question about grandparents names

lauraFebruary 20, 2001

I have seen several posts involving names for grandparents. Can somebody tell me what the big deal is in being called something other than grandma or grandpa. I do not get along with my MIL or FIL. We were raised in different parts of the country and just have different opinions (on everything). My MIL insists on being called Nanna, that is o.k. for some people, but I personally don't like the way it sounds and don't want my children calling her that. Also, everybody on that side of family has a need to be called anything but grandma. I have heard nana, granny, me-maw, and even nona. I want my children to call her just plain and simple grandma. My side of the family has no problems with this what-so-ever. They are just happy to be apart of their grandchildren's life. My own grandmother stated the famous quote "A Rose by any other name is just as sweet" So isn't it more important that my children just call her than what they call her. What is everybodies opinion to this?? Do I have a right to tell my children what to say. BTW they are ages 3 years and younger.

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Luke's Mom

To be honest, I disagree with you on this one. I decided that each grandparent should choose how they'd like to be known, so we now have a grandma, a nana, and great-gran, and two grandads. I can understand your frustration, but it sounds like you don't get on with them at all, and therefore any opinion you hold is going to annoy them and vice versa (I have that kind of relationship with some of my in-laws, too). Just let it ride.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2001 at 12:34PM
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I agree with #1. Your kids will know the difference. It may seem really significant now, but believe me, in ten years it won't make any difference. My m-i-l had my kids call her by her first name. They still loved her, respected her and knew she was their grandmother. I didn't agree with her choice, but have to admit that 40 years later, I'm glad I didn't stir the waters over it. We had LOTS of years to disagree on important stuff.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2001 at 3:03AM
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IMHO whoever is being called "the name" should get to say what the name is. Just like you get to decide what your friends, neighbors and children call you, your in-laws should get to decide what they want to be called. You will also notice that "you" won't usually get to decide what your children call their teachers, their friend's parents or anyone for that matter, so why do you want to decide what they call your in-laws?

I often notice that sometimes grandparents want to use names other than "grandma" and "grandpa" to differentiate themselves from the other set of grandparents.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2001 at 12:01PM
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Bengal Lily

In my experience is hardly matters what the adults want the children themselves decide what to call Grandma and Grandpa.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2001 at 2:52PM
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When you meet someone and you ask them their name, they tell you and thats what you call them. If MIL wants to be called Nana, then you should do so. I can't stand the "G"
word so I'm called Nana. There are many people who don't like their given name and ask to be called something else.
I think its the person's right to chose their name.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2001 at 4:00PM
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Hmm, here's another angle to the question: what if I hate my father-in-law's chosen "grandparent" name? Do I get any say in it, or do I just have to grin through gritted teeth and encourage my son to call him "Gramps"?

*shudder* I just really hate that one! :-)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2001 at 5:26PM
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I think it is the child that ultimately decides what to call his/her grandparents. But, when they are really small, you sort of "train" them to say something. Fortunately, my son is calling both sides, simply Grandma and Grandpa, it's just the spelling that is different. One spells it the traditional way, the other Gramma and Grampa. Also, I think that if there is a name that the grandparent really hates then that should be taken into consideration. My mom really can't stand Granny, so we try to discourage that one. I too, dislike Nana, Nanny, Pappaw, and Memaw, but hey, if my kid wants to use any of those, I won't stop him.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2001 at 1:11AM
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When my granddaughter was born, I desperately wanted her to call me Grandma, just like I had called my Grandma. Not to be, it started out as "oohma" and eventually became "MaMa'. My son-in-law, ever the peacemaker, said this was an endearing word close to "Mom". Her other grandmother hardly acknowledged her until her little brother was born, but lo and behold what did she call her other grandmother, but "Grandma"! They will call you what they want to, but whatever the first child in a family decides is what the others usually will, too. My husband has always been "PaPa.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2001 at 11:12AM
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Nancy Orlea

How would you like to be stuck with Grog? Somehow my one and only granddaughter got that far and it stuck. In the 13 years I have grown to love it and at least I am not confused with other grandmas since there have been a couple divorces along the way. It was unique to her therefore I now love it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2001 at 1:32AM
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Granlan TX

My mother was known as Grannie to her grandchildren and my dad was Grandpa. They are both gone now.

When I started having grandchildren, I did not want to be called Grannie; that was my Mother to me. My first name is Lana and when I heard the name of Grana from a friend, that just sounded right to me. Of course, you never know how the child will learn to say your name. I would not have been upset if another name was used, but so far it's Grana.

It was only after my first granddaughter was born that a co-worker started calling me Granlan which I also love and this name would have distinquished me even more from all the great grandparents and grandparents still living on my DIL's side of the family. Also, since I am a long distance grandparent, I think it helps the little ones as they grow and get to visit maybe only once a year that this is who you are--having another name besides Grandma I mean.

