Author Topic: Godparenting  (Read 6324 times)

Guitarist

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Godparenting
« on: January 04, 2016, 05:55:11 AM »
Wasn't sure if I should put this here or in the mini forum, but my wife and I became godparents to our friends kid a couple weeks ago.
My mind went straight to setting up an account for her. In the past, savings bonds seemed to be the thing most did, but I think we can do better.

What kind of account should/could I setup for her?

QueenAlice

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2016, 06:05:34 AM »
I've been debating the same thing. Following!

My current thoughts are to deposit $xxx/month to a high interest savings account. Once the savings account has accumulated enough to invest, I'll open a taxable investment account and name my goddaughter as the beneficiary.

Very interested to see other's ideas/suggestions.

marty998

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 01:35:06 PM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.


maco

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 01:36:58 PM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.
Meanwhile I was confused to find out there are people who name godparents of different denominations or even religions than them. I thought what you had to do was oversee the kid's spiritual training.

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 01:41:18 PM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.
Meanwhile I was confused to find out there are people who name godparents of different denominations or even religions than them. I thought what you had to do was oversee the kid's spiritual training.

Yep.  What better excuse to start their hungry little minds on the road to Mustachianism early...

matchewed

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2016, 01:45:03 PM »
Well I mean in this vein shouldn't you have a discussion with the people who just named you godparent of their child as to what their expectation is for you in this role? Then figure out how to best fulfill it.

Guitarist

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2016, 03:44:28 PM »
For those of you questioning, just for shits and giggles, that all four (five) of us are of the same denomination and general feeling of faith and that we see it as more than a title.

Good point, match. I kind of want it to be a surprise but that would be a better way to go about it. Maybe they started a 529 plan or something.

Alice, that was where my mind was heading, good thought! I will probably make it a once a year thing and/or major life events.

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 04:11:40 PM »
I went back and forth with this for my niece and nephew and in the end just opened investment accounts in my name with them as the beneficiary. My primary reasoning was that I ultimately want control over when I decide to give it to them depending on when I think they can really use it the best, and what their life choices look like at that point. If I had received a $ gift at 18 or 21, I would have been grateful, but that money would have flown right through my fingers. I'd rather save it for them until I feel like they are old enough to handle it.

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2016, 04:34:25 PM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.
Meanwhile I was confused to find out there are people who name godparents of different denominations or even religions than them. I thought what you had to do was oversee the kid's spiritual training.

I know a few people who are godparents when they are different denominations. Part of the deal is that if parents are unable to ensure their kids are brought up in that faith, the godparents will; even though it is not their own faith.

Obviously these have to be people who are not of the "everyone else is going to hell" types, or it won't work.

I'm godparent to 3 children. I have set up no accounts for them. Heaven doesn't need money (as these are my nephews, I give them money for christmas/birthdays and most gets invested or saved). I mostly just call yearly to remind their Mom to sign them up for religious ed and say "take your kids to church". I'll do so to their guardian if parents are gone; but I won't be their guardian (not my choice. I'd be happy to be if I was asked). Godparent is spiritual, not legal.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 07:02:00 AM by iowajes »

midweststache

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2016, 07:25:26 PM »
As an agnostic, I quite like the concept of godparents. I don't imagine I would ever see it as part of a spiritual upbringing in the religious sense, but more in the "this adult has your interests at heart and a vested concern in your growth and development." I would also likely ask any future godparents to be the guardian of my children, should something happen to DH and I. But maybe not call them godparents? I don't know.

Re: money - I think anything would be more than enough, but it might be worth dipping your toes into what this means with the parents. I mean, would it be weird for your relationship with the parents to set this up? Do the parents want you lecturing their children on money? I know the parents will have no access, but it does seem worth discussing it with them.

sonjak

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2016, 07:35:52 PM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.
Meanwhile I was confused to find out there are people who name godparents of different denominations or even religions than them. I thought what you had to do was oversee the kid's spiritual training.

Yep.  What better excuse to start their hungry little minds on the road to Mustachianism early...

LOL

maco

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2016, 09:30:32 AM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.
Meanwhile I was confused to find out there are people who name godparents of different denominations or even religions than them. I thought what you had to do was oversee the kid's spiritual training.

I know a few people who are godparents when they are different denominations. Part of the deal is that if parents are unable to ensure their kids are brought up in that faith, the godparents will; even though it is not their own faith.

Obviously these have to be people who are not of the "everyone else is going to hell" types, or it won't work.
I was raised Catholic. When my nephew was baptized this summer, they needed a letter from a Catholic Church in my brother's city stating that he is a practicing Catholic, because him having been baptized/eucharist/confirmed (the 3 sacraments of initiation) at the church where this baptism was happening wasn't enough for him to be a godparent. He had to not only have gone through the full membership process but still be actively practicing.

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2016, 10:07:11 AM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.
Meanwhile I was confused to find out there are people who name godparents of different denominations or even religions than them. I thought what you had to do was oversee the kid's spiritual training.

