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Stepgranparents

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

What should stepgrandparents be called? My stepdaughter has A LOT of grandparents. My husband's parents are Grandma and Grandpa. Then my stepdaughter's mom's parents are Nanny and PawPaw. Then SD has great-grandparents on her mom's side as well who are Grammy and Gramps. Then there's my mom, dad, and my dad's wife (she and i aren't close though). Currently SD doesn't call them anything, but I would like to change that and have her call them something as she seems to not know what to call them the times she's around them. SD even told me that she can't call them Grandma and Grandpa because she already has a grandma and grandpa. So SD seems uncomfortable using the same name as her biological grandparents. Do they all need a different name or can we just do Grandma/Grandpa First Name for my mom, dad, and my dad's wife? My parents have no biological grandchildren so there is no established name.

post #2 of 16
We call my stepmom "grandma" because that is what she wanted to be called. How old is the child? Why not ask her to pick a name for you? In my family, my stepmom is no different of a grandparent than my father is. In fact, DD is her first grandchild and I seldomly even think of the fact that they arent blood relatives.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

my dad's wife isn't so much of an issue as she pretty much stays out of my life and we have a pretty bad history between us. However my mom and dad are very involved in my life and I'd like them to have some sort of name. My stepdaughter is 7, but acts uncomfortable calling them grandma and grandpa cause she already has grandparents called that, so I am thinking either I, SD or my parents need to come up with a different name that is not already used by any of stepdaughter's grandparents.

post #4 of 16

my kids have LOTS of grandparents (ex's parents have each been married 3 - 4 times) and they all have different names, mostly ones that they chose themselves at some point (mainly before my oldest was born). We've got Grammie & Granddad (my parents, both bio), Grandma Judi & Jim (bio-grandma & her husband, who isn't really down with the grandparenting thing), Pops & Ammie (bio-grandfather and his wife, who's bio-grandkids gave her the name), and Grandma Bee (Ex's step-mom, who raised him until he was a teen - we rarely see her now and her husband doesn't have a special name from us). Then there is their step-step-great-grandma (ex's step-mom's step-mom), who they are actually more close to than nearly anyone in his family, who is just called by her first name, but we also call her Great-grand-mama in the nicest French accent possible, cause she's fancy and thinks it's fun loveeyes.gif  Oh, and I say all this as "we" but I've no contact with that side of the family since my marriage ended (they are HORRIBLE to ex-spouses), so it's only my kids who call them this and how I refer to them when talking to the kids.

 

We haven't yet had to deal with this in our generation, only with Ex's parents and grandparents, but I'm guessing it will be similar, letting the grandparent chose what they want to be called (unless it conflicts with a name already used by somebody else)

post #5 of 16

When there are step-kids and bio-kids, letting the step-kids call the grandparents the same thing their bio. grandkids call them is a nice way to reinforce that the step-kids really are part of the new family.  (Since, as you point out, there's such a variety of grandparent nicknames that you needn't overlap names.)

 

Of course, it sounds like you have no bio-kids, so you're starting from scratch, with names.  If your DH's parents won't feel offended by your DSD calling your parents the same thing she calls them (plus a first name), that sounds fine.  

 

Or...make up something new!  Some ideas from my extended family:

 

Grandmommy & Granddaddy

 

Mama (1st name) & Papa (1st name)

 

Grandpop

 

* And the names don't have to match!  For example, we have "Grandmommy & Grandpop" and "Mama Jane & Granddaddy".  FTR, Mama Jane is Mary Jane to everyone else, so her grandmotherly nickname is more than just adding Mama to her 1st name - the "Mama" is a stand-in/nickname for the "Mary", which I think is cute.  You can be creative!   

 

post #6 of 16

Dsd started out calling my parents by their first names, then Grandma (first name) etc., and then eventually just grandma, etc..  I think the switch from first names to grandma started between the time dd was born.  She calls her stepdads parents a similar grandma/grandpa term, I forget which exactly.  I would either ask dsd to pick a name for them that is different or ask your parents to choose names and then add their first names on.  Dsd may drop it someday or she might not, I don't think it is a big deal :)

post #7 of 16

My ex-DSD called my parents Grammy "last name" and Poppy, and she still does.  She spends her visits with her Dad at their house with her half-siblings (my kids). 

 

My kids call my BF's parents Oma and Opie on their request after it became apparant to them how serious me and their son were.  lol  DD did start out just calling them by their first names, but has picked up Oma and Opie very quickly. (German grand parent names by the way, BF's Dad wanted these in remembrance of his grandparents, very cute).

 

My kids will be the only grandchildren BF's parents will have, unless BF and I adopt down the road, which isn't very likely.  He is an only child and I cannot have anymore children.  Step doesn't mean much in both our families though, so it's really a big loving environment.  :-)

post #8 of 16

My step daughter calls my mom Carole and my dad Lee. :) I think they were hoping she would call them Grammy and Grampy like my niece and nephew do, but she was 6 when they came into her life, and we left the choice up to her. She does call my grandmother Gran because my husband does as well. My husband certainly isn't going to call my parents Grammy and Grampy just to make DSD call them that though! I could see this changing when/if we ever have children of our own, and use Grammy and Grampy with them. DSD may not want to be left out. They are fine with being called by their first names though, so everybody is happy.

post #9 of 16

When we went to visit SO's family for the first time, she introduced herself as Nana McG (she checked with me first) and introduced her other grandchildren as "Your new cousins!!" and they met their aunts and uncles, too. I really appreciated that the kids were welcomed like that to their side of the family. I know a family where both partners had kids, and one of the grandmothers would bring ice cream over for her biological grandchildren, but not her step-granddaughter... I'll take a possibly slightly over-assertive approach to integration/acceptance over cold-hearted rejection ANY time!! It felt a little forced, but the kids got over feeling awkward really quickly.

post #10 of 16

My step-daughter was the first grandchild for most of her grandparents. On our side, we knew we were going to have other kids, so my parents chose their grandparently names at that point, and my step-daughter called them by those. Once we had other kids, their biological grandchildren used those same names.

 

On her step-dad's side, though, they had her call her "step-grandparents" by their first names... but now she has a younger brother who is their biological grandchild, and they had to decide whether he would also call them by their first names, whether the two siblings would call them by two different sets of names, or whether they would try to "retrain" my step-daughter to call them by their grandparently name well after the other had been established.

 

It just seemed awkward to me, and unnecessarily created a division between step and biological grandchildren. It's one thing for mom and dad to feel possessive of their titles, but I think it is a little silly for grandparents... and there are so many perfectly legitimate names available, it would be hard to imagine anyone "running out" of affectionate nicknames and not having enough to go around. My kids don't have anyone they call "grandma"... in fact my 4-year-old has an imaginary "grandma," and none of her actual grandparents feel slighted by her claim to that official title :)

post #11 of 16

My stepdaughter has several sets of grandparents--she calls my parents Grandma (Firstname) and Grandpa (Firstname), which is just what my parents wanted (and how they referred to themselves back when I "adopted" a Cabbage Patch Kid in '82 or so). She's their first grandchild--their second and third are not yet verbal (10 months and calls everything "da," and 18 months but adopted very recently and not used to English) but we'll try to get the names to stick.  Before my husband and I married, they were "Almost Grandma" and "Almost Grandpa."

 

She calls my grandparents Grammy and Grampy (though they haven't actually met yet), which is the same thing I call them.

 

My husband's father and stepmother are Grandpa (Hisname) and Nana.  His mother passed away before she was born, but has the same first name as my mother (which would have been interesting if they'd both wanted to be "Grandma 'Jane'"). My stepdaughter's mother's mother and stepfather are Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop. Her mother's father and stepmother are Grandma and Grandpa Lastname.

post #12 of 16

we also have lots of grandparents here. here is our list Nana Pez and grandpa Dan (X's mom and step dad. they have no contact with DH's kids) so not nice people. then my mom and step dad are Ba-pa and N(pronounced knee) X's dad is grampa Gary, he is there for all the kids, not just his bio grand kids, love that man and suddenly my dad is has begun developing a relationship with us again he is Gran Gran. and DH parents are memere and pepere.

 

I think asking your DSD what she wants to call them (privately away from them so there is no pressure) would be a great idea. my MIL now told the boys (when she figured out DH and I were serious) that they could call her what the other kids called her if they wanted to. it was their choice. or they could make up another name. they chose to call them memere and pepere like all the other grand kids. i forget now after all this time there is no biological connection. its nice

 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm curious, what do you do when one grandparent won't compromise and insists on a grandparent name even when that name is already taken? We saw my dad and stepmother for the 4th of July. My stepmother insists that she is Grandma to my SD. She won't even compromise and be willing to be called Grandma Jane. My SD is uncomfortable calling my mom or my stepmom Grandma because thats the name of her paternal grandma. My stepmother thinks this is ridiculous and that it doesn't matter if all grandmas are called Grandma. She could care less that it makes my SD uncomfortable. She doesn't like any alternatives of Nanny, Mimi, ect. and tells me she will only be referred to as Grandma. She also insists that she is Grandma cause thats what she's been calling herself for years to my stepsister's dog!! Seriously!! She's actually claiming Grandma was her name first cause she called herself that to a dog!!! Should I just humor her with being Grandma since we only see her on holidays. Really we only see her once in the summer, thanksgiving, christmas, and easter and maybe one or two other times throughout the year. So its not like she's ever going to be a big part of my stepdaughter's life. She and I aren't close either and never have been.

post #14 of 16

Does she insist that you call her 'mom'?I'd ask "Do you prefer Jane or Mrs.So-and-so? Grandma is not an option for DD." If she doesn't like either, oh well. It makes DD uncomfortable to call her Grandma, it's not fair that she should be railroaded into it. 

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

  She never insisted I call her Mom (nor would i have been comfortable with that), but does insist that my stepdaughter call her Grandma (cause thats what she calls herself to the dog). I've given her two options. She can pick an alternate grandma name (and there are tons of alternates) or stepdaughter will call her by her first name just as I do. But she insists that she be Grandma and tells me she's broken-hearted she can't be Grandma. So its all about her and her feelings just as always. Just like when I was a kid and she'd get her feelings hurt that I preferred being with my mother over her so she'd badmouth my mom to me. Nothing changes. Currently Stepdaughter doesn't know what to call her and doesn't call her by a name, but I'd like to change that and my stepmom's insistence that she has to be Grandma does not help stepdaughter become more comfortable with calling her some kind of name. My mom and dad have compromised and finally picked alternate names that are not used by my in-laws or my SD's maternal grandparents that SD is comfortable using. I wish my stepmom could do the same.

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Names that are already taken are

 

Grandma & Grandpa (my inlaws)

Nanny & PawPaw (maternal grandparents)

Grammy & Gramps (maternal great-grandparents)

 

And then recently my mom chose MiMi and my dad chose GranDad. I still feel with all those names taken there's plenty to choose from. My stepmom could be GiGi, Nana, Nonny, NeeNee, Granny, ect.

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