Q: My boyfriend has been around for about five months now and has really taken to my son, age 7. My son feels the same way, and since his dad is in and out of his life, I’m wondering if we shouldn’t celebrate Father’s Day with my boyfriend. What do you think?

A: We think you are being really presumptuous and need to slow down! “Really taken” doesn’t mean your boyfriend is ready to be a father figure. It means he likes your son. And although your son seems to feel the same way, it doesn’t sound like you have really discussed your boyfriend’s place in your life with him, and while we are at it, it doesn’t sound like you have had that conversation with your boyfriend, either. So, before you start picking out china and flatware, take a breath and think about what you are proposing. Father’s Day may just be too “loaded” a holiday to spend together this year.

Holidays are all about family and friends and being together, but days like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day specifically acknowledge a parent’s good work and the child’s adoration for that parent. Father’s Day or Mother’s Day cards talk about a history of devotion and love. You tell us your child’s father is often not around and when parents face this dilemma, they frequently look to their boyfriend or girlfriend to fill the void. That’s dangerous because in their desire to save their child from feeling abandoned they often move faster than they should. That’s what we think is happening here and why we say slow down.

If you want to start celebrating holidays with your boyfriend, we suggest you start with a holiday that takes less explanation than Father’s Day — and one that won’t be as obvious if your boyfriend is not present next year. Fourth of July is right around the corner. It’s a day when family and friends celebrate together — relax, barbecue, watch fireworks. That would be a great place to start.

And next year, if your boyfriend is still around and has openly accepted the “father” role, that’s when you may want to include him in Father’s Day — making sure that you never undermine the biological dad’s role, even if he is a flake. If you say anything negative, it will not be in the best interest of your son. He will eventually figure out all by himself who is there for him, so let that relationship form naturally.

Jann Blackstone-Ford and her husband’s ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of “Exetiquette for Parents,” are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com).

— McClatchy-Tribune