Grandparent Nicknames

Did you choose the names your kids call their grandparents? [name_u]Or[/name_u] did you let the grandparents decide?

I’m currently expecting, and this will be the first grandchild on my side of the family. Growing up, we always just called our grandmothers Grandma [first name] and we didn’t have grandfathers. And that is what my hubby does and his nieces do the same for their grandparents.

My mom has first name like [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f]. Growing up she always went by “[name_f]Beth[/name_f]” but after what was basically a midlife crisis, she’s re-invented herself as “[name_f]Liz[/name_f]”. She also moved away and cut ties with most people who knew her as “[name_f]Beth[/name_f]”. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom and I have a somewhat strained relationship for other reasons, but I figure it’s none of my business what people I don’t know call her and her family still calls her “[name_f]Beth[/name_f]”. I just call her Mom and circumvent the issue.

But now she’s told me she wants her grandma name to be “[name_u]Nana[/name_u] [name_f]Liz[/name_f]” which makes me want to roll my eyes and brings up bad feelings about the circumstances of her move and the way she handled things. I’m not a fan of [name_u]Nana[/name_u] either, but do you think we can just have the grandmas be Grandma and [name_u]Nana[/name_u] and leave first names out of it for a while?

She is welcome to try to get a baby to call her [name_u]Nana[/name_u] [name_f]Liz[/name_f], but I can guarantee it won’t stick. The [name_f]Liz[/name_f] will be dropped and it’ll just be [name_u]Nana[/name_u]. When the toddler is learning their first words, just saying [name_u]Nana[/name_u] will be a huge accomplishment. I can’t see someone correcting a toddler, over and over, to say [name_u]Nana[/name_u] [name_f]Liz[/name_f]. And once the child has the speaking ability to say [name_u]Nana[/name_u] [name_f]Liz[/name_f], the name [name_u]Nana[/name_u] will already be stuck.

If you don’t like [name_u]Nana[/name_u], you can certainly ask yoyr mom if she’d like a different name - Granny, Gramy, [name_f]Oma[/name_f], [name_f]Bama[/name_f], [name_m]Aba[/name_m], etc.

But at the end of the day, I think it should be her decision. If she holds strong to [name_u]Nana[/name_u] [name_f]Liz[/name_f] then… It is what it is :woman_shrugging:t2:

For us, we have had generations of grandparents who went by [name_f]Oma[/name_f]/Opa because we’re [name_m]German[/name_m] and [name_u]French[/name_u]. There was never a question that my mom and dad would go by anything else.

My SIL has 2 sets of parents & 1 set of grandparents who’ve had relationships with her kids. They had to decide amongst themselves who would get what name. In total it’s Granny & Grampy, [name_f]Nanny[/name_f] & Grandpa, [name_f]Bama[/name_f] & Bampa (plus my parents, [name_f]Oma[/name_f] & Opa)

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I do think ultimately it would be her decision what she wants to be called. It’s unfortunate that it brings up bad feelings for you though. If I were in your shoes I think I’d start with just [name_u]Nana[/name_u], if she wanted to add the ‘[name_f]Liz[/name_f]’ I wouldn’t stop her, but I wouldn’t use it myself. And babies usually start with those easy repeated sounds anyway,

Here’s my thoughts on the dilemma… when my firstborn came my FIL asked me in the hospital what it is we were planning to have him be called (and this was after he already had some grandchildren under his belt!). So I actually completely disagree with the above posters saying it’s ultimately her decision… on the contrary I would say it’s ultimately yours and your husbands. However that being said two thigg by a to consider: though you might not be a fan of [name_u]Nana[/name_u] in itself—- allowing that would be what I would consider a mature compromise to the dilemma. Also, in the end I think you’ll find the kids can overrule anyone. [name_f]My[/name_f] FIL with his first grandchildren tried to push grandpa and the kids completely transformed it into something else. [name_f]My[/name_f] kids took that something else and turned it into “Boopah”. Then my stepdad with his first grandchildren tried for grandpa and the kids only called him Papa. With our kids we just kept the Papa… so be flexible to know in the end it might not be what any of you expect.

Adding a name to the end of a title would make me think that it’s because there are at least two people wanting the same title ie Grandma This and Grandma That. Dunno how adding the name would be to a kid, but I would think the easier [name_u]Nana[/name_u] would develop first.

Got lucky amongst our parents with names. [name_f]My[/name_f] SO’s mom is Italian and is referred to as [name_f]Nonna[/name_f] by her other three grandchildren. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom knew this and asked to be Grandma to our future child, but she is open to also using our Chinese term for maternal grandma: [name_m]Pau[/name_m] [name_m]Pau[/name_m]. No idea if I spelled that right but tried to be phonetic. His father is simply Grandpa. [name_f]My[/name_f] father has passed, so the hardest thing is figuring how to refer to him when we can’t consult him. We may use the Chinese term there too.

I had one friend in high school who called her grandmother Bonkers. Apparently she chose that name to get around the other grandparents and be the fun grandparent.

