How to be a good godmother?
August 4, 2012 4:28 PM Subscribe
How can I be a good, long-distance (secular) godmother?
posted by skippy_gal to human relations (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am godmother to the daughter (3 yrs old) of a close friend from uni. I live a long way away, and kids are a bit of a mystery to me. I'm looking for tips on how to be the best godmother I can, when I'm with her and when I'm at a distance.
Some background: I have chosen not to have kids and am happy with that choice. I guess that makes this relationship all the more important to me.
I am one of 4 godmothers (!) to this little girl. The others are, like her parents, committed Christians; I am not religious and there's no expectation that I would tend to the spiritual dimensions of godparenting.
The distance thing: I have been living on the other side of the world for almost 8 years, and that's not likely to change in the near future. Fortuitously, I've seen my GD twice this year, for a few days each time. I have now resolved to travel back to my home country each year to see her, as well as family and friends: many of my other friends also have kids now, some of whom I've never met (Facebook does have its uses!).
Interacting with kids: I am keen to forge a strong relationship with my GD over the coming years. At her age, I think this will equate to playing creatively together, telling stories and talking with her about her ideas - and having fun together? The fun and creative play don't come naturally to me - but fortunately she loves books so we definitely have a common interest! I come from a small family and didn't have any younger cousins / family friends around me when I was growing up, so interacting with younger people without sounding like a school teacher has always been a challenge for me.
I do find it hard not to be hurt when 'rejected' with "not you - Mummy!" and I think as a result I have kept at a distance from her and waited for her to approach me - which she generally does, she's a sociable type! Fortunately her younger brother has become very attached to me and that compensates for it - but I feel I've been bonding far more with him than with her.
- Do you have any suggestions for how I can 'prepare' (in any sense of the word)for some fun play? She'll be 4 when I next see her.
- Do you have any advice for interacting with her over Skype or through other means (e.g. things to send her which will help to forge bonds)?
- Any advice on how to be friendly and approachable without being overbearing? i.e. being less distant?
Ideally I'm hoping to get tips that will also be relevant to getting to know my other friends' kids.
Any advice gratefully received!