I know a few people who are godparents when they are different denominations. Part of the deal is that if parents are unable to ensure their kids are brought up in that faith, the godparents will; even though it is not their own faith.

Obviously these have to be people who are not of the "everyone else is going to hell" types, or it won't work.
I was raised Catholic. When my nephew was baptized this summer, they needed a letter from a Catholic Church in my brother's city stating that he is a practicing Catholic, because him having been baptized/eucharist/confirmed (the 3 sacraments of initiation) at the church where this baptism was happening wasn't enough for him to be a godparent. He had to not only have gone through the full membership process but still be actively practicing.

I'm Catholic too. They only require one of the Godparents to be a practicing Catholic, the other must be Christian.  For my nephews, I've had to provide certification of all my sacraments, show that I am a registered member of a parish, and attend an 8 hour class . The other godparent (not a Catholic) just showed up and held a candle.

arebelspy

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2016, 10:19:15 AM »
As an agnostic, I quite like the concept of godparents. I don't imagine I would ever see it as part of a spiritual upbringing in the religious sense, but more in the "this adult has your interests at heart and a vested concern in your growth and development." I would also likely ask any future godparents to be the guardian of my children, should something happen to DH and I.

Me too.  Though likely the guardians would be one of our parents, but that might change at some point, based on ages (of the child(ren), and our parents).  But definitely like the idea of godparents, regardless of any religious connotations.
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maco

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2016, 10:22:48 AM »
Didn't know you had to do something... thought it was just a title these days.
Meanwhile I was confused to find out there are people who name godparents of different denominations or even religions than them. I thought what you had to do was oversee the kid's spiritual training.

I know a few people who are godparents when they are different denominations. Part of the deal is that if parents are unable to ensure their kids are brought up in that faith, the godparents will; even though it is not their own faith.

Obviously these have to be people who are not of the "everyone else is going to hell" types, or it won't work.
I was raised Catholic. When my nephew was baptized this summer, they needed a letter from a Catholic Church in my brother's city stating that he is a practicing Catholic, because him having been baptized/eucharist/confirmed (the 3 sacraments of initiation) at the church where this baptism was happening wasn't enough for him to be a godparent. He had to not only have gone through the full membership process but still be actively practicing.

I'm Catholic too. They only require one of the Godparents to be a practicing Catholic, the other must be Christian.  For my nephews, I've had to provide certification of all my sacraments, show that I am a registered member of a parish, and attend an 8 hour class . The other godparent (not a Catholic) just showed up and held a candle.
Huh! Ok, then.

I'm not Catholic anymore. New denomination doesn't do water baptism at all (as an adult you request membership and go through a discernment process), so I was really confused when my husband would refer to his godfather. I wasn't sure how you'd become a godparent without baptism. It was just a few weeks ago that he explained it's sort of an honorary thing parents do, separate from religion, and may involve legal paperwork to name them as guardian in case of the parents' early demise.

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2016, 10:27:41 AM »
Growing up I thought it was both a religious thing as well as who my guardians would be if my parents died.

maco

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2016, 10:41:29 AM »
Yeah, so did I, but I didn't realize it was ever not a religious thing, or that there was any legal paperwork involved for the guardian part of that.

arebelspy

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2016, 10:46:57 AM »

I didn't realize it was ever not a religious thing

Huh.

I mean, I knew some religions did it, but didn't think it was exclusive.

Did/does everyone who thought it was just a religious thing think the fairy godmother in Cinderella was Catholic?
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SeattleStache

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2016, 10:52:54 AM »
As a newly minted, non religious godparent, the (non religious) parents asked me to be more of a reliable non-parent adult figure in their daughter's life. Instead of being their good friend SeattleStache who comes around to visit, I'll be more of Aunt SeattleStache who is a regular presence in her life. I sort of wish there was another word for this other than "godparent" but I'm not sure what that would be.

I had considered setting up some sort of account for her, but her parents are already on the frugal/financially sound bandwagon and I'd rather give her the gift of time and presence. If I were to set up an account, I like that idea of starting an account in my name and setting her as the beneficiary, to be distributed at another time once she is grown up.

Congratulations to you and your wife on the new godchild, Guitarist!

matchewed

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2016, 11:19:56 AM »

I didn't realize it was ever not a religious thing

Huh.

I mean, I knew some religions did it, but didn't think it was exclusive.

Did/does everyone who thought it was just a religious thing think the fairy godmother in Cinderella was Catholic?

So she wasn't an allegory for Mary Magdalene?

Scandium

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2016, 11:20:04 AM »
As a newly minted, non religious godparent, the (non religious) parents asked me to be more of a reliable non-parent adult figure in their daughter's life. Instead of being their good friend SeattleStache who comes around to visit, I'll be more of Aunt SeattleStache who is a regular presence in her life. I sort of wish there was another word for this other than "godparent" but I'm not sure what that would be.

