Godparents: a thing of the past?
Is nominating a godparent a thing of the past?

Wikipedia describes a godparent as someone who sponsors a child's baptism in many Christian denominations.  

However nowadays parents who choose a child's godparent don't always come from a religious background and the purpose of a godparent is to guide the child in a more secular manner.  

Read more: "I'm a godparent too!"

In general, the selection of a godparent seems to be trending down. Traditionally, apart from the religious responsibilities, a godparent was someone who'd be the guardian of your child in case something were to happen to you. 

Trend or tradition?

These days a godparent is viewed as someone who will offer guidance and care about your child throughout their upbringing and wherever necessary. 

Some parents decide not to select a godparent for their child. 

In my case my parents chose three. Two of which I rarely have contact with and I couldn't tell you when I last saw them. 

A fairy godmother

But I have one godparent who I often refer to as my fairy godmother. Ever since my childhood took a turn for the worse she's been there for me every step of the way, guiding and caring for me while my parents weren't able to. 

My godmother and I have a close relationship. I talk to her about things that I sometimes can't talk to my friends or family about and she probably knows more about me than most. She regularly checks up on me, invites me for dinner once a week and I'd describe my relationship with her as something similar to that of a close aunt

Qualities to consider when choosing a good godparent 

  • This largely depends on what a parent decides the purpose of a godparent should be.
  • Traditionally a godparent was chosen to offer spiritual guidance to a child. If this is the primary reason for choosing a godparent then you'll want to choose someone who has good faith within a similar capacity to you. 
  • A godparent should have sincere interest in the well being of your child as well as have a compassionate nature. 
  • Consider the logistics when choosing someone. Choosing a godparent who lives overseas will make it harder for them to maintain regular contact with your child. 
  • Pick someone with similar values to you. 
  • A good godparent is reliable and dependable and this is often determined by the quality of stability in a godparent's own life. 

Lastly, make sure that the person you ask to be a godparent to your child genuinely wants to be one and that they're not just feeling obligated to accepting the position.

Chat to them about godparents in general and ascertain what they feel the purpose of being a godparent should be and whether or not they can offer the same values that you want for your child.

Do you think it's important for a child to have a godparent? Send us your comment to chatback@parent24.com or join our Facebook chat.

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