Archive for September 13th, 2011

Now that you’re done agonizing over your baby’s name, it’s time to come up with what to call the elder members of the family. These days not only do you have four grandparents and possibly great grandparents but now there can be many more with second marriages added to the mix. How does your toddler keep everyone straight?

Lilah (a couple years ago) with some of her grandparents and great grandparents.

When my daughter was just starting to talk I asked each of her grandparents what they would like her to call them. On both sides of the family they said that she could call them whatever she would like. The problem is that in most cases a child needs a starting point.

I have always called my grandparents “Grandma” and “Grandpa” and if I was talking about them they would be distinguished by their last names. In this day and age it seemed a bit formal to do that. Since they had no preference and did not have an issue with the grandma or grandpa moniker (I think it’s because I waited until I was older to have her) we just went with the traditional Grandma and Grandpa. If we were talking about them to Lilah we added their first names to the end to any avoid confusion, for example Grandma Laurie. Of course, when she was just a wee little one she couldn’t even say Grandma. Instead all her grandparents were all known as “Ga” until her verbal skills developed. Great grandma was Great Ga or GG.

In the past two weeks this subject has come up many times with people in and out of the Le Top office. I know that grandparents with different ancestry solve the problem by using the name for grandma (or pa) in their native language, such as grandma is Abuela (Spanish), Oma (German) or Nonna (Italian). Often this is very natural because this is what they called their grandparents. What if that is not the case?

Some grandparents will take the opportunity to name themselves. Generally it’s something that is endearing and fairly easy for a child to remember like Nana. Remember, if the name is too difficult a child may simplify it by him or herself, and you never know how it will end up. In the end, most grandparents are just happy to have grandchildren and will be willing to work with whatever you child ends up calling them.

Here is a list from the grandparents.com website that lists traditional, trendy, playful and international names for grandparents. Hopefully it will give you some useful ideas to deal with your naming dilemma.

Good luck!

Full list of names for Grandparents

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