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  1. narsaida
    March 23, 2008 at 11:57 am | |

    My daughter had a baby 3 months ago-my first grandchild. I am divorced (8 years) and remarried as is my ex-husband. I am called Nona, her in-laws are called Grandma and Poppa, my ex is called Grandpa and his wife of 4 years wanted to be called granny-g (her first initial). My husband of 7 years is being called by his first name as per my daughters request. My daughter feels that her father’s wife should not have a name or title that suggests “grandma”. She wants her baby to have 2 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers and no more. It is not that my daughter doesn’t like his wife (there have never been problems between them) she just wants to do what she feels is right. My ex is holding strong on this and is not seeing my daughter’s point of view. He says giving his wife a “non-grandma” type name means she is not recognizing that he is married and that she is being disrespectful to both of them! My daughter even suggested several nicknames (variations of her first name) since she did not want to be called by her first name. However, he told my daughter that his wife is the baby’s step-grandmother and will, in the very least, be called “step-grandmother” and that my daughter should show him more respect since he was the one that raised her (she went to live with him when she was 14). This whole thing has my daughter devastated, she cannot believe that her father will not give in to her. She now refuses to call him and has not taken the baby to see him. I feel he is being insensitve to my daughter’s needs and I feel that it is her baby so she should have the final say. How can I convince my ex to do what is right for his daughter and first grandchild? He may end up losing his relationship with both of them over a name, shouldn’t that be enough reason to have his wife accept a non-grandma type name? After all it is just a name.
    Marsaida

    1. Confused in Florida
      January 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm | |

      I agree with your daughter that there should only be 2 grandmothers & 2 grandfathers and no more. It isn’t about excluding the step-grandparents at all nor like/dislike even an issue but gives the actual grandparents a special place of honor for their grandchildren. The grandchildren should call the step-grandparents by their first names (or whatever nicknames other than Grandma/Grandpa…) and when old enough will also know that they are married to their grandmother or grandfather and give respect as married to their grandmother or grandfather. I believe that having 8 (or anything additional than the original 4) would be more confusing to particularly younger grandchildren. Let the real grandparents have those special titles that only they should have and keep the married spouses to the original grandparents as that only. I feel your ex-husband is not considering the title of the real grandparents at all. His wife should not even want to be considered a grandparent as she isn’t but married to the grandfather of those children!

  2. Nancy
    October 13, 2008 at 12:51 pm | |

    Well, this is just my personal opinion, but I tend to feel that your daughter is sending her step mother a very clear message. “You are an outsider and will remain and outsider”

    Pray tell what would it hurt the infant to grow up having 6 or seven grandparents, a child should be so lucky to have so many people to love them and care for them..

    We are speaking of an ifant here that is going to have to deal with each extended family and to have the child learn to call your new husband or your ex’s new wife by their first names is setting them aside and actually showing a disrespect for their role in the relationship. It is telling the child from the get go that they are not worthy of the same respect as the child’s bio grandparents. This is wrong, as I am sure that the step grandparents are going to be expected to babysit, attend birthday parties, buy christmas gifts, contribute to college funds etc….

    Your daughter has some resentment issues of her own that she needs to work on before she transfers these to her child.

    It would be my advice to let the bio grandparents decide what they want to be called as yes they should have first choice at granny or ganddad or what ever, but give the step grandparents a little respect also by then allowing them to decide for themselves what they would like to be called by the child and then teach the child from the get go to show them respect by honoring their wishes. To do it any other way is showing that you the parent have not learned to respect the role of the step parent in your life.

    1. Confused in Florida
      January 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm | |

      Your comment that an “infant have 6 or seven grandparents, a child should be so lucky to have so many people to love them and care for them” may be true for persons but there were only 2 mothers and 2 fathers that bore those parents and then outsiders want to claim a title after marrying in to the family after the grandchildren are born is ridiculous. What is wrong with the grandchildren calling the spouses to their actual grandmothers or grandfathers be called by their first names? They still can love those grandchildren too but keep the grandchildren aware of who their “actual” grandparents are with their titles. Why confuse them? …just love them too without the title needing to be attached and not deserving.

  3. May 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm | |

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  4. November 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm | |

    I have a grand-daughter who I am raising. My question is, if grandparents divorce and one of them is a step grand-parent should that step grand-parent stop seeing or visisting the grand-child. This child has know the step grand-mother since she was born and has alwways called her mamaw. The child loves her so very much and crys to see her. She is only 5 years old but the real grandfather wants the step grand-mother to not see the child. Any advice?

