What’s in a Name?

Naming your child can be a nerve-wracking experience.  You love the name Aidan or Madison, but it seems like everyone is naming their child that these days. Are you just a sheep-like follower, in line with the herd?  You really want to name your child Jezika, but you’re afraid people will laugh or judge you.  But you don’t want to name her Jessica.  You’d rather Jezika.  What do you do?  You love the name Helen or Ezra but you’re told they’re too old-fashioned for today’s children. Back to the drawing board.

Or not.

Yes, your child’s name is an important decision, and one that you have to make for him or her. It will follow the child for the rest of his or her life, and of course you don’t want your children to feel ostracized or odd or boring because of it. But in my experience, it’s not kids that think of those kinds of things. It’s adults. Kids tend to take things at face value, so that when they’re told their friend’s names are Brayden, Jewel and Dorothy, that’s it. Simply a way to address their friends. 

The top ten names for 2010 for boys are: Aiden, Liam, Noah, Jackson, Ethan, Cayden, Mason, Logan, Landon and Oliver.

The top ten names for 2010 for girls are: Sophia, Charlotte, Ava, Addison, Olivia, Amelia, Lily, Isabella, Chloe and Bailey.

All this means is that adults like those names. Nothing more, nothing less.  You could choose from that list, or choose from the top 500 list, or choose a name that’s not on any list.  A name does not define a person, it only gives them a way in which to be addressed.

Dulce Fatima and Natalina Marie were named after their grandparents on either side.  My husband and I come from Portuguese and Italian families.  Are the names different?  Yes. Do we love them? Yes.  Do the babies love them? So far, yes. They don’t know a name from a name from a name. They just know that the one they have is theirs and that’s enough.

As parents, sometimes we overthink the implications of a name, too worried about what society will think, forgetting that society to us is often just our friends and acquaintances.  In any case, children usually come up with nicknames for themselves so that even if you feel you’ve failed your child in the name department not all will be lost.  Try to keep in mind if you’re making that all-important decision right now, or if you’ve made it and regret it, that it’s really not an all-important decision in the scheme of things after all.  At best, the name you’ve chosen will be one both you and your child love.  At worst, it will be a minor hiccup to work around.

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.

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About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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