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Dad Versus Stepdad

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My daughter is 5 going on 6. About two months ago she met her biological father. Until then she didn’t even know about him. Recently she started telling me she doesn’t love her stepdad who has been in her life for 3 years now and who she’s been calling dad for just as long. Is this normal feelings? How can I help her through this transition better? I make sure to ask her all the time how she feels and if she has any questions. I’m hoping its just part of the transition.

Dad Versus Stepdad

Answered by on -


It is likely a transitional reaction. It is hard for children your daughter’s age to grasp all the complex feelings. If the situation persists, I would engage the services of a child and family therapist. Here is a link to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. You may also be able to locate a therapist at the “find help” tab at the top of this page.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Dad Versus Stepdad

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Dad Versus Stepdad. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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