Insist on the grandparent image and name you want.

The words we choose can make a huge difference. Our names have
a lot of connotations as well. We all have heard some pretty dreadful names. Jay Leno has great fun with wedding announcements with funny last name combinations. If you are or become a grandparent, you can choose a name, or someone will choose one for you. In books, movies, and on television, grandparent stereotypes are pretty dated. Get out your shawl and cane. Energetic grandparents might even bake cookies, fish, or garden. (They rarely have jobs.)

If you are comfortable with grandma or grandpa or a variation of them, fine. But be forewarned that these names tends to have baggage and may result in you feeling older and/or people treating you like you are older. As one book title put it, Funny, you don't look like a grandmother.

So what's the alternative? Just using your first name loses the respect and the distinctionthat this is a defined relationship and a special relationship. You can choose a name you like and ask the children and parents to use that name. That keeps the distinction of the name being unique to your grandparent role. If you never cared for your name or nickname, this is an opportunity to choose one you like. Some of the options include:
~gran or nan (the shorter name connotes more action)
~an ethnic term, e.g., Nana, Bubbe, Zede
~your middle name
~your baptism or bar/bat mitzvah name
~any hero or character you have always admired

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael Brickey, America’s preeminent Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include: Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs. Visit for a free report on anti-aging secrets and his free Defy Aging Newsletter with practical anti-aging tips. Hear him interview leading anti-aging experts and/or read the interview transcripts with the anti-aging experts.

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