Stepdaughter - rude and nosy
New gran - can I be involved?
Family conflict - what to do?
If you're a new grandparent, you may be thinking about what you want your grandchild to call you - once they get their mouth around real words that is. Will you go for something traditional, like Grandma or Granny, or are you looking for a more trendy name? We've put together a list of the most popular and more unique grandparent names for you to choose from.
If you're struggling to think of a name that suits, why not look back at those used for your own grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents to see if there are any family traditions that you'd like to keep hold of. You can also choose the best namesake to suit the kind of grandparent you want to be.
"Gran was the well-dressed, outgoing one who took us to parties, the circus and the first trip to the theatre. Granny was the old lady who stayed at home and always wore brown. I'm Gran to my grandchildren for obvious reasons!"
Feel too young to be grand? It's okay to feel like you're not old enough for any of the titles out there. If you're finding it hard to pick, sticking with your first name may just be the perfect solution. The important thing is to celebrate the exciting change in your life. Or you could choose one of these more modern-sounding monikers.
Depending on what being a grandmother means to you, it may be wise to go off-piste with something totally different. Why not pick something from another culture or language, a made-up name that has some significance to you, or a name from your favourite country?
As well as the unfortunate cultural references that come with names like Nana, which is the brand name for sanitary towels in France (if your grandchildren happen to live abroad), it may be of sentimental value to embrace ancestral culture when choosing the ideal name. Whether it's the Greek Yia Yia, Italian Nonna, Cantonese Pòhpó (maternal) or Màhmàh (paternal), South African Gogo or the Yiddish Bubbe, you can never underestimate the importance of going back to your roots - and it may be educational for your grandchildren too.
"I have an American friend whose grandchildren call her Granners. I quite like it."
Perhaps your daughter-in-law has a nostalgic attachment to a grandparenting name from her childhood? Or perhaps your son is averse to his own grandfather using 'Grandaddy-o'. The last thing you need is to be labelled a 'difficult grandparent' before the baby's even arrived so it's worth seeing what name your child (and their partner) want before staking claim.
Prepare for handbags at dawn...
Grandchildren often differentiate between paternal and maternal grandparents to make things easier, so try to nab the name you want first so that you don't have to settle for second best (if there is such a thing). Equally try not to mind too much if the 'other' grandma has got in there before you.
A somewhat more creative way to embrace tradition (if that's what you're going for). It's important to remember to have fun with your new title, pick something that suits your personality and choose a name that nicely rolls off the tongue. Gammi, Ona, Meema, anyone?
Step-families all work in different ways, but the key is to find what works best for you as a step-grandparent and your grandchild. Perhaps use your first name, choose a neutral one or, depending on how you view yourself as a grandparent, stick with a classic. It may also be wise (if the situation requires it) to talk it over with your grandchild's biological grandparents to get their thoughts on the situation. It may mean that you also take a grandparenting name, but one that differs from theirs.
Things can get a little trickier when four generations are involved, but that doesn't mean you have to change your nickname altogether. It can, of course, evolve with you. You can be great without adding a 'great' to your name...although GG does have a nice ring to it.
Grandchild's in charge - no messing! We're all suckers for whatever the little ones want. So, really, whatever they say goes. Our advice? Don't fight 'em. You know they'll win in the end. Grandchildren have got the logic of grandparents down to a tee. They know who you are and they know how special you are in the family.
But remember to watch what you say - your grandchildren will have a field day with any verbal tics and Ducky Gran could end up sounding a bit rude hollered in a supermarket by an overexcited toddler. What they can actually pronounce may indeed be the deciding factor. Although when they give you a cuddle and a kiss, you won't mind what they call you anyway.
As with all these things, however, it's good to keep a healthy sense of perspective...
"When this precious bundle arrives, what you are called fades into insignificance. I don't care what they call me, as long as they call me."
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