Is this crazy trend for real? Can you believe grandparents are doing this? 52



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There’s a new business that’s booming. There’s nothing sinister about it, because it’s a win-win for all concerned in some ways. But it does involve grandparents, grandchildren and money, and plenty of the latter.

Given up trying to guess?

It’s paying your children to name your new granddaughter or grandson what you want.

The New York Times reports that some grandparents are not taking no for an answer, resorting to bribery when their suggestion initially falls on deaf ears.

They give the example of Frank Hudock, a restaurant manager in the Chicago area, and his wife Jennifer. After much deliberation they had decided they wanted to call their boy Max. However, the grandparents wanted him named Frank, as per generations of family tradition.

“No way,” they said.

However, then their grandparents offered them $10,000 if they went with Frank, so naming him Frank suddenly became a lot more attractive.

They are not alone. A US naming consultant – yes, you heard that right, naming consultant, they have such things in the US – said one client’s grandfather offered a family business if a baby could be named after him. Others have promised dream weddings in return for the right to name the firstborn.

Naming experts attribute the need for such bribery to the fact more and more couples are trying to name their babies something unique, instead of going with tradition, which is what older people of our generation favour.

But would it work here? We’re a little bit more conservative than the US in some ways.

Um, tough one. On one hand, it is a bit of an invasion of your own children’s right to call their newborn child what they want, so maybe it should stay in the US. However, on the other hand, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. If they tried to name one of my grandkids ‘Apple’, I’d be reaching for the chequebook quick smart. Maybe a free right of veto could work instead?

What about you: would you pay your children to name your grandchild what you want, or do you think it is an invasion of their rights?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

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