Monday, December 14, 2009

What Will You be Called as a Grandparent – Here’s a Little Help

What’s in a name, anyway? My daughter wanted my husband and I to be called Nana and Pop-Pop which is what my husband’s parents were called because her husband’s parents were already Grandma and Grandpa and she wanted us to be called by something different. I protested because I did not want to be called Nana which sounded old and old fashioned to me. I am a traditionalist at heart but I don’t like to be old fashioned or thought of as being old. I insist that I am still middle aged which I admit is getting to be a tougher sell every day.

My husband wanted to be called Pop but Fran said it did not match with the Grandma I am insisting on. My grandson, Zach (six months old) and my husband have become great friends - they really enjoy each other’s company. It is a joy to watch them interact. I can see them becoming quite a tag team. Pop really seems like the right fit and just recently my daughter said that Pop was fine. Wow! I am really happy about that because I know it makes my husband happy, it is easier to say, and indeed it just seems like what he should be called.

One of the things that is a topic of discussion when you are still a “grandparent-in-waiting” is what you will be called. It may be a surprise to some people that this is actually a parental decision – or so they think. In reality whatever a child begins to call you may stick and that is why so many grandparents have some unusual monikers. But we can certainly influence our name by using our preference at an early age.

On I moderate a group for New Grandparents and the group attracts new and expectant grandparents. When introducing themselves they often talk about what they will be called and I have been surprised at the wide variety of possibilities. Some are from their family cultural origins or what their parents were called. Some want something young, playful and fun sounding and others want to be thought of as warm and comforting. You need a name that goes with your “ambiance” after all. It is actually more difficult to choose a name as a grandparent than as a parent. Mommy and Mom seem to cover all the bases but not the case with being a grandmother. Our role is non-essential and so we are allowed much more latitude with our name. has a number of books on this subject and you can link on them by clicking on the links or ads below. The holiday season is a good time to lighten up and enjoy everything we have to be thankful for. Here are some good “Lighten up Helpers.”
You Can Call Me Hoppa! The Grandparents' Guide to Choosing a Name that Fits
The New Grandparents Name Book
The Big Book of Grandparents' Names

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