How Old To You Have To Be A God Parent- Becoming a godparent is an honor. It means that a family has asked a special person to guide their child through out life and form a special bond with them. Depending on the beliefs and religion of the family, a godparent may have certain expectations.
What happens when a family wants a younger person to be a godparent? How young is too young? Is it possible? Depending on the religion, belief and the age of the potential godparent, it is!
What Is A Godparent?
Traditionally, a godparent is a male and female that are chosen by the parents of the child to guide that child spiritually through out their life based on the religious values of the parents and their religion. Over time, this definition has evolved. For some families, it means the godparents would take custody over the child if the parents were to pass away. For others, it can mean being an uncle or aunt there to guide your child through out the trials and tribulations in life. It can be like having another set of parents.
Godparents are to be there to guide you, support you and comfort you through out your life. They can also play a huge religious emphasis in your life. For example, a godparent for Catholics would be there at your child’s baptism, communion and confirmation. They would be invited to your child’s wedding if they choose to get married. A godparent’s job is to last for their rest of their life.
How Many Godparents Can You Have?
Traditionally, a child would have one female and one male godparent. The godparents could be married to each other, be unknown to each other or even be siblings. However, depending on the religion or belief structure of the parents, a child could have one or three godparents where the gender is not a concern.
What Age Can You Become A Godparent?
There is no official age range to become a godparent. Traditionally, godparents were siblings or a couple that was chosen for the child to guide them religiously. Today, godparents can be friends, siblings, cousins and more. It is up to the parents to decide! In the past, godparents were those of marrying age that had become a confirmed member of the religion. For Catholics, this would be in and around the age of fourteen. For other religions, it can be similar. Generally, the age of eighteen makes you an adult. Parents in the past wanted to see that the godparents were established and good, contributing members of society. They were people who attended church regularly and were active members of their church or religion.
Now the rules have changed. People are considered to be godparents because of their relationship to the parents and their family. They are good people with a good moral compass who are willing to dedicate their lives to having a godchild. These people can have children or be child free, be married or solo, know or not know the other godparent.
Generally, a church would recommend a potential godparent to be at least sixteen years old. They would be considered an adult in the church community, of good standing and follow the religion faithfully.
if the notion of a godparent to your family is someone who has a good moral compass and will remain in your child’s life for their entire life, there are many options for the age of your godparent. You can choose someone who is much older than of marrying age or younger than sixteen.
READ: Choosing A Godparent
Why Families Do Not Choose Someone Under Sixteen To Be a Godparent
Ultimately, the choice of who your child’s godparent will be is up to you. It is a lifelong decision and hopefully, this godparent will be in your child’s life as long as they are alive. This is not always the case due to people moving away, drifting apart, having a fight with the parents or passing away. However, we have to take a chance on someone knowing that we took the time to make a good choice. Age can always be a factor in peoples decision making. Here are a few reasons why parents do not choose a godparent who is under the age of sixteen.
The Young Person May Change Their Mind After Time
Essentially, you are choosing a minor to have a major responsibility. A fourteen year old who comes home right after school may have many more responsibilities at sixteen and may move away for university at eighteen. Priorities change and a child may find it difficult as they are growing up to maintain a regular relationship with your infant. Every minor teenager is different and the experience may be positive but its good to consider all avenues before making a decision.
The Young Person May Not Understand The Responsibility
When we are young, we say yes to everything. Children and teenagers are honored by big responsibility and feel they are more grown up. They may be saying “yes” to becoming a godparent, a young person may not understand their responsibilities. Secondly, they may be unaware of the level of expectation. If you are choosing a fourteen year old or younger to become a godparent, be sure to outline the expectations clearly with them and their parents.
Religiously, They May Not Choose This Religion When They Are Adults
If you’re choosing a young teenager as a potential godparent, they may not stay in the religion that they were brought up in. The devout fourteen year old follower of a religion may be someone who leaves the religion years later. When a child reaches adulthood and still chooses lovingly the religion that they were brought up in, that is a testament to their faith. However, children who are still young may choose to go an alternative route or make religious changes in their life that you may not agree with. That is why choosing an adult may be a better option.
In the end, it all depends on the child. Some young teenagers can be the perfect godparents for your child’s lifetime while others may be good for a while but make life changes when they are older that you may not agree with. Teenagers and preteens are still finding themselves and testing their beliefs, morals and values. They have the right to do this as young people as we all do. That is why, choosing an adult who has had that experience and set in their ways may be the better option for you.
Why Families Choose People Under Sixteen Years Old To Be A Godparent
Some families have a thought that a young person, or a person under the age of eighteen would make a great godparent. There are some important reasons why families choose people under sixteen years old to be a godparent. Here are a few of them:
Your family wants to honor a younger sibling who happens to be under eighteen years old. You know that this sibling will be in your child’s life for the rest of their life. Choosing a sibling is an honor and gives this young person honor and responsibility. It will help bond your young sibling to your child and they will feel very special.
Not A lot of Family
For some families, they have only a few, close family members. Additionally, some families only want family members to be godparents. Choosing a child under eighteen to be a godparent when there is not a lot of family to choose from may be one of the reasons you choose someone under eighteen. This will honor the young person and give them the responsibility to represent your child through out their life.
A family may choose a younger godparent to create family bonds. Perhaps there is a younger sibling or close family member, a step sibling or a new member to the family. This is a great way to welcome this wonderful person to your family and let them really feel like they are a part of it with such an honor.
How old do you have to be to be a godparent in the Catholic Faith?
To become a godparent, you have to be a minimum of sixteen years old and meet the following requirements to be a godparent in the Catholic Faith. A potential godparent must be baptized, receive their first confession, their first communion and their confirmation in order to be a godparent. Catholics believe that godparents must guide their child religiously throughout their life. That is why it is important that the godparent is in the same religion as the child if it is for religious reasons.
Some Catholic churches will allow a non Catholic godparent as long as the other godparent is Catholic. Check with your local church.
Can you be a godparent without being confirmed?
It is possible with some churches in the Catholic church to allow a non confirmed Catholic to be a godparent. Usually, if this is allowed, the other godparent must be Catholic. So, one godparent does not have to be Catholic while the other is.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Be A Godparent?
There is no set age to be a godparent. Religious institutions like an adult that is practicing their faith. Some parents elect young godparents for many reasons, while other parents wait until the godparent is an adult, supporting themselves and a good role model for children. Depending on what you are looking for in a godparent, any age can be beneficial based on your needs for a godparent.