One of the toughest decisions you’ll make in life is what to name your kid. Ok, maybe the decision is easy for some folks, but it is one of the few decisions you’ll make that will affect someone else for the rest of their life. No pressure!
Naming your first kid is tough enough, but now here’s something else to keep in mind when naming your second, third, fourth, etc., child -- researchers have discovered that “parents set themselves up for speech errors when they give their children similar-sounding names.”
In other words, if you name your kids with names that sound similar (think Jonathan and Jason, or Amanda and Samantha), you’re more likely to mix up their names throughout their childhoods and beyond. You’re also more likely to misspeak if your kids are close in age, and/or share a gender.
Well I don’t know if it’s more likely to mix up kids’ names when they’re similar, but I do know that I’m very guilty of this parenting faux pas, and my kids’ names are nothing alike. They’re also about five years apart, so really the only thing that may apply to this study in my case is the gender thing.
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I do find that I mix them most often when I’m not only harried, but when one of them is displaying behavior more often representative of the other child. For instance, when my kindergartener Cordelia has the random homework assignment, I might find myself asking her, “How’s the homework coming, Hannah?”
Likewise, if Hannah has a burst of frustration over something unfixable (no, I don’t know why the weekend is only two days instead of three), I’ll probably say, “I’m so sorry life isn’t fair, Cordelia, would you like me to play you a sad violin song?” At which point she’ll likely laugh, because not only is the sad violin line hysterical, but also when Mom messes up and calls her the wrong name.
The funniest to both of them though is when I call either one of them June, which usually happens when they are trying to jump up and down on me and basically use my body as their own personal bounce house. June, by the way, is the dog.
It’s just one of those mom things, I think. Unless you’re going to just give up and call them Thing 1 and Thing 2, you’re bound to get the wrong name occasionally. Even then, I’m sure that Thing 1 and Thing 2’s mother often confuses them -- the mom of those two is likely exhausted beyond belief.
Do you ever mix up your kids’ names?
Image via Cheryl Colan/Flickr