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How'd you tell 'em you're not to be called 'grandma'

Penny19's picture

Stepmother and I guess step-grandmother here, technically. How'd you tell your skids you don't want to be called grandma? These kids are babies so they don't know any different YET.  I have no bios and never wanted them. Don't feel like I'm missing out. That's just me.  These babies have grandmas that look and act like grandmas. That word just smacks of old plus I don't feel a part of all that, altho by my position in the family I am but, again, not feelin' it.

BethAnne's picture

1. Have they asked you what you want to be called or started using Grandma without asking you?

If yes then say....hey stepkids, I've had a think and I really would rather your kids just call me Penny and not Grandma. Thanks. 

If no...wait until it happens, the may not want you to be "grandma" to their kids either in which case there won't be a problem. 

Old sm's picture

I'm kinda in that same boat.  My SD is actually living with someone with children and she has them calling me "G-ma". I'm really not wild about it bc these kids are not my grandkids; heck, SD is not my daughter. But, in an effort to get along, I play along. But I'll never consider the boyfriend's kids to be my grandkids.  They already have grandparents.

Kes's picture

I don't have any step grandkids yet (thankfully the Madams have not reproduced so far), but I have 3 grandchildren from my two bio daughters.  DH is the step grandad to these three, of whom he is fond.  He chose a pet name for himself, to be known as, by them, that his own grandad was called by him, but it in no way has this in the name. 

Rags's picture

You have full authority and control on what your GSkids will call you. Decide what you want to be called and implement that.

"I am not GrandMa. I am XYZLMNOP"  Your role and what you choose to be referred to as do not have to be the same thing.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

My mom and dad are all in as GPs to my SS-27 (adopted) and my brothers three children.  All young adults ranging from 18-27.  The kids all refer to each of them with a unique name that my eldest nephew coined when he was a baby.

Pick your own unique moniker and don't answer to anything else. I was raised to refer to adults in respectful ways.  Mr/Mrs/Miss, Ma'am/Sir.  To this day I struggle calling my parents friends by anything other than Mr/Mrs and I am 56 years old.

Kids don't get to choose what they call an adult unless the adult agrees.  This is a topic that arrises periodically on STalk.  I have always maintained that a Skid and by extension a GSkid does not choose what a SParent will be called. The SParent chooses.  I for one will never allow a minor to refer to me by my first name.  I will be Mr. FirstName, Mr. LastName, or to my nieces and nephews I will be Uncle First Name.

Even my own Skid did not get to choose what he called me.  When he was about 8 he returned from SpermLand visitation in a conundrum over what to call me.  SpermGrandHag had harped on him for that entire 5wk  Summer visitation that he cold not call me dad because I am not his dad.  So, I gave him the choice. He could continue to call me Dad which is what he had chosen to call me when he was 2yo and or he could call me Mr. LastName.  He decided to stick with Dad.

Interestingly after that when SpermGrandHag or anyone else in the SpermClan took exception to him referring to me as Dad, he told them that is what I am to him.  A kid being confident in countering their bullshit apparently left them pretty much speechless and going forward any protests by them about him calling me Dad were short lived.  To SS it just was what his experience said it was.

We have good friends who are youngish dynamic active retirees who have three young grand kids.  They have chosen to be referred to as Pops and Honey.    So that is what their toddler and slightly older GKs call them.

Pick and stick with something you like. Your choice.  They comply or they are ignored.

Pretty simple.

notarelative's picture

I think that the steps children end up calling you whatever their parents call you. If you don't want to be called by a grandparent name, tell the steps that. If you attend a baby shower, sign the card with the name you want to use if it's not your first name. Be clear. 

However, understand that if the steps had planned to use a grandparent name for you, they may feel slightly insulted. 

But, not all steps consider a step parent family. In my case there was never any question of what I would be called. My step and her husband made it clear from the beginning that I am not a grandparent and would be called by my first name. 

Sandybeaches's picture

If you have an ok relationship with them, telling them  hey I don't want your kids calling me grandma could change that relationship.  Now if it is the "old thing" that bothers you, tell the steps that and see if you could come up with another name instead.  

If you have a superficial relationship with them, seeing them rarely and it's all fake and phony on both sides then who cares if the kid calls you grandma?  It will be just as meaningless as all the other things that are said when they are around.  

If they are around a lot then maybe you might want to address it but consider all aspects of how it will be received before you do it if you care about preserving your relationship  with them.  

Penny19's picture

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I love hearing the different opinions and experiences. I particularly like your story, Rags, and the "terms of endearment" in your post. LOL.  Having said that, I'll let the real "Grandhags" wear the grandma badge and I'll come up with something else. These kids are babies and one is long distance so I have a little time.

Rags's picture

Do what works for you.   How about GranPenny, or SweetPenny, or .......   Make it special to you and your GSkids.

SpermGrandHag is a monicre I chose for BioPaternalGrandMa based on her toxic crap over the years.  She is truly a "real" grandhag as evidenced by her continual haggy behavior towards my SS and our family over many years.

Flustered's picture

My BD has no contact with her BF. She begged my DH to let her kids call him Grandpa/Im grandma. As her BF is alive, he said no matter what her relationship w/her BD, it was disrespectal to have them call him Grandpa. He adored them, so it was not out of anything but the way he was raised/ they are 5; he died about 5 1/2 mos ago.

what is killing me is my daughter  recently remarried. Her husband has 2 kids and they call hid dad grandpa. My BGK picked it up - first time I heard it, I wanted to cry. It should have been for my DH, as neither BF ( my SD or 1st husband) had fathers there. I've gotten used to it. Hurts, but it's normal. do what is right for you

Rags's picture

I get immersed in my own Blended Family history and my SS's Paternal Bio GM maniplative hag behaviors that your situation stood out for me.

My mom was the first person SS ever called GrandMa.  We met when he was 15mos old and he had not started talking yet.  

SpermGrandHag took such exception that, and to SS calling me Dad(dy) that it was a periodic drama topic for the 16 years we lived under the CO.

My mom, in reality, is the only GM my SS has really ever had.  She is the only one that calls him, he regularly calls, and who is engaged in his life at more than a perfunctory level.

Take care of yourself and your GKs.