No matter how hard you’ve tried to come up with a beautiful and suitable name, it always remains to be seen what your child will think of his name. There is no divining the future. Everything might be fine, then suddenly your child’s name might become a target for teasing. When your child brings it up that he is being bullied at school, and that his name makes him feel uncomfortable, it may be time to look at some alternatives. One of these possibilities is determining
a new name, or formally changing it.
Take your time and try to come up with a new name together. That’s not easy, especially when your child is still young, but involve him at least and let him have a say in it. Let your child indicate what he or she thinks sounds and feels good. Draw up a list and discuss the pros and cons of every name. Because it concerns a name change it’s extra important that the new name is definitely ‘the one’. You can’t change your name every few years.
If you’ve decided on a new first name with which all family members, but particularly the child concerned, are
one hundred percent happy, then inform the people at school. In the case of very young children it’s especially
important that the teacher deals with this properly. In high school, a child can tell the class himself that he would like to be called by a different name from now on. However, the staff at school has to be informed in this case, too. Many youngsters that are unhappy with their name decide to change it when they change schools.
That’s the perfect opportunity to make a new start with a new name.
Obviously, the child will still be registered under his old name(s). It’s difficult to change that on his passport or other official documents. And expensive, too. However, what’s most important is the name by which the child goes through everyday life. That name has to be right and he has to be happy with it.
“We named our daughter Jessica. At the time, we thought that was a beautiful name. As it turns out, she’s
now at a school where there are several other Jessicas. She’s constantly fighting with the other Jessica in
her class. One day she came home from school and said: “Mom, I don’t want to be called Jessica anymore!
Can’t we change my name?” We thought long and hard about it and eventually decided on Ann.
That’s her third name: Jessica Sharon Ann, because her birth announcement card says: Jessica Sharon Ann.
Ann was the name of my mother. The next day I took her to school and went into the classroom with her.
The teacher put her on a chair and told the class: “Listen up everybody, there’s a new girl in class and
her name is Ann!” The teacher did a very good job and within a few days everyone called her Ann.
We got used to her new name!”
“Up until I was sixteen, I was called Nelly. I was named after both of my grandmothers. My cousin
was also named Nell. I found her very annoying and I didn’t want to be compared or confused
with her. When I left high school and went to college, I felt it was an appropriate time for a change.
I rearranged the letters in my name and came up with Lenny. Right away, I felt like a totally different
person, and now, forty years later, I still have no regrets! The funny thing is that my best friend
thought it was such a good idea that she decided to change her name as well.”
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