    1. Ineedyouradvice
      December 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm | |

      Why is it so hard for people to love? The grandfather is not the one who has a gap in his heart because of the loss of the beloved grandmother. Children love so freely, they don’t understand the boundaries that are drawn. It is not the child’s fault the married did not work; that belongs to the adults. I would encourage you to let your grand-daughter see mamaw. She will be happy to see her, and isn’t that the cry of your heart, that your grand-daughter be loved and cherished?

    2. Confused in Florida
      January 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm | |

      When a “step” grandparent divorces a grandparent, the ties should be cut with the grandchildren especially at a younger age & explained that they no longer live in the same house. I would find it very difficult for the original grandparent to have to be around his/her ex as very difficult and unnecessary. If you divorce the spouse and you are a “step” with any of her/his family, then you need to cut ties with his/her family too. Why confuse especially younger children? A divorce is a divorce especially in a “step” situation.

  5. Ineedyouradvice
    December 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm | |

    I have three grown children, all married with children, nine of them. My first husband passed away in 2005, we were married for 26 years. When he passed, all of my children were on their own, with the exception of the youngest, she was in her junior year in college. I remarried a wonderful, accepting man in 2009. My son has totally embraced my husband but my daughters are having a difficult time with it. My son refers to my new husband as Poppa with his children, and they love him. He is wonderful with all of the grandchildren. My daughters, on the other hand, have decided that he is not a Poppa, the children’s Poppa is dead and they children have grandparents on their spouse’s side which is sufficient for them. I have talked with them about it, we have had heated arguments about it. I have told them I accepted their spouses as part of the family, embracing them completely – because my daughters love them..but they say it is different. I have cried many tears, when I hear my grandchildren speak of their Poppa or Grandpa, it pierces me in the heart. I do not speak of my dreams of a united family, I have been hurt so many times by their angry words, I don’t want to hurt anymore. The grandchildren range in ages 9 – 6 months; my daughters children are 5 and under. Have you experienced something similiar? Do yu have any advice?

    Thank you,

  6. Confused in Florida
    January 17, 2012 at 5:48 am | |

    I have a very confusing situation that has been a problem in my family for 40 years now. My full sister married my ex-husband following an affair that started prior to our divorce. Obviously a very difficult situation right from the start for the family. My 2 sons were at the time of their marriage ages 1 year and 4 years old. My older son married in the late 90s and their wedding program showed on my son’s side as 3 parents: My name first, then his father’s and then my sister’s (as a parent too!). I was very upset but trying to avoid showing at the wedding but did acknowledge that it was in very poor taste that my invitation was sent to my other sister’s address since I had moved a few months prior (even though my son spoke several times after my move on the telephone to me). Now after recently having the 3rd grandchild, I am having another very sensitive situation occur with my son and his South American wife having the children call the grandparents as Grandpa or Grandma (1st name) including my sister (who is, if there is such a title, would be a step-grandparent. My sister has a daughter and grandchildren of her own and does not share with her ex-husband as he has passed away when the daughter was about 8 years old. My ex-husband (and her husband now) recently had on my sister’s daughter’s wedding invitation as Mr. & Mrs. (my sister & ex-husband) and groom’s parents invite… and did not acknowledge the late father at all in the invitation. I later saw pictures only (as I was not invited even though her Aunt) with the title below as “Father and Daughter Dance.” I hold a lot of resentment with my sister and my ex-husband for the early years when I was basically tossed out of my house to find another one since my ex-husband’s family had given the money for the down-payment and I could not afford our car either with the small wages I was receiving at the time. At the same time my ex-husband was unemployed but his parents kept the payments made for the house during his unemployment. Fresh from my divorce I had 2 children (at age 22), needed to find another home to live in, another car, and my sister moved right in. I was not aware that they were even seeing each other until a week before the divorce was final, I found his car was parked at her house (she was already divorced at that time). My older son is now giving me a LOT of grief saying that I am being irrational about my sister being called, Grandma (1st name) and that there can’t be enough love in a family. I am not sure if the fact that my daughter-in-law being from South America as to whether they look at relationships differently or not. She is also a psychologist with a PhD so holds a lot of clout on how things should be handled in the family. lol I would like any comments and/or suggestions on the situation I am in now as a grandparent. I need to also mention that my daughter-in-law is also from a divorced family and her step-father also raised her as a small child and was also listed as a “parent” in their wedding brochure. Am I being too sensitive or am I right in feeling that there were only 2 people that produced the father (as parents) and only 2 grandparents that should be called Grandma & Grandpa? Your comments please and thank you SO much in advance!?

