You know all of that stressing, negotiating, and pondering you've been doing to pick out just the perfect baby name. Well, relax. If you don't like it, you can always change it down the line. Or at least that's what more and more parents seem to be doing when they get a big case of baby name regret.
We've known for awhile that plenty of parents end up disliking the baby name they once chose. It's not surprising I suppose, as we change our minds about all sorts of things. And when the name you thought was so unique is suddenly everywhere, or you meet a horrible person with the same name and can't shake the association, it can happen. Most people get over it, while other people just change their kid's name. Oh yes, it's happening -- more than you might think.
Some people do it via "common usage," which means calling a child by another name. I've actually known several people who have done that either with nicknames or by using a middle name as the first name when the originally intended name just didn't seem to fit. But others go the full legal route. It's not easy and will usually need to involve an attorney and some fees you'll have to pay, but it can be done if you're determined.
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I don't have stats for the United States, but according to an article in the Daily Record, in Scotland the number of people changing their first name is going up. Last year 3,221 first names were changed, including those of 311 children under age 2 and 1,129 under the age of 16. That's a lot of name changes.
While I suppose it's not the worst thing you can do, it does seem like an easy way out. A name is something we bestow on our children with the intention that it will be for life. To change it just seems fickle, and like a trend packed with problems. If you do it once, what's to stop you from changing your mind again? What about when your kid starts piping up and asking for another?
Names are supposed to be permanent. They're what identify us, and people come to know us by. But they're also just names, and there are a lot more important parenting issues to worry about than to spend time trying to perfect your child's name after the fact. Parents should put extra thought into them in the beginning and be prepared to live with them for life.
Would you ever consider changing your child's name? Do you think it's a good idea for parents to do so?
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