There are so many children who get teased everyday because of their name, nickname or what their initials spell, which gives parents all the more reason to carefully consider their child’s name. It may seem like fun and games, but it’s your responsibility as a parent to give your child a name that they can live with for life. Here are some tips when you’re thinking of names for your precious soon-to-be-arriving bundle of joy:
1. Write out the initials of the name you choose to be sure it doesn’t spell out something that will make your child the target of humiliation by their peers. For example, Penny Ingrid Goldman (PIG); Zachary Issac Thomas (ZIT); or Francis Annabelle Timonson (FAT). Kids can be cruel and avoiding initials that spell potentially embarrassing nicknames is one way that you can spare your child from being bullied by his/her peers.
2. Write out all of the nicknames that you can think of for a chosen name to be sure none can be easily twisted by your child’s peers into a horrible childhood nickname. For example, (when combined with last name) Chuck Puck or Ted Stead. Not cute.
3. Unusually spelled names or names that are TOO exotic. I understand that parents don’t want a name for their baby that everyone has; but at the same time, names that are too unusual can cause headaches for your child later on down the road as far as correcting others on the spelling or pronunciation.
4. Don’t pick a name that is TOO popular. Matt is a nice name and all…but your son is more than likely to have four or so other Matts in his class, thus he will be forever be referred to as Matt G. It won’t make him feel very unique.
5. If your child has an older sibling, consider the combination. When your child already has an older sibling, it’s best to consider how the two names will sound together when, for example, you’re calling them down for dinner. An example from the Baby Center website…Sam and Ella. The mother expressed that when said together it sounded like a food-borne illness (salmonella).
6. Humiliating email handles. One that I probably never would have thought of myself. Here’s another example from the Baby Center website…Frances Atkins–email@example.com. Not so awesome.
7. Research people with the same first and/or middle name. We had trouble with this one. Our son’s name is Andrew Clay and little did we know until we’d already chosen it that there was a racist and very controversial comedian named Andrew Dice Clay. But we were still okay with it. He isn’t that well known and we just say “Well, I guess it means he’s destined to have a good sense of humor”. But if the name you choose is of someone well known and with a not-so-good reputation, I’d steer clear.
8. Watch name meanings. While it may not seem important because not a lot of kids will go and look up the meaning of your child’s name to ridicule them, it’s something that you may want to consider as it could help you match your child’s personality with an appropriate name.
Some sources for baby names include: your favorite book, your favorite movie, family names, baby name books, your favorite celebrity, spirituality, mythology, nature or even your favorite writer.
TOP FIVE NAMES (2011)
1. Aiden 1. Sophia
2. Jackson 2. Emma
3. Mason 3. Isabella
4. Liam 4. Olivia
5. Jacob 5. Ava
I asked several mothers what names they liked and these are some of the answers that I got: Wayland Luther, Mackenzie Lynn, Finley Dale, Quinn Penelope, Kenley, Audrey, Isabella Joy (Izzy for short), Elina Marie (Lina for short), Owen Michael, and Liam Joshua.
It is increasingly common to name a new baby after the baby’s parents, grandparents, great grandparents and family or friends who have recently passed, while it is becoming slightly less common to give a boy his father’s name (Henry Jr.).
In the end, you choose your baby’s name and only you know what the right name is for your child. But following the above suggested guidelines will definitely help you narrow down the list. Good luck!