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Woman Tells Her Boyfriend's Daughter To Stop Calling Her Stepdad 'Dad' To 'Set Boundaries'

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woman and teenager sitting together angry

Family boundaries are something that can be difficult to work with. When you become part of a family, it’s hard to determine where you fit and what would be considered overstepping.

One woman learned this the hard way after getting a little too involved in her boyfriend’s daughter’s life.

One woman took it upon herself to tell the daughter of her boyfriend what she can and cannot do.

An anonymous woman posted on Reddit for advice after she was left to wonder if she crossed a line with her boyfriend’s daughter. 

“I… have been with my boyfriend for a little over two years, and I’ve known his children for about six months. He has two daughters with his ex-wife who are 16 and 10,” she said.

   

   

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“Their mother is married and they both seem very close to their stepdad, which I’m happy for them for,” she continued. “However, as I’ve gotten to know them it’s become really obvious that they view him as more of a parental figure than me and even their actual father at times.”

It is important to note that this woman is just the biological father’s girlfriend. She is not actually the children’s stepmother.

“They both call their stepfather ‘dad,’” she said, “and while they both seem to respect and appreciate him more, his older daughter is over-the-top with it. Eventually, I asked both of them to stop calling him dad… and for a few weeks, everything seemed fine. However, I found out later from his younger daughter that his older daughter still does it when we aren’t around.”

   

   

According to the woman, she felt she had no choice but to intervene. “I sat her down to talk to her about it, which she didn’t want to [do], but I was firm. I told [her] that if she was old enough to drive she was old enough to understand that the household rules apply even outside of the house,” she stated.

In other words, this woman wanted to control her boyfriend's daughter's actions even when she wasn't at their home.

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She wrote that the daughter “told me to mind my business.” Her boyfriend agreed with her, but thought she “should have let it go.” 

But it was the girl’s mother who had the biggest reaction. “She called me after my boyfriend dropped his daughters off at her house the next day and told me that I had no business telling her daughter what to call her husband and that I was way out of line,” she said.

   

   

Now, the daughter isn’t speaking with her father and his girlfriend, and she hasn’t shown up to planned visits with them. The woman wants to know if she is in the wrong.

Commenters were largely against the woman.

A look at the comments on the post shows that other Redditors did not support the woman or her opinions.

“You have no authority to think you get to tell another person’s children who they can and cannot call ‘dad.’ You don’t get to police their relationships,” one person said. They then got to the root of what they believed to be the problem. “You’re just bitter they view their stepfather as a parental figure and they don’t do the same for you.”

Woman Tells Boyfriend's Daughter To Stop Calling Her Stepdad DadPhoto: Prostock-studio / Canva Pro

“It’s up to the children what they call their stepfather. Not you, not your boyfriend, not their mother,” another person said.

Regardless of who is right, the woman should not have been involved in the stepdad/dad discussion.

It is strange that this woman wanted to insert herself into her boyfriend’s children’s lives in such a big way, especially when they aren’t even her stepchildren. It's understandable that she wanted to defend her boyfriend, but when it comes to parenting issues with his children, she should take a backseat unless he privately asks her opinion.

One would think that showing them understanding and giving them space when necessary would be the fastest way to win them over. Judgment and discipline clearly got her nowhere.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.