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What should Stepchildren call their Stepmom?
What step children should call their step-mum depends largely on each individual child’s situation. Variables such as the child’s age and comfort level come into play. In addition, the quality and length of the relationship between the child and the stepmom and the vibe between the child’s birth mother and stepmom have a significant impact. However, if the biological parents and the stepmom can work together, and respect the child’s desires, it will keep this minor issue from becoming one that is serious and disruptive. Here are a few points to consider:
The biological parent
Biological mothers who realise that their child has begun to call their ex-partner’s new wife “mummy,” might take issue. Hearing her child refer to another woman as his mum can cause the biological mother to feel threatened. A biological mother needs to realise that her child must go through a period of adjustment, and even if her child feels comfortable enough to call a stepmum “mum,” it does not diminish her relationship. Instead of making her child’s choice of names an issue, she should focus having on a loving and supportive relationship with her child.
The stepmom’s and her biological children
If the stepmom is not already a parent, having the name “mummy” bestowed upon her immediately might be awkward or uncomfortable. A stepmom may enter the family with her biological children in tow. Additionally, if her new stepchild calls her “mum,” this might cause emotional turmoil for her biological children because they are not used to sharing their mum with others. Or, a step mum might feel slighted if a child decides to call her “step-mum” or by her first name, instead of using a more endearing term. It is important for anyone who is a step-parent to realise that she should allow the child to choose the name he wants to call her and not take offence if that name is not what she prefers.
A child’s feelings about her step-mum will likely evolve over time. For instance, a child may call his step-mum by her first name for a period, and then s/he might call her “mum,” if he develops a strong emotional bond with her. Small children tend to have a more simplistic view of the world. A “mum” can be any female parental figure, so calling a step-mum “mummy” may come easily to a child of this age. Older children and teens are unlikely to start calling a step-mum “mum” or “mother” partly because of their fear of disloyalty to their biological mum. It is vital for all parties involved – biological parents and step-mum – to support their child’s choice of what to call the step-mum. Becoming angry or resentful about a child’s decision to refer to his dad’s new wife as “mummy” only serves to confuse and alienate the child.
Rather than using the term “step-mum,” children can refer to their dad’s new wife as “my second mum,” “my other mum” or refer to the person by her first name. Other options – usually for younger children – include the term “mummy” followed by the person’s first name,” “mama,” “mum” or “mother.”