January 2, 2008

"A Surprising Number" Of Parents Consider Changing Their Kids Names

Whether an unscientific Babycenter survey result of 10% is surprisingly low or surprisingly high only you can say.

Of the three sets of parents mentioned in the article, only two actually went through with it; the third pair just conferred with their daughter Sophie, and now she goes by Isadora [heading off a preschool designation as Sophie #5 or something.]

It all sounds like a good argument for giving the kid three or four names to start with, then let him pick and choose as he needs to.

Baby-name remorse -- what do you do? [cnn via dt reader rolf]


I can't help but notice that CNN says BabyCenter only polled mothers -- wonder if that's just a dumb assumption, or if the poll really was moms-only to start.

[I'm sure it's the standard operating assumption at BabyCenter. -ed.]

babycenter's polling method is to post a question on the site, so (der) the respondents may be self-selecting and skewed toward "yeah! i considered it!" (i remember a question about whether you'd gotten a false positive on a scary prenatal test, and the poll results were around 50-50. i suspect that if you called random parents on the phone, that's not the result you'd get.)

meanwhile, our six-yr-old is begging us to call her "nora." she can't or won't articulate why she loves that name. she's neutral on her actual first name, josie, but HATES her middle name, olive. tough patooties, kid.

Chang's godmomma was just telling me about a co-worker who changed her younger daughter's name solely because her ever-so-slightly-older sibling couldn't pronounce it, and was calling the baby something else (albeit another perfectly good girls name beginning with the same letter).

What made her laugh is that Chang and Eng, who call each other "Yo-Yo" and "Dee-Dee" seem to be o.k. with that, and that it would be highly unlikely for us to change their perfectly serviceable names solely because Little Mary Sunshine (or one of the other of them) couldn't say it as a two-year-old.

My husband and I gave our children an ethnic (in this case Turkish) and an English name. That way if they feel more comfortable with one or the other they can always switch. We also tried to choose Turkish names that were easy to spell and pronounce in English since we spend at least half our time in America.

However, the man who created our first daughter's Turkish papers pitched a real hissy fit about placing the English name thereon. I had to provide my original American birth certificate (my middle name is the same) before he conceded to do so.

It would seem that in America you really can name your child Velveeta or Friday (heard about the Italian couple that tried that?), but not so in other countries.

I changed my own name at 5 because I hated sharing a name with so many girls in my kindergarten. I switched to my middle name, Elizabeth, which is of course common as well although I didn't think of it at the time. I'm really glad my parents let me change it but I wonder if I would let my daughter do the same.

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