Keeping it real: “Family feud” over baby names

25th August, 2013

Keeping it real: “Family feud” over baby names

You know this. You’ve promised to yourself that when you have a baby, you’ll name him (or her) this and that. You’re firm and you’ve held on to that name for years and now that you find yourself with a baby, everyone’s gone crazy about naming him!

Choosing your child’s name is tricky enough, but when family complicates the issue, it can become more challenging . Does one of them disagree with your choice of a name? Do they want you to name the baby after grandma or grandpa or perhaps after someone super famous? But numerous variations on family naming conflicts just happen all the time. You tell your favourite cousin that you’ve always wanted a little girl named Emily, and the next thing you know, she names her daughter Emily. Or, you tell Grandma Grace that you wish to name your little girl after her, only to find out that she prefers to be the only Grace in the family.

So how do you choose a name?

Check with the name’s source. If you wish to name your baby after someone in the family, check with him or her if it’s okay. Some will be honored but others wouldn’t. Consider your family’s religious traditions too (some believe that it’s bad luck to name a child after a family member who’s still alive)

Be sensitive to other people’s feelings. You might have loved the name Gregory for years, but if there’s a Gregory in your husband’s side and he is the black sheep of the family, you may wish to consider something else. Give your baby the best start without  reminding everyone of the name they wish to forget.

Prepare a creative variation of the name. If someone in the family uses the name you had always wanted for your baby, don’t be mad at them (hey, you both have good taste, that is!). You can probably use that name as a middle name instead or simply choose a variation: Maybe Anya for an Anna or Weston for a William.

Don’t let others name the baby for you. If your husband’s name is Michael John Watson III and a bunch of family members are looking forward to you producing a Michael John Watson IV, tell everyone that you both have decided to not carry on the name. Be respectful in informing them and be confident with your mutual choice.

Most of all, don’t forget that there are gazillions of names out there. There could be another one which is a better fit for your baby. On the other hand, if you are still worried that you and your favourite cousin named your sons “Jacob”, they’re not alone. There are thousands of Jacobs born every single year!

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