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Dilemma: am I wrong to push for my grandchild's christening?

Jo Brand / 18 February 2019

A reader asks Jo Brand her advice on whether he should push his children to christen his grandchild.

A small baby gets christened

Dilemma: Am I wrong to push for some sort of ceremony for my granddaughter?

My daughter and son-in-law have not held a christening for my granddaughter, although she’s now nearly seven.

I understand that they are not religious, and that christenings are expensive. However, this does leave my granddaughter without official godparents. My daughter and my son-in-law are both only children, so there are no aunts or uncles on standby, should the worst happen. I know they could write a will and nominate a guardian, but I feel that the act of standing up in public to make a promise forges a deeper connection between the godparent and the godchild.

Am I wrong to push for some sort of ceremony?

Jo Brand's advice

I’m sorry, but in my opinion you are wrong in this instance. Not only are you asking your daughter and son-in-law to do something they do not believe in to fulfil your beliefs, but you are using the upsetting situation of something awful happening to them to ram your point home.

Which are you most concerned about? A Christian ceremony or being first in the queue to be official guardian? Being a godparent does not give you any legal rights. I’d drop this idea. This is the sort of thing that makes families fall out. Attitudes towards religious belief change between generations.

I’m sorry if this is making you unhappy, but I think if you continue with this you will upset your daughter and son-in-law a lot.

Read more answers to reader problems in our dilemmas section

Saga readers say...

'It's up to the parents, not the grandparents. I would never tell my kids how to bring up their children!' Cris, via Facebook

'Yes you are wrong, they are not your children.' Anne, via Facebook

'Absolutely wrong. It is the parents' choice.' April, via Facebook

'You can ask but don’t push.' Val, via Facebook

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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