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It’s all in a name

In some cultures an elder whispers the name of the child in a newborn’s ear, in another the child is named after the paternal side of the family. Whatever the cultural or family tradition the naming of a child is one of the most significant gifts that we give to our children. There are a few points to consider when choosing a child’s name:

1-The type of name: We all have different preferences when naming our children. You need to decide whether you want a traditional name, a popular name, a unique name, or even a family name. However, if you choose to name the child after one of your parents, also consider how the other side of the family will feel. If it will cause conflict, it might be best to avoid this option.

2-Narrowing down to a smaller initial list: It can be helpful to narrow down the names you like to ten each. If there are two of you involved in this process, it is important that you both take part in listing names separately so that everyone has a chance to contribute their ideas to the naming process. You also need to start this process early as there will be many additions and revisions before you reach the final name.

3-Researching the meaning of the name: It is extremely important that you carefully consider what the name means. Your child might not thank you if the meaning is solely a fruit or has the meaning of a ‘wagon trader’. Also be careful about giving gimmick names. Although at the time they seem like a good idea, it is not you who has to live with it.

4-Playing with the name: It is important that you consider how the name sounds with your surname; does it fit well? Another area to think about when playing is to look at the initials with your surname. Do the initials spell out something else? An example of this might be ‘Oliver King’. When turned into initials it becomes ‘OK’. Also consider the possibility of nick names. School can be really hard if the name can be turned into an unfortunate nick name.

Naming your child is an exciting process, where everyone will become involved and share their ideas with you. However, ultimately the decision comes down to you and your partner.