Both sets of my grandparents decided what they wanted to be called, where as hubby’s grandparents were named by their grandchildren.

Hubby’s parents already have grandchildren and they chose their names (although one granddaughter did make up her own names for them). [name_f]My[/name_f] parents are yet to be grandparents, but I plan to let them choose.

I don’t think there’s a particularly right or wrong way to do it, however if she has expressed a desire to be called a certain thing then I think it’s important to respect that. A title is a personal thing, and although you might not like it, it’s her name (self appointed or otherwise). If I asked to be called something, and people refused to use it I would feel disrespected and hurt. I don’t think it would be a good move to ignore her wishes in an already strained relationship.

I feel like grandparents can veto certain names, but ultimately it’s the grandchildren who really decide. One of my cousins named my paternal grandparents and my little nephew named my in-laws before our daughter was born.

My parents initially wanted to be called Grandmommy and Grandpapa, but once my daughter started talking, she’d skip the “grand” and just say Mama and Papa. Of course, we had to figure something else out because having two Mamas was getting really confusing. So we started testing out all sorts of names (Grandma, [name_f]Mimi[/name_f], [name_f]Lollie[/name_f], [name_f]Nona[/name_f], etc.) but the only one my daughter ever attached to was [name_f]Gigi[/name_f]. Papa also morphed into [name_f]Baba[/name_f] during that time, which my dad wasn’t super excited about. However, once my daughter got a little older, I asked my parents if they’d like us to change their grandparent names back and even had my daughter test out saying the old names. They. Hated. It. :joy: They are officially [name_f]Gigi[/name_f] and [name_f]Baba[/name_f] and would not have it any other way!

From what I’ve seen, the majority of grandparents end up loving whatever name their grandbabies call them simply because they chose it. Of course, as a parent, you can nudge your child towards a particular choice or respect a veto from the grandparents. But I think it really comes down to what the child chooses.

Our parents have been the one to choose how they’d like to be called.

Without knowing the specifics of your situation, I do feel it’s important to honour your Mum’s wishes. It’s hard to know what was going on internally for her that made her feel like she needed to go through such a big change in friends and move from being [name_f]Beth[/name_f] to [name_f]Liz[/name_f], but obviously it’s something she feels is very important to her and her happiness.

Though as others have said, if the other grandmother is going by ‘grandma’ then I suspect she’ll end up just being ‘[name_u]Nana[/name_u]’ - no reason to say the name unless there are two nanas… so actually, re-reading your post, I do totally think you could get away with just grandma and nana to start off with and see how that goes.

A mixture of the grandparents choosing and us redirecting when our daughter came along.

I have 3 grandparents still alive and my husband 4. All of our parents are still alive so that meant a total of 11 “grandies” for our dd to get her head around.

My parents chose fairly quickly- [name_f]Nan[/name_f] & Granddad. [name_f]My[/name_f] husbands parents then were left to choose names- bearing in mind that including OUR grandparents there was already 2x Grandpa’s, 2xNanna’s, [name_f]Poppa[/name_f], [name_f]Nanny[/name_f] & Grandma.

Well my MIL decided that they HAD to be called [name_f]Nan[/name_f] and Granddad- the names my parents had already pick which she very well knew. There has been some tension all along as she knows I am very close to my family and my husband isn’t very close with his parents so we suspected she picked those names just because my parents had. [name_f]My[/name_f] FIL actually wants to be called [name_f]Poppa[/name_f] we discovered- not Granddad anyway :joy: To make a long story short, we just started referring to my MIL as “Janny”- since her name begins with a J and she thought Granny- the only traditional grandparent name going free in the family- sounds too old. She protested for the first few months but now seems to have settled into it.

So overall we are left with:

Great Grandparents-
Irish [name_f]Nanna[/name_f]
Grandpa (name)
Great [name_f]Poppa[/name_f]


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My brother and I call our grandmother Grandmom, but sometimes we will shorten it to Grum (yes I know it sounds and looks weird)

There were already a bunch of grandkids in the family by the time our daughter was born, so the grandparents names were already established except for my mom. She would have been fine being called anything, but we just went with Grandma for her. I guess technically my husband’s parents and step-parents chose what they would be called a while back. If she wants to be called [name_u]Nana[/name_u] [name_f]Liz[/name_f], then I would probably just let her, but that’s me. Like a previous poster said, the [name_f]Liz[/name_f] will very likely get dropped anyway for a while.

We let our folks choose what they wanted to be known as, but as everyone knows (and some have mentioned) kids will make the ultimate decision. As the first grandchild on both sides, our son has paved the way.

There was minimal overlap in what each grandparent chose, I think because each of the four are from different countries/cultures. [name_f]My[/name_f] dad went with his traditional Opa. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but my son’s tot babbles saw Opa coming out as Boba and it’s stuck.

So, we’ve got [name_u]Nana[/name_u], Grandad, Grammie, and Boba :joy: