Getting Married with a 5 year old as a step daughter

by Joseph

My problem is small in comparison to the others posted, but I fear that it'll become a much larger one if I don't address it now.

I'm getting married to the love of my life who inspires me on a daily basis with her parenting abilities and general outlook on life.

She has an amazing 5 year old, who has never known her biological father. She is much better off because of it, and it allows me to step into the father role much easier. I'm all she has ever known as a father, and she even calls me "dada" at times.

My problem lies in myself. I find myself thinking about how she isn't my child, and I treat her with the utmost care, and love. I do everything in my power to help her in any situation, and I hurt when she hurts.

I just for some reason cannot get past the fact that she isn't my child biologically, and I don't want to feel that way. I don't want to feel that way, because she will more than likely never look to me as someone who isn't her parent, because of me being all that she knows.

I really love the girl and want to be her "dada", but in order to move to that state of mind, I could use some constructive criticism/advice.

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Nov 12, 2010
Reluctant Father
by: Laura Ramirez

I love your honesty about being a somewhat reluctant father to a child who does not share your genetics. I applaud your sense of vision about how these feelings will play out in the future and your willingness to seek help.

A possible solution to your cry for help comes from my parenting book which a blend of developmental psychology and concepts from the Native American culture. The book is about what it really means to be a "keeper" of the child, until the child is mature enough to "keep" herself.

In the native world, the definition of a father is different from the definition in white culture. A father is not defined by the person who has merely sown his seed in the womb of a woman who has given birth to their child. In the native culture then, the title of "father" is not bestowed by virtue of genetics, but through moment-to-moment action. A father is "one who fathers," one who sees into the heart of a child and gives the child what is needed to thrive. Do you see how being a father is a great honor, privilege and a title that is recognized through consistent action, rather than for one act at one point in time? (See my explanation about the word "mother" in my book. Also, see the definition of "grandfather" if you are willing to see a vision of yourself further down the road.

Sit with this and let it affect you deeply. This little girl wants and needs you and you need her as well to show you what kind of man you can really be in this world. Imagine what kind of family life you can have if you can aspire to this, especially with the woman who you love by your side.

I hope this helps. Please continue to share your story because other men desperately need to hear it. Just look at all the so called fathers in the white culture, who sow their seeds and then just walk away.

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