The name you choose for your baby is one of the things that will shape the rest of his life. Research shows a name can influence your child’s self-esteem and even his love life later on.
According to a recent study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, a bad first name can not only ruin your self-esteem, but can actually make you lonely and ‘dumb’. It may even increase the likelihood of you becoming a smoker. “Negative names evoke negative interpersonal reactions, which in turn influence people’s life outcomes for the worse,” said the study’s author.
A recent survey also found that about one in 10 parents felt their attempts to give their children unique names backfired and they subsequently regretted their name choice.
1. Don’t be a slave to trends
Blue Ivy, Apple, Daisy Boo, and Harper 7 might sound like unique and interesting names, but put yourself in your child’s shoes. Not only will your little one have to endure years of teasing at school, and from friends, but imagine having to introduce yourself as Daisy Boo to a guy you really like in a bar at varsity?
This can be an embarrassing situation for your child and may influence her social interactions.
2. Avoid embarrassing initials
When you’ve chosen a name, write down the full name to see how the initials will read. Ethan George Graeme White sounds sophisticated, but when you write down the initials the name suddenly becomes EGG White, opening the door for a lifetime of teasing and embarrassment.
3. Think of the future
A name that’s cute for a baby might not be suitable for a seasoned businessman. Billy or Johnny is a fun name for a child, but he might not be taken seriously in the business world with a soft name like that. Give him the option of being called William or Jonathan even though you might prefer to call him Johnny or Billy while he’s little.
4. Research your baby name choice
The meaning of your child’s name may not be what you thought. For example, Addison and Madison are beautiful girls’ names, but they mean ‘son of Adam/Matthew’ – therefore these names may not be the best choice for a girl.
Rachele is also a pretty name, but it means ‘ewe’ – a female sheep. On the other hand, if the meaning of your child’s name isn’t that much of an issue for you, and you simply chose it because you liked it, you should go ahead and use it.
5. Be serious about middle names
Middle names shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought, a joke, or as a means to keep peace in the family. You might not use your child’s middle name, but the teachers at school may read out your child’s full name when calling out the register, or he will have to disclose it on his CV when he’s applying for a job.
6. Take advice from friends and family
If you find yourself jotting down an unusual name, ask friends and family for their opinion. You may think it’s unique and the perfect choice for your child, but it might just be based on a phase you’re in at the time, or those pregnancy hormones playing havoc with your emotions.
7. Keep your surname in mind
A good first name is only the first step in choosing the perfect baby name. You also have to look at whether your name choice goes well with your surname. If your surname is Wood, don’t name your daughter Holly.
8. Use references
If you’re stuck on names, buy a baby names book or click here for our Baby Names finder to help you find the perfect name for your little one.
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