Choosing a name for a child is a big decision, and parents carefully consider many factors, including the meaning of the name, its compatibility with the surname, and family traditions. They also want to choose a name that their child will love and be proud of throughout their life.
A mum upset with her daughter asked the forum, “My daughter chose a new name for herself, and I’m upset about it. Any thoughts on what I should do if anything?”
Here’s her story.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The original poster’s (OP) daughter (14) has a traditional first name. It has no “wow” factor, just a classic name like Anna or Emily. She isn’t unpopular at school but isn’t in the popular group either.
OP’S DAUGHTER HAS STARTED REFERRING TO HERSELF BY A NEW NAME
There is a very popular girl at OP’s daughter’s school who everyone knows. She’s a cheerleader, is in student government, and wins the talent show every year with her singing.
“This has a very unusual first name, which I suspect might be a family last name somewhere in her genealogy. I’ve never heard this name before,” says OP.
OP started noticing that her daughter was now referring to herself by this girl’s name. She changed her socials so that this unique name is now her first name.
OP THINKS THIS IS WIERD
“I can’t even imagine what the classmates at school must think, let alone the girl herself. To me, it comes off stalkerish and just plain weird,” says OP.
OP told her daughter that she understands the desire to have a nickname but should choose something else.
“I told her that this name is unique to a classmate and is probably even a family name, and her classmate might believe she’s copying her or even making fun of her,” says OP.
OP’S DAUGHTER BECAME UPSET
OP’s daughter got extremely upset with OP. She told OP that she likes this name, that she “identifies” with it, and that OP should be more supportive of “who she is.”
OP WANTS HELP IN FIGURING THIS OUT
Says OP, “My daughter and I have an awesome relationship, and I hate that we are fighting about this. Any thoughts on what I should do if anything?”
Here are some of the best responses.
THIS WON’T END WELL FOR YOUR DAUGHTER
“I’ve seen such kids start dressing like the popular kids they want to be like. It always backfires.”
PUTTING YOUR DREAMS ON SOCIAL MEDIA CAN DESTROY YOU
“I remember being jealous of kids with “cool” names and pretending that was my name (looking at you, Courtney), so I don’t think this is that unusual, but now kids can put their little daydreams all over social media and get destroyed.”
SHE WILL STOP WHEN HER PEERS FIND OUT
“It may be the only way she stops. Unfortunately, shame is how most people realize what is and isn’t socially acceptable. If she isn’t willing to listen to mom, she will stop once her peers find out.”
YOUR DAUGHTER IS OUT OF LINE HERE
“No. Your daughter is out of line here. Do you want to have a nickname? Sure. Wanna steal the popular kid’s bespoke name, hard no.”
I GREW TO ACCEPT MY NAME
“That’s so funny! I have a semi-unusual name, at least to 13/14-year-old me at the time, so I tried to change it to something more conventional (Kelly Green) and even signed some assignments that way. Ultimately, it didn’t stick, and I grew to accept my name.”
CALL HER OUT CLEARLY
“I’d call her out clearly. It’s strange and will be seen as such by others. Don’t pussyfoot about it. Be straight to the point. You don’t have to be hurtful or cruel, but you do need to be clear and concise. This ‘identifying’ with a name and ‘it’s who she is’ is twaddle. That’s someone else’s name. Her peers WILL think it’s stalker behavior. They WILL think it’s weird and creepy. Because it is.”
PLEASE GET HER INTO THERAPY
“As someone who has been on the other side of this, please get her into therapy. I had a girl stalk and impersonate me in high school, which was traumatic. No one took it seriously then, but it was incredibly embarrassing and deeply offensive. She’d go out and buy the same shirts I had or dye her hair the same color. I could never just be me, and it still deeply affects me to this day.”
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