just use step dad, but I was already out of the house when they got married. When I was 13 I would have thought it was odd to call my step dad “dad,” but at that age I definitely would have had an opinion on the matter, so I would just ask your step son what he prefers!
Post # 6
I call my step father my step father (or his first name), but refer to him and my mother collectively as my parents (mostly because if I get too many fathers in the picture it confuses things – and people). But my step dad (who married my mom when I was 10) calls me his daughter. Regardless of what I call him, he is my father, and knows that, but it took a few years to get there. At 13 he may have feelings about what you call each other, and they may change over time. I agree that your husband should ask him what he thinks.
Post # 7
I am also a relatively new step-parent. I am 27 and my step-daughter is 11, so I totally get what you mean about the wheels turning. I only refer to her as my step-daughter, especially when she is around, because I think she would feel uncomfortable if I called her my daughter.
Post # 8
I call my step-daughter my daughter; (she calls me Momma). She lives with us full time. Sometimes like PP said I can tell people are trying to figure things out ( I’m 29, she’s almost 15 ), but no one actually says anything about it.
What I am especially amused by is when complete strangers compliment how blue her eyes are, how she must have gotten them from me. She and I usually have a good laugh once we are out of earshot.
I would like to add though, she called me Mom first. I would never have taken that away from her birth mother (no matter how little a relationship they have). It will take a while for you to adjust to your new parental role but it will get easier.
Post # 9
When I refer to my fiance’s son I typically use his name and say my fiance’s son, every now and then I go with “future step son”. He calls me by my name. He’s 11, I’m 30, so I guess technically it wouldn’t get weird looks from too many people. I like to joke with him that I’m his big sister, because even though his dad and I have lived together for over a year, I’m uncomfortable dishing out any kind of discipline (although I do get strict about school work because I believe in C’s are unacceptable) and don’t see that changing unless he would live with us full time.
I’m very careful about overstepping boundaries — I know if I had a kid and their father and I weren’t together, I wouldn’t be all that keen on having someone else try to mother my child. He has a mom and a step-dad (who he calls by his first name). He likes to joke that he wants me to be his mom because I’m way nicer, to which I explain I wouldn’t be this nice if I actually had to be and act like his mom!
Post # 10
The teenager is more than old enough to know what he’d like to be called. I feel like you should should just ask him because it could make him uncomfortable if you do or sad if you don’t. Talk to him please. I have a stepfather and would have to correct him if he said he was my father because that is not the kind of relationship I have with him. But my FINL? They can call me their child whenever they want. It just depends on the kind of relationship you have with him.
Good luck!!! 🙂
Post # 11
I would ask the kid. At that age, he not only likely has an opinion, but he’ll probably be pretty upset if you assume and just start calling him son – especially if he doesn’t know his dad made the request. Even when I called my stepfather “dad,” it was more like a nickname than viewing him as any kind of real parental figure. When talking to someone else, he was always mentioned as my stepfather.
Post # 12
Darling Husband has four children, two are adults, and two are teens who live with us 50 percent of the time. I’ve told them that I clearly know that I am not their mom, because they have a wonderful mother who is very involved in their lives. I could never and would never expect them to consider me their mother; however, I do consider them to be my kids. And they all get that, and I think they really like it. When I refer to them around people in my life who know they are my stepchildren, I do not say stepchildren. When I am referring to them for the first time to people who do not know me or who do not know that I have stepchildren, I do make sure that they are aware that I have stepchildren.
My older daugther and her Fiance even gave me a Mother’s Day card last year that said, Happy Mother’s Day “Mom” (with mom in quotes), and I was quite touched by them even wanting to write that, since all of the kids just call me by my first name. That was special. Also, my younger stepson came up with THE cutest nickname for me — “Imposter Mom” — and he only mentions it once or twice a year, and always in an affectionate manner. He even handwrote that onto my Mother’s Day card last year: Happy Mother’s Day “Imposter Mom,” and it made me smile. 🙂
Even though I do consider them all to be my kids (and my older stepson’s wife to be my DIL), when I refer to any of them on FB or in any public forum that involves people who are close with their mother, I make certain to say “stepdaugther, stepson, and stepdaughter-in-law, because I do not in any way want to try to take anything away from their mother’s/mother-in-law’s unique and special role in their lives. I am very thankful and very blessed that we are friends and that we very much respect either other’s role in our kids’ lives.
Post # 13
I don’t like the term step-parent and I know that’s what is most widely used. I think it has a little bit of negative connotation to it “Evil StepMother”. Niether one of us have to step over the other to get to DH/Dad.
I call him my bonus son 🙂
Post # 14
Is the 13 year old comfortable with you saying that? I remember being at the pet store with my stepdad when I was 12 and I heard him tell the store clerk ” I am looking for a turtle for my daughter”, I was really flattered he would call me that, it made me feel good.
Post # 15
I’m not the step parent in our house, Darling Husband is. He calls DS his son most of the time unless like @Brielle stated it’s someone we’re just meeting & for the most part DS calls him dad (that was totally up to him though).
They talked about it before the wedding & Darling Husband told DS that he loved him & that to him, even though he was his “real” dad, he loved him just like he was his real son. DS really liked that and got really excited about calling him dad… which he started at the wedding. DS is a very literal kinda kid & felt it most appropriate to start calling him that AT the wedding & not before. lol
Post # 16
Thanks Ladies, all of your responses are great.
My mother has been with her Fiance for over 12 years and I call him my step dad but I don’t think I’ve heard him call me by anything other than “Connie’s daughter” or my first name. It would weird me out if he called me his daughter even though I have known him since I was 15.
I’ve only been with Darling Husband for 3 years and I’m still figuring out where I fit in his life, so right now if feels correct to call him my stepson, even if Darling Husband prefers something else. It will work itself out.