A young man is wondering if he was wrong for telling his brother to stop calling him ‘dad’.
A 19-year-old man who we’ll call ‘Jim’ has questioned whether he was wrong to tell his 6-year-old brother that he is not his father.
Jim and his younger brother’s father has been absent for the past six years. “My father has been in and out of our lives for the past 6 years,” Jim lamented. He was working abroad and providing for us during that time, but us kids have slowly started to forget his presence around the house. In 2021, he had a huge fight with my mother and decided to leave us under the guise of “visiting his relative’s funeral. We haven’t seen him since.”
Life Has Been Tough For Jim’s Mom
Jim said that life has been tough for his mom over the years as she has little to no support from relatives. “It’s been very tough for my mother who’s tried her utmost best to make the best of such an awful situation for us kids without much help.”
Jim And His Siblings Step Up
Because of their situation, Jim and his siblings were forced to step up. “My siblings and I (mostly a bunch of teens) have tried our best to make things generally easier for her, including assisting in the raising up of Ed,” Jim said, referring to his youngest brother.
Ed Starts Calling Jim ‘Dad’
Jim notes that Ed has recently started calling him ‘dad’, however he brushed it off initially. “Ed always used to call me by my name, but recently (like a few months ago) he’s picked up the habit of calling me dad. I felt very awkward at first, but after some thought I figured it was an honest mistake and didn’t pay much attention to it. ”
Ed Continues To Call Jim ‘Dad’
“It didn’t stop there. Ed started calling me dad more, whether it was in private or whether it was in front of the family. I was extremely confused,” Jim recalls.
Ed Tells Jim That He’s Jim’s Son
“Earlier this afternoon, I picked him up from his school,” Jim said. When we reached home, I went to my mother and jokingly said ‘This random child has been following me the entire time, I think he’s lost.’ We have a way of joking that I think is pretty wholesome, I’m sure he enjoys it too. Ed playfully tugged me on the arm and said ‘How dare you say that! I’m your son’.”
Jim Sets The Record Straight
Jim finally sets the record straight and tells Ed that he is not his dad. “I didn’t want him to grow up believing that I was something I’m not,” said Jim. “So I gently responded ‘Ed, I’m not your dad. I’m your older brother, OK? We share the same mother.'”
Ed Got Upset
Ed replied “You’re my dad now, because my real dad is never coming back.” Hearing those words upset Jim, but he didn’t know how to respond. “I hugged him but he didn’t seem too happy and left,” Jim said.
The Mother’s Perspective
Jim’s mother pulled him aside later and told him that he should not have responded that way to Ed, as she believes Jim hurt Ed’s feelings. “She said that maybe Ed is calling me dad not because I’m his actual father, but maybe because I’m one of the safest masculine examples he’s got,” Jim said. “Upon reflection, I’m starting to feel very guilty about what I did. I think my mother is right; perhaps I was a little too harsh.”
Others Sympathize With Jim
One person said, “while he may see you as a father figure, it’s OK that you don’t want the title. Social-wise, calling a 19 yr old “dad” and a 48-yr old “mom” could also be VERY awkward.”
Another said, “I think what you did was the right thing. It’s difficult for kids that age to see their friends with their fathers and not understand why they don’t have a dad. And they don’t understand where babies come from and why you being their “dad” is not correct. He just sees you as a role model that he can look up to, and it kind of feels like he has a dad in you. Correcting him makes it so that this doesn’t become a permanent thing and reminds him that you are not his father. Keep emphasizing that you’re his big brother and that’s even better that his father (trying to put a positive spin on your relationship to him).”
Some People Think Jim’s Mom Is Using Him As A Replacement
Someone else said, “Your mother is using you as a quasi-replacement and doesn’t want to deal with the bigger issues here. She definitely needs to face the reality of the situation and what it’s doing to you and your siblings.”
8 Ways To Teach Diversity To Your Children
In an increasingly diverse world, it’s more important than ever to teach our children about diversity and inclusion. By teaching children about different cultures, races, religions, and ways of life, we can help them develop empathy, understanding, and respect for others. Here are some ways to teach diversity to your children:
8 Ways A Strong Family Unit Can Help In Your Child’s Development
As parents, we all want to provide the best possible environment for our children to grow and thrive. One of the most important factors in a child’s development is a strong family unit. A strong family unit can provide children with a sense of security, love, and support that can help them navigate the challenges of childhood and adolescence. Here are some ways a strong family unit can help in your child’s development:
10 Reasons Why It’s Better To Have Only One Child
If you already have one child and you’re on the fence about having more kids, here are some reasons why it’s better to have only one child.
15 Values You Need To Teach Your Young Child
As a parent, one of your most important roles is to teach your child values that will help them grow into kind, responsible, and compassionate adults. While there are many values that are important to teach, some are particularly crucial in the early years. Here are some values you need to teach your young child.
11 Things Our Moms Used to Say That We Hated, But Now We Get It
As children, we often found ourselves annoyed or frustrated with our moms’ advice and guidance. However, as we grow older, we begin to see the wisdom in their words. Here are 11 things our moms told us that annoyed us but now make sense as adults.