The main thing is to be remembered no matter what the little ones call you. :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2001 at 12:32AM
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Dear Laura ... let your mil have her way ... like the others wrote before me, life is too short ... and the babies decide the important matters! Grandma became "nana" by my first child for my mom and "papa" for my father and that carried on for the next ten grandchildren (not all mine). My mil & fil, who did not see the children as often, became grandma and grandpa. It worked out so well, as all four grandparents had their own special names. Now, I am "nana", my mother is nanaB, and grandmaD & grandpaD are still alive and known as such! I just thank God that my grandchildren have at least three of their great grandparents to call them by one name or another! By the way, I begrudged my mil for many years for good reasons ... but that didn't last more than 15 years! Get over it ... your grandmother probably would have also quoted: you attract more bees with honey ...! Besides, as a young adult, I re-named my grandfather: "gramps" and he LOVED it! So much for whatever parents/grandparents or whoever wants to be called!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2001 at 11:49PM
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My mother recently remarried. She started dating him after I had grown up and moved away. My husband and I are expecting our first child, within weeks actually, and I have had some disagreement with my mother over what our child will call her new husband, Reed. He is technically my step-father, but I am over 25, and my father is still alive. Without going into detail, no one in my mother's family agrees with her choice (due to how he treats her), but Reed is her husband, and wants to have a "grandparent-type" relationship with our child. Because our yet unborn child already has two "Grampas", and I don't have a close relationship with Reed (nor do I want to), my mother has decided that my husband's and my request that he be called "Reed", just as he is to us, no longer stands. It will hurt him, and it is also disrespectful, she says. I don't want him to have an intimate, loving title like "grandpa", if his relationship with our child is going to be as superficial as it is with us. I've read over a few comments on this page, and others that have said that children respond to genuine affection, and if so, it will not matter whether or not the first name is used. We are not telling the child not to love Reed (the step-grandfather) or treat him with the same respect as the other grandfathers. He is as welcomed as everyone else in the family, but there is a distinction between him and the biological grandfathers. I figure that by the time our baby can address Reed with a title, he/she will have chosen a name based on the affection and genuineness of the relationship between Reed and himself/herself.
So, any ideas? Am I wrong in wanting our request to stand as it is for now, with the babe calling him "Reed"?

Pressured in Canada

    Bookmark   October 9, 2001 at 1:29AM
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In the interest in family harmony I would just have the kids call the grandparents whatever the grandparents want. Since you already have problems with your in-laws why battle over something of so little significance? Save your battles for something that matters. Maybe you would find yourself fighting less with them if you would give in a little on matters of no significance.


Why not be nice to Reed and let him be called grandpa or poppy or a title of honor? It doesn't diminish the relationship between the biological grandfathers to have another older male who loves the baby. Babies benefit from more love. Why create this barrier between your child and Reed just because you don't like him? Also-why alienate your mother? If he wants a relationship with the baby and an honorary title would make him happy I am sure you can come up with one that isn't the same as his other grandfathers.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2001 at 10:17AM
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Actually i wanted to be called by my first name i was only 36 when DGS was born. Once i laid eyes on him i didn't care who knew i was a grandmother. We started out with Nanna. And at the age 3 he has changed it to maw. Don't know where it came from but he can callme what ever he wants. I love my grandkids.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2001 at 12:37AM
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i, too, am wondering what my grandson could call me. i refer to myself to him as 'grandmother', which is a bit of a mouthful [he's only 21 months]. so far, he doesn't really call me anything! my kids called my mother 'grandmother-house', as we always referred to 'going to grandmother's house' as she lived near us. and they called my MIL 'grandmother-hi-ho', as she lives in Ohio! i really don't care much for the usual names for grandparents, and trying to make up anything seem so contrived and cutesy.... oh, what to do?....!! i know i'll answer to whatever he comes up with, whenever that may be!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2001 at 12:38AM
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Personally, I can't stand that my MIL insists on being called Gram. She thinks that Grandma sounds too old. I secretly hope they call her Granny...that sounds even older. It could be worse though, my sister's FIL insists on being called Grandpa Fat Belly.
I think that it is MUCH cuter when the child chooses the name out of a mispronunciation of "grandma", not when a grandma picks it!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2001 at 10:06PM
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When my grandson was born 2 years ago my daughter's inlaws wanted to be called Nana & Papa and were very relieved that I happen to like Grandma better -- I guess because it is what I called both sides of my own grandparents. It does seem to make it easier to distinguish between the two different sides. However, when my DGS began talking "Grandma" came out as "Damma". My daughter thinks it is so cute she encourages it and as long as he smiles & lights up whenever he sees me I could care less what he calls me!!! Besides, I must be the only "Damma" in the world, so that makes me pretty unique, right?? ;-> Now I have a darling 4 month old granddaughter so we'll see if she copies her brother or comes up with something of her own!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2001 at 12:51AM
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We were a little older when we started calling my dad's father,"Grampa blue car". Both grandfather's were close by. I think we only called him that when referring to him but in person, would call him Grandpa. That lasted till he sold the blue car.

Now that I'm thinking about it, both grandfathers could be in the room and we'd call grandpa. I guess we got both their attention.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2001 at 10:31AM
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