It’s the greatest honour in the world – a friend asks you to be the Godparent or Guideparent for their child, but what happens next? Here at Silver Celebrations we have the privilege of having an average of 4 Godchildren each so we thought we would share some of our experience as to how you can get it right.
1. Understand the expectations
Better to disappoint by saying no now than for the next 21 years. But check with the parents first, everyone’s expectations are different and they have chosen you for a reason.
2. Don’t stress over the religious commitment
Shared values can be just as important as religious background. Plenty of Godparents feel a little uncomfortable making the commitment in a church, but even The Church recognises that everyone has different levels of religious beliefs.
3. Stay connected
Keep in touch by whatever means you can – cards, letters and social media! Even before your Godchild can read, a lovely letter will be something to be put aside and cherished for ever, and will help the feeling of connection grow over time. Postcards sent from your travels are always a talking point or, if your Godchild is a Snapchat enthusiast, learn how to use it yourself.
4. Presents are important
They show you care and can help to build bridges with shared interests and collections. See some of favourite ideas here.
5. Be a mentor
You may be a close family friend or even relative but there will be guidance and opportunities that you can open for your Godchild that their parents will not be able to. Whether it’s igniting a passion for art, vital work experience or advice on how to pay off their student debts they will thank you for it and you’ll feel pretty good about it too.
6. Create your own individual bonding time and traditions
One on one time with a Godparent is something really special. An annual trip to the ballet, a bedtime story whenever you stay over or kite flying on the Downs. Your godchild will have many happy memories and the time spend together will give you plenty of time to bond.
7. Support the parents
Sometimes it’s a fine line between being there for your godchild and not undermining the parents – especially during their teenage years. Remember that your godchild’s parents selected you because they believed that you had similar views to them.
8. Get to know the other Godparents
Take the opportunity of the Christening or Naming Day to get to know with whom you’ll be sharing your duties. Getting to know what the others are like will probably help you carve a niche as to the role you can play in your Godchild’s life.
9. It’s OK to say no
If you don’t want to commit because you already have several godchildren, or you’re not happy with the religious connotations tell the parents. There may well be another role you can play in their child’s life.
10. Enjoy it!
There are no right or wrong ways to being a Godparent. Remember the parents have chosen you because of who you are and who you will be to their child.