When I found out I was pregnant, I can’t help but think about this million-dollar question: who will be my child’s ninongs and ninangs?
The tradition of choosing godparents date back to the early days of Catholic Church in consonance with the sacrament of Baptism. Since then, godparents became crucial in helping parents raise a child according to a set of values, beliefs, and morals.
Let’s face it. Choosing a godparent these days goes beyond religious beliefs. Most of the time, we choose a ninong and ninang based on relationships and sad to say, names and status. After all, we want our kids to get the best, right? It’s an unfortunate reality but we hope that ninong who lives a better life will shower our kids with expensive gifts.
This leads us to the next question: How should we choose our child’s godparents?
I am not the most religious person you’ll meet, so here are questions I asked myself before choosing ninongs and ninangs:
1. How is my relationship with the preferred godparent?
This is the first question I asked myself when making a list of potential ninongs and ninangs. I’m not really into names and labels, which is why my kids’ godparents are my close friends in high school and law school.
In choosing godparents, it helps if you have a good relationship with the person. You might also choose someone you share the same values and beliefs, especially when it comes to raising kids. It doesn’t matter if you met her 10 years ago or last year. What matters most is the bond you have before you had a child, which you hope to pass as your child gets older. After all, it is easier to maintain and strengthen an existing bond than creating a new one just for the child’s sake.
2. Will s/he be there for my child and make an effort to get to know him/her in the years to come? This is why question number one is crucial. How do you expect the godparents to make an effort and be present in a child’s life if you’re not even close to them?
Therefore, choose a godparent who is willing to see you before and after you gave birth. Choose someone who makes an effort to see you and your child anytime and get to know her better. It is also advisable to choose someone within your proximity for convenience and accessibility reasons. You may have best friends from other provinces or living in another country, but it would be impossible to create a bond with just Christmas cards and gifts, don’t you think?
3. Can the chosen godparent be generous not just in presents?
Who doesn’t want a ninong who could give your child expensive gifts during Christmas? Don’t you want a popular ninang for your little one?
Fine. We all anticipate that our chosen godparents will shower our kids with expensive gifts and a referral in the company 20 years from now. While names and labels look good on paper, let’s not make it a priority when choosing a godparent, especially if they are the type of people who don’t really make an effort. Go for someone who is generous not just in giving gift gifts but also in time and effort.
4. What about their morals and values?
Think about this: do you want a ninong who invites your child to go to a “bar” once he reaches 13? Is it okay if your child’s ninang will teach your daughter how to drink alcohol since she’ll learn it anyway?
Surely, we have friends who drink, smoke, and struggled somewhere along the way. That doesn’t mean they are not good candidates. In choosing a godparent, make sure to go for someone who shares the same values and beliefs with you, especially in raising children. They should be someone who can teach your child to do things differently and learn from their mistakes. They may not be the saintly person in the world but your child’s godparents should reflect what you want to teach and tell your child especially in the growing up years despite the differences in personalities.
5. Can I easily talk to the chosen godparent anytime I want to?
When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately reached out to my high school friends and told them the news. It was easy for them to feel genuinely happy and even visited me in the hospital when I gave birth. Since then, I decided that they will be my eldest daughter’s ninangs, which was a great choice. Up to this day, they constantly ask how she is and made an effort to see her.
In choosing a godparent, make sure that s/he is someone you can easily talk to, reach out to, and see every time schedule permits. Keep in mind that you are the middleman between your child and your kumare, at least during the first few years when your child can’t handle her own social media account. Until your child is big enough, you need to constantly update ninongs and ninangs about how your child is doing. If you can schedule play dates, then why not, right?
Anything to add, mommas?