What to Expect if You are Asked to be a Godparent

For new parents, selecting a godparent is a significant decision that is not taken lightly. The chosen one will be entrusted to oversee, guide, and impart valuable life lessons to their child. Choosing the ideal candidate takes careful consideration and research.

Consider Expectations

It is vital that you, the chosen one, find out what the parents’ expectations are. Depending on the family, a godparent’s position can change significantly over time and due to circumstances. It can mean going to a child’s baptism and other special events like school concerts and graduations, while ongoing spiritual advice might be expected by others. Make sure you understand exactly what you are signing up for in to prevent confusion later.

Godparent and/or Legal Guardian

This may be your first piece of advice to the parents: seek legal advice. In most families, a godparent’s responsibility is primarily spiritual rather than legally binding. Although there are variations in culture, the position is seen as symbolic despite its religious beginnings. In contrast, a legal guardian is a person who, in the event of the parents’ demise or incapacity, will be in charge of all crucial decisions about the welfare of the child.

Spend some time deciding if you are prepared and willing to become a primary caregiver should the need arise. In any situation or dispute involving guardianship, a trust, conservatorship, or will, expert administration and advice should be sought. A reputable Los Angeles trust and estate litigation firm will provide you and the parents with the advice needed to make sure everything happens following state laws.

Religious or Cultural Beliefs

Once the legal aspects are out of the way, make sure you are at ease with religious beliefs and family principles that may pertain to their particular denomination or non-denomination expectations. A godparent is usually expected to provide their godchild with a dependable source of encouragement and a moral compass in life. In some churches, being a godparent necessitates membership.

Build and Nurture Relationships

It is important to connect with your godchild in other areas of their life in addition to your spiritual connection. Be prepared to spend time together, building a strong bond. This is the cornerstone of a lifetime of dedication to them. Through frequent interaction, you can create new traditions that can become a special part of the child’s life. Even if you do not live close by, make sure you can dedicate time to maintain involvement. Utilize the technology at your disposal to keep up the connection no matter where life takes you.

Be a good role model. Volunteer someplace, together as a team – help at a soup kitchen or animal shelter. Be a great listener. Make sure your godchild knows that they can always come to you for support and advice. This can be especially valuable at times of strife (like the teenage years) where you may be relied upon to offer direction and inspiration.

Being a godparent entails both honor and duty. It calls for a lifetime of dedication to a child and is a unique role to play in that child’s life. Once you know what to expect, you will be well prepared to navigate life’s calm waters and storms with your godchild, hand in hand.