Modern Etiquette: Choosing a godparent for your child

Mon Aug 5, 2013 11:33am EDT
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By Jo Bryant

LONDON (Reuters) - With the arrival of Britain's Prince George of Cambridge, our attentions have been turned towards the etiquette of new babies.

After the initial flurry of visitors, presents and cards, many parents are faced with the important, and long-term, decision of choosing godparents. Here is some guidance for both parents and potential godparents:

Careful thought should go into choosing godparents.

It is a huge honor so, before asking, you must think about whether the individual will be prepared and able to fulfill the role. A godparent must be in regular contact with the family. Don't ask someone who you know will be one of those godparents who no one has seen for years.

Being a godparent is both an honor and a responsibility.

There are no hard and fast rules nowadays but, in practice, there is a world of difference between just being a godparent and being a good godparent - both in the eyes of the child and its parents.

It is very flattering to be asked to be a godparent but, before committing to the role, try and understand what the parents expect from you.

Parents usually select godparents who will bring something to the mix - for example, adventure, glamour, sporting prowess, culture, humor or sociability.   Continued...