How should soon-to-be stepmom introduce my son? - FamilyEducation
How should soon-to-be stepmom introduce my son?
11/12/2008 at 13:53 PM

I am a 32 year old divorced man with a five year old son from the marriage (his mother and I are both equally involved in his life).   Recently, my fiancee and I were out at a craft store and we had bought some ornaments for my son to decorate for Christmas (he was not with us).  The cashier asked who they were for and my fiancee replied, "they're for his son"... 

Believe it or not but this is the first time this has come up...

After we left the craft store, my fiancee asked me, "How should I introduce him in those situations?  If I'm alone with him, it's fine for me to introduce him as my stepson, but if the three of us are together (or in this case, just her and I) how should I introduce him?  I would feel akward saying he's 'our son' b/c, biologically, he's not...but if I say it's for my stepson or refer to him as your son (as she did here), I don't feel like it's a good representation of our family".

Any advice?

If your fiance' is comfortable introducing your son as her "step son" when she is alone with him then why not when she is with you? It seems much more important to get it right when your little boy is listening. I don't see why calling him her "step-son" is not a good representation of your family. Is she thinking that people will assume he is adopted? I think however she represents herself to your little boy should be the way she represents herself in public.

He is not yet her stepson. If you are present, you be the one to say "my son." Until the wedding, he is not her stepson, he is her fiance's son. This is an accurate representation of your family as it is now.

I do agree with acitez about the boy not yet being her step-son, so why represent him that way. My previous advice to represent him as "step-son" was due to the information that she is already representing him that way when she is alone with him. Therefore, it could confuse the boy if she represents him differently under various circumstances.

How would you want your ex's new man to introduce himself? Would you want her fiancée introducing himself as your son's stepfather?

Some people would not mind and some people would mind. All situations are different, but I think it is important to be clear and consistent. Mostly for the child sake.

I guess I'll clarify a bit...this was really about when we do finally get married, not before. I totally agree that he isn't her step son until we actually do get married. I'm really looking for advice on post nuptials :)

Since you have shared custody and he is an older child, she should acknowledge the fact that she is a stepmother, he is a stepson. If this were a pre-schooler AND if you had full custody, it would be an option to call them mother and son, because to external appearances she would behave as a mother. Of course it would not be a fact unless she adopted him.

Then I would say she should always introduce your son as her step-son after you two have married. Congratulations by the way on your engagement and please always consider your son first until he has turned 18.