  7. serendipityjones
    August 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm | |

    I have mixed feelings on titles for step grand parents.But my feeling toward that is nowhere near as important as what is best for my grand children.I am a grand mother and step grand mother.

    I am refered to by my first name.My husband is as well with our steps.We have been married only three years and either of us are close to our step children.We live long distance from all of our children his and mine,grand children included.

    My ex’s wife has been in the picture 14 years.I have no problem what so ever with her having a grand parent role and know she has a lot to offer my grand children.The only problem I or my son,his wife have is how she went about establishing a grand parent role.

    My son and his step mother do not get on well.Some of that is my son’s fault and I have always encouraged him to treat her respectfully.My son wanted the children to know her by her name first then let the children decide if they wished to call her Grandma.

    Well,after the birth of the first child she became very grabby and demanding with the children.She would exclaim”Give me that baby” and snatch the child from the parents arms as soon as my son,his wife and child would walk through the door.

    She would put on a huge show in front of my ex husbands family as well that displayed she was determined to be Grandma(and probably feeling insecure)….she need not be viewed as an outsider but her displays were very transparent and noticed by many.

    Soon after, my ex and she started coaching the first grand child to call her Grandma.They also display a disregard that I am the biological Grandmother and the child is now confused when I come for visits.A lot of that is due to hard feelings toward me by my ex and he displayed similae behavior with our son(wanting other women to be called Mom,disrespect of me,etc).

    I am a long distance Grandma so it is difficult as it is to bond with the children as a Grand parent.Although my son has issues with this he lets it go because they provide free child care while he and his wife work.And I’m glad they do because the children are safe and loved at their home.I am concerned of how my ex and his gruges will effect the children and their relationship with me given my ex and the step grand provide child care several times per week and have much influence with the children but I can not control the situation.I’m not the parent and have no control over it.I can only hope for the best.

    I have never pushed a grandmother role on my step grands and respect the fact they have a grandmother.I think it’s how you go about establishing the role and believe it is important to acknowledge you can have a role while respecting the biological connections and parents wishes first.Behaving like a desperate bull in a china shop with a step grand child is not the best approach in my opinion.

    Let the role develop naturally instead of using children to prove some point to yourself,others by usurping the biological Grand parents if they are still living.Even if your spouse encourages it.Just be there,be attentive and loving.That’s what is important.It’s hard being a step anything,I know.

  8. Lisa
    August 29, 2012 at 7:09 am | |

    I am a step-mother and now a step-grandmother. I love my step kids and their children. I have been married to their father for 20 years. I don’t expect them to call me Grandma but it would be nice to have a special nickname like granny lisa or something that places me in the family. There are no rules here as my son-in-law’s stepfather is called Pap. So we have Mamaw and Pap (step grandparent), Grandma, and my husband is Grandpa. I am simply Lisa. I feel excluded. I give my love, time, and financial support to the family. I was not able to have children of my own so this is my only chance to be a granny.

  9. Gramaornot
    November 11, 2013 at 8:35 am | |

    Dear Nancy, I have no idea how long ago these comments were posted, so please forgive my Johnny-come-lately response. I cannot agree with your opinion.
    I am married to a widower with grandchildren. Young grandchildren.
    I care for them(babysit),feed, play with, spoil and cuddle them,in short, I love them like my own. It doesn’t seem ridiculous to want them to call me Grama(first name). They do not remember their biological grandmother. Pictures and memories are shared by their Mom,(who I love and have a very good relationship with by the way.) but these are the only connections they have. I too am a grandparent. Widowed 8 years ago, none of my grandchildren remember their grandfather. The eldest has many photos and stories from his Dad, but no personal recollection.
    My husband will be the only grandpa they know. We do and will love them. Define grandparent. If it is only biological, why do adopted children call their parents – Mom and Dad. We choose to take on the roles we do. Someone else commented that it is a constant reminder they are not really family, to be called by their first name. I DO agree with that.