Many parents find it challenging to choose a baby’s name. It’s a difficult task that many parents face. They are wise to put in the effort. Research shows that the name of a child can have a lasting impact on their lives, even into adulthood.
Jessica, a Founder and CEO of LookAfterBabies.com, said that baby name books are trendy because of this reason.
“We always try to think about the first bits of a child’s identity, so it makes sense that we, as a society, pay a lot more attention to names. It might also influence how people think about others.
Research shows that the name you choose can significantly impact your baby’s life throughout adulthood. A girly name for your baby boy could lead to behavioral issues later on in life. And unique baby girl names that only your child will have can be a hardship too.
In May, a British study that surveyed 3,000 parents found that one in five parents regrets the name they chose for their child. Many were upset about the names they had chosen and the spellings they used.
According to lookafterbabies.com, even those who didn’t regret their choice of name admitted that there were names they wish they had chosen.
Names for Girls
Research suggests that boys with traditional names given to girls are more likely misbehavers than those with masculine names.
For example, when they are in elementary school, boys named Ashley or Shannon behave precisely like their masculine-named peers named Brian and other boyish ones.
Jessica explained to LiveScience that once these children reached sixth grade, the rate of discipline problems skyrocketed [for boys with girlish names], and it was even more so if there were girls of the same quality.
Jessica described the feeling of having to meet your girly name face-to-face every day, even if there is a girl in class with a similar moniker. That suggests that feelings of self-consciousness and teasing may play a part in the name-behavior connection in this case.
Boys also affect girls who are given girl names. Jessica analyzed names by their phonemic sounds in 2005 to determine their likelihood of being a girl. Kayla and Isabella, for example, were so phonemically feminine that their probability of being a girl was over 100 percent. On the opposite end of the spectrum were Taylor, Madison, and Alexis, which phonemically predicted that they would be twice as likely boys to girls than boys.
“I found girls with names that are relatively feminine in high school chose advanced coursework in humanities – and less feminine are more likely to choose math and science courses,” Jessica said, adding the research focused on high-achieving girls.
She cannot say if one is more important than the other. Morgan’s parents may have treated Morgan differently than Elizabeth, her younger sister because Morgan is more feminine. Jessica asked, “Did parents choose that name when choosing the name? Or did it influence their behavior towards their daughter?”
Expectations and Socioeconomic Status
The first name can is used to indicate a person’s background and character. Names can also lie, just as with any other external indicator.
Jessica took names from millions upon millions of birth certificates and broke them down into over a thousand phonemic parts. She analyzed the names to determine the likelihood that the name belonged in low socioeconomic circumstances.
Jessica stated that children with names [that] are linguistically oriented are more likely to have their parents give them, and those children were treated differently. They do poorly in school, are less likely than gifted students to be recommended, and are more likely to be classified as learning disabled.
She was particularly interested in unusual baby names because people can have different experiences with common names that can affect one’s view of the name. If George is a jerk, you will likely associate George’s name with negative qualities.
Jessica also included siblings of the same family who had both high-and low-status names to account for the possibility that dropout moms might give their babies poor names. Not all children with low socioeconomic status were given poor-sounding names.
A child’s ability to fulfill others’ expectations could explain the link between a name, success later in life. For example, names that sound like they come from a low socioeconomic background might be considered less capable of reaching their goals.
People draw subconscious cues about others all the time. Jessica stated that when you meet someone for the first time, you immediately notice their manner of walking, their accent, and how they dress.
She added, “I think there’s probably an evolutionary reason behind that. Our brains are wired to determine in a split second whether we trust someone or run from them.
Jessica stated that today, he imagined a teacher looking through their class roster to determine what to expect of a child. Jessica has heard this from many teachers: “I have no choice but to stop doing this.” This name is what I see. I wonder if they don’t have active parents.
The story goes on. Research has shown that children often meet their expectations.
If you don’t like your name, it doesn’t matter how classy it is. Research has demonstrated a strong connection between people’s dislike or liking of their names and their self-esteem.
Jean Twenge, San Diego State University, said that the relationship is so strong that people can use the name-letter task to measure their self-esteem. That involves subjects reporting whether they like different letters in the alphabet. She said those with high self-esteem would tell you they want the letters in their names, especially the first.
That makes sense when you consider how important a part of someone’s name is.
Twenge stated that names are tied to our identities, explaining why they find this surprising finding in certain areas. People who dislike their name or think it’s odd or unsuitable can have problems. They are less well-adjusted.
Common vs. Unusual Names
When choosing a baby’s name, there are two types: those who want something unusual and those who prefer a term that many children use.
It turns out that even though the name chosen does not make a difference in a child’s success later on in life, it does matter if it is unusual or familiar.
Regarding the impact on the child’s lives, there is little difference between choosing one of five popular, relatable names. Twenge stated that choosing between a standard, likable name or a genuinely unusual one could impact the child’s life.
Twenge stated that some of the names end up representing the parents’ views on life. “The parent who tells their child that they want them to stand out and names their child unusually will likely have a parenting style that stresses uniqueness and stands out.”
She said, “So it builds on itself.” A parent who gives a child a strange name will often parent differently to one who says, “I want my child to fit in.”
Twenge’s recent research suggests parents are choosing more unusual baby names than decades ago.
Blogs and baby-naming books often recommend changing the spelling of a widespread or rising name to give it some flair. Jessica’s preliminary results suggest that this may not be wise. Common name spellings were more common in children with deviant spellings.
That led to slower spelling and reading abilities.
Jessica stated, “That suggests a lot of internalizing.” “You have Jennifer, a child whose name was spelled Jennifer with a “G..” Her teacher asked her if she is sure that Jennifer’s name is correctly spelled. That can have a significant impact on confidence.
As the Bounty study suggests, all this is what parents eventually realize. One-fifth of British parents wished they had picked a name that was simpler to spell. Eight percent are fed up with people not being able to pronounce their child’s name. And one in ten thought the chosen name was clever but felt it had lost its novelty.