posted in Life
I think one of the most stressful decisions you have to make as a new parent is naming your baby.
Sure, it may not affect their health or well-being or long-term character development (or…does it?), but it’s a decision that will follow them for the rest of their lives. And everyone has an opinion on the matter.
Now, on top of all of that, a survey of over 2,000 grandparents on Gransnet found that 1 in 5 grandparents can’t stand the names parents choose for their children. There were the usual objections — that the kids’ names were too hard to pronounce, or odd, or “made-up.” But others were upset that their suggestions weren’t used, or that a family name had been passed over. Some just think the names are plain ugly. One grandma complained that her granddaughter’s name — Elsie — sounded old-fashioned like “an old lady with droopy drawers.”
The surprising thing is that a lot of these names are common ones — even ones on the BabyCenter list of most popular names of 2017. You can see the entire list of names they disliked here (Charlotte?? Who could hate Charlotte? It’s a princess name, for heavens’ sake).
I was talking about this study with some of the other BabyCenter writers, and one mentioned that she avoided any grandparental objections by naming her kids after the grandparents themselves (brilliant). We, on the other hand, had two grandmas who were both teachers…and anyone who has been a teacher has a very long list of unacceptable names that remind them of that one awful kid in class five years ago. Fortunately, the grandmas either like the names we picked, or are too polite to tell us otherwise.
One thing I would advise, though: Although we were terrible at keeping the gender of our babies a secret, we did keep their names a secret. Early on with my oldest, I was telling someone the names I was considering, and she wrinkled up her nose at one and said, “Really?” and I realized I didn’t want anyone’s input. My husband and I were the only two whose opinions mattered on this…and it’s much harder to ridicule a baby’s name once he’s here and named than it is when you’re just throwing out ideas. So we stopped sharing our ideas and just made the announcement once the baby was born. So far, no one has said a word about the kids’ names since.
Since it’s too late now for grandparents to change their grandchildren’s names (and it’s not their right anyway), the best thing to do is…nothing. Don’t bring it up. They could even go one step further, and make sure they’re not doing any of these annoying things, either. Their terribly named grandchildren will thank them for it.
Did your family or friends comment on the name you picked?
Images by iStock