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Child not referring to father as dad - help

  • Jenna29
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24 Sep 12 #357733 by Jenna29
Topic started by Jenna29
My daughters father and I have been seperated for over 3 years, since when she had just turned two. He worked away all week, went out all weekends, barely saw her, had no relationship with her and insisted she call him by his name rather than daddy while we were together. She has continued to only refer to him by his name to me, no matter how much I tried to encourage her to call him daddy. She also called him his name when she was there for contact which he had no problem with...until I met my partner almost 3 years ago. Her father then demanded she call him daddy or else she couldn''t have chocolate/watch TV/she''d be ignored so she called him it while there but made it clear both to him and me that it was under protest and continued to call him by his name while at home.

I spoke to him today and he is very angry that she refers to him by his name while here and wants her to call him daddy here too. I explained that she is well aware that he is her father (he tells her countless times at each contact) but that I cannot force her into calling him daddy. He said I should ignore her using his name until she calls him daddy but that isn''t fair on her in my opinion. On one hand, I understand that he''s upset by it, but on the other I think as long as she''s aware he''s her father and calls him daddy while she''s there, what''s the problem? Any advice?

  • dukey
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25 Sep 12 #357748 by dukey
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Shouting punish, your three year old called you by name in all innocence, do you see any problems here?.

Your dad is always your dad, is the name important, same for mam, most kids go through a phase of calling parents by their first name, it happens.

  • jar of hearts
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25 Sep 12 #357749 by jar of hearts
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As long as the child knows who her father is, what does it matter if she uses his name. He encouraged it himself in her early years and if it were my partner I would point out that fact to him, and also make him aware that she is fully aware that he is her dad. I would then simply not mention what name she uses at home and leave matters at that. Your daughter has now re-learnt what name to call her father in his presence, but continues in familiar fashion at home, so what?

As for shouting at a three year old and punishing older children for using a name that everyone else does, that is over-reaction in the extreme. A simple explanation that yes that is your name that other people use but that your child has the chance to use the special name of ''Mum'' or ''Dad'' to let everyone know how important their relationship is, would normally do the trick. All children will be facinated that their parent has a name other than ''Mum'' and is likely to try it out. Hardly a crime.

  • glasper
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25 Sep 12 #357750 by glasper
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one of my children (9) recently changed the way they addressed me. No idea why. But it was just a change from daddy to pa. No loss of respect, I guess he is experimenting.

  • Emma191
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25 Sep 12 #357753 by Emma191
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I wouldn''t worry too much, when I was a child my dad flitted in and out of my life at his leisure and for a while both me and my brother used to call him by his Christian name when he wasn''t around and dad on the occasions that we saw him as this is what we felt comfortable with.

Now we both just call him dad all the time, I don''t know how old I was when it changed but I do know it was never made a big deal of.

  • sexysadie
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25 Sep 12 #357765 by sexysadie
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My nephew calls my brother by his name and always has. His other children call him dad. It''s not an issue as far as I can see, as long as she knows who her father is. Your daughter has enough pressure without you punishing her for what she does in your home. Just take no notice of him and give your daughter the security with you that she needs.

Ozzywiz, I agree with the others. Why shout at a small child for something they did by accident?

Best wishes,

  • hasski
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25 Sep 12 #357769 by hasski
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Aside from the background view that parents should never be called by their first names by their kids (my mother is in her 80s and she''s still "mum"), I take your point that it is the inconsistency that is causing a problem.
He feels threatened now that you have a partner which is understandable. I think he''s going about it in a reactionary way. Try and provide him reassurance that she does consider him her one and only dad and that a complete change to what she''s used will take time

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