What's wrong with Ungodparent? Serve the role of the godparent, just in reverse. Give them books on science and if the child ever swerve towards religion talk some sense into them.

arebelspy

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2016, 11:21:49 AM »

I didn't realize it was ever not a religious thing

Huh.

I mean, I knew some religions did it, but didn't think it was exclusive.

Did/does everyone who thought it was just a religious thing think the fairy godmother in Cinderella was Catholic?

So she wasn't an allegory for Mary Magdalene?

I mean, I guess it makes sense, she's like a guardian angel almost?  I just never thought of her as Catholic, or religious, just a magic fairy godmother, and was curious if everyone else just knew "yup, she's Catholic."
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matchewed

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2016, 11:22:48 AM »

I didn't realize it was ever not a religious thing

Huh.

I mean, I knew some religions did it, but didn't think it was exclusive.

Did/does everyone who thought it was just a religious thing think the fairy godmother in Cinderella was Catholic?

So she wasn't an allegory for Mary Magdalene?

I mean, I guess it makes sense, she's like a guardian angel almost?  I just never thought of her as Catholic, or religious, just a magic fairy godmother, and was curious if everyone else just knew "yup, she's Catholic."

Sorry I forgot to include :P

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2016, 11:42:47 AM »
My SO and I are godparents to our close friends 7 month old. We are both atheist and the parents were fine with that.

I was honored and extremely happy to accept this role as I do not want children of my own.

maco

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2016, 11:58:07 AM »

I didn't realize it was ever not a religious thing

Huh.

I mean, I knew some religions did it, but didn't think it was exclusive.

Did/does everyone who thought it was just a religious thing think the fairy godmother in Cinderella was Catholic?
I don't think I knew there were religions other than Christian and Jewish or that atheists existed when I was a kid, so I never thought about it.

ohyonghao

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2016, 04:10:46 PM »
Funny, I'm sort of godparents to my best friends kids, in the sense that if anything happened to him and his wife that I would be he one expected to raise them.  We're both atheists.

My sister-in-law has the same deal with us, and they are Chinese culture.  My nephews call me dad, and their dad is called daddy.  I guess it is a similar concept without any religious ties, and is more for comfort for the children.

Growing up baptist and later being Mormon I had never heard of it in a religious context.


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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2016, 04:23:57 PM »

I mean, I knew some religions did it, but didn't think it was exclusive.

Did/does everyone who thought it was just a religious thing think the fairy godmother in Cinderella was Catholic?

I always thought that there was a fairy godmother was a remark about the dominance of religion in our society. It's not just Catholics, but a number of Christian sects that use godparents as sponsors at baptism; and they were very common during the time these stories were first spread. Charles Perrault, who wrote the version of Cinderella most people know- with the fairy godmother (earlier versions don't have it, or have a magical helper of different sorts- in Grimm, it's her dead mother) WAS Catholic.  Perrault also changed the wisewomen in Briar Rose to the fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty (and 't they appear at her Christening!)

I don't see how a GODparent and non-religion can go together. What's the GOD part if you don't believe in God?


Like I said, I am Godparent to three of my nephews but have not been chosen to be named their guardian if their parents die. I'm only responsible for spiritual upbringing if their parents can't do it.  However, I will be named guardian for 5 nieces/nephews if those two sets of parents die- but since neither baptize their children, I have never been referred to as a Godparent. Their families don't really do "God". (Well, I think one might say prayers, but they don't go to church.) I don't think the kids know that I'm anything other than their Aunt. I can't imagine they've seen their parents will.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 04:31:55 PM by iowajes »

ohyonghao

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2016, 04:47:25 PM »
Interesting read on wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godparent

Even has the Chinese part I referred to :-D

So it seems that there are sort of two uses of the same word, one secular, the other more religious.

The religious definition is more for spiritual guidance and ensuring the upbringing of the child in the faith of the parents.

The secular definition is more of tying family bonds and having a clear wish of guardianship should something happen to the parents.

The two can be intermixed, and not exclusive of each other.  The catholic version tends to be more required with connection to baptism.

From what we have heard discussed here Wikipedia is fairly accurate.

Daisy

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Re: Godparenting
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2016, 07:23:17 PM »
I have a godson. He is a young adult now. I never set up an account for him, probably because his parents - my brother and his wife - are well off. I do try to give him advice, especially recently as he had a little turmoil in his life. He doesn't always respond to texts (and I bug him about it), but I saw him recently and was just spouting out some life lessons like I always do to him and his sisters. I know he is listening intently because others were talking at the same time and he asked me to repeat what I said. I was trying to give him advice now that he was going back to a situation he left voluntarily and can hopefully now handle it with a little more maturity. He's really a great kid, but his needs from me are more on the spiritual/maturity/figuring-life-out part than financial. If he ever needed financial help I'd happily provide a small amount, but more importantly financial advice.

I did leave my car to him in my will because he likes my car. That's the only special mention he gets there.