48 answers

Need New Way to Introduce My Step-daughter

I have been married for 8yrs. My husband has a daughter from his first marriage. She will be 14 in August. My quandry is this...I don't like the term "step"-daughter. It is a term that I have always dispiesed. We will have custody of her this coming August and will be us, thus having alot more introductions. Does anyone have any other way that they themselves introduce their "step" children to others? Having her call me "mom' is not an option, out of respect for her mom.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I was so happily over-whelmed by all the responses I received. And it seems to be the general concensus is to ask her what she is most comfortable with. She will be with us on Sunday and her dad and I are going to sit with her and ask her how she feels about it. It was just so wonderful to know that there are soo many of you out there who cared enough to help me out. I will check back once we have had our talk. Thanks, Pam

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My step daughters are my "bonus kids" and call me their "bonus mom" as in, not everyone is fortunate enough to have more wonderful people in their lives -and they really are the best.

2 moms found this helpful

she's old enough to ask directly how she would like to be introduced in relation to you. Include her. It's the best idea for the beginning of a wonderful relationship in which you want her to feel you value her and her thoughts. good luck xo

My husband has always called my child from a previous marriage his son, even though my son calls him by his first name, not Dad. But he does refer to him as his dad, to the point where sometimes people are confused when other dad shows up. However, the main point is, he is his son as well as his bio dad's son. There's no reason to make a differentiation that will make the child feel bad, different, or lesser than. Blended families are so common these days anyway, it's ridiculous.

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My step daughters are my "bonus kids" and call me their "bonus mom" as in, not everyone is fortunate enough to have more wonderful people in their lives -and they really are the best.

2 moms found this helpful

Ask you step daughter if it is Ok that you introduce her as your daughter. She will tell you how she feels.
You also do not have to say this is Jane my step-daughter. You could just say I would like to introduce you to Jane and if some one asks, "who is JANE?" then say, this is my step-daughter, other wise just leave it at a basic introduction. If you get custody most people you are acquainted with will know who she is in a short time.


1 mom found this helpful

Pam, I agree. My husband has a son from a previous marriage and I cant bring myself to call him my step son. It feels cold in my mouth and I simply cannot form the word. I call him my son. If people ask me if he's my biological son ( not many will) I just say I did not carry him under my heart for 9 months but it doesn't make any difference to me. Michael came into my life when he was 10 and he lives in another state. so we do not see each other alot, but when he does come here, he is my son and when he leaves I miss him dearly.

1 mom found this helpful

Why not just introduce her as "OUR daughter"? Do you treat her as well as you would one of your own children? If so, then she is your daughter as well. She is just blessed enough to have another mother-figure love her in addition to her own mother. How lucky is she? There are so many children with biological parents that don't love them as well as they deserve; she can count her blessings that she has two women to love her.

If anyone questions the introduction, you can say that you were so lucky to gain a beautiful daughter when you married your husband. That should satisfy anyone's curosity.

I am a "step daughter", and my "step-father" has always treated & loved me as his own. He has never introduced me as anything but his "oldest daughter"/"Our daughter". We had a saying in our house; the only steps in our house were on the staircase- not in our hearts.

When my mother and he married, he & I came up with a special "name" for him, not dad. Maybe your "daughter" may like to do the same.

Most importantly, why don't you ask her how she would like to be introduced? It should be a family discussion, and everyone should feel comfortable with what you decide collectively. She is plenty old enough to have a say in all of this, and ultimately, you should reinforce that she is just as important in your family as your twins are. That your family would not be complete without her, but you will not serve as a "replacement mother", but an "additional parent-figure", a "god-mother" of sorts. Let her make the final call....

Just speaking from experience... best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would talk to your step-daughter and your husband together and see what makes her most comfortable. My 10 year old step-daughter calls me by my first name out of respect for her mom and she prefers that people know that she is my step-daughter so that her mom doesn't get upset with her. Her mom plays a lot of head games with her and throws extreme fits so for her to call me her mom worries her about what her mom will say and do.

I'm super involved in her life anyway so everyone knows who I am and what kind of relationship that we have. Sometimes I feel like I offend other step-parents who say things to me like, "I JUST REFER TO MY STEP-DAUGHTER AS MY OWN CHILD NOT AS A STEP-CHILD!"........I treat my step-daughter w/the same love and discipline as my own son and I don't care about what those other step-parents think, I care about what is best for my family and what makes my step-daughter comfortable.

My step son is 13 and I have known him since he was 4. He used to call me by my name. then, When my husband and I had children, they are 3 and 5, we thought it was confusing for my step son to call me by name. About 4 years ago we asked him what he would like to call me, what he would feel comfortable with. He came up with mamma he says it in a sort of european way with an accent at the end. It works great. the kids consider him just his brother, not half, we never use that term. As far as introducing him I just say his name sometimes I just say my son. We decided that although it is clear that I am not his mother and I would never pretend to be it was okay because he knows that his mom is his mom. there is no confusion or hard feelings.
I guess I suggest talking with her and coming up with a solution together. This way it is respectful to her feelings and everything is out in the open. You'd be surprised at how candid and wonderful these kids can be. Good luck.


I am a step mother of a 5 year old girl. I also have a hard time with the word step. I basically have asked my step daughter what language she wants to use. I do whatever she is most comfortable with and I check in with her every so often just to make sure I am on the right track with the titles. I think that her comfort is the most important so I just follow her lead.
Hope it helps,

Ask her what she would like. My husband has a son from his first marriage and always pressured his son to call me mom and also for me to introduce him as my son. Now his son did call me mom unless he was mad at me then it was Cheryl. When he got older we talked and he knew it was his decision not mine.

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