What would you do if your child in the future (lets say, a teenager) came to you and told that they hate / dislike their name X and that they are Y now?
How would you react?
Would you call them their new name?
I did, they respected my choice and started calling me by the other one. I’d do the same.
It would break my heart, but ultimately it isn’t my decision. Their name is their name, not mine. If they want to go by something else, I would be 100% supportive. Especially if it had to do with gender identity, I would be more than willing to help them go through the legal name change process.
I would be disappointed, but support them. It’s their life and their name. I want them to be called something that makes them comfortable.
I think it depends on why they hate their name.
For example, I used to dislike my own name when I was younger. I thought it sounded old-fashioned and not cool at all. I wish I were named something cooler and a lot more modern. In fact, I did pick a couple of names I much prefer to be called. But my mother and grandmother used to tell me that I’ll like my name eventually.
Now that I’m and adult, I do like my name even if I still think it sounds a bit dated, but I can understand why my parents gave me this name.
In fact, I’m planning to pass this name to a future daughter if I ever have one and if my boyfriend agrees because it’s a family name. If she ever dislikes her name as I did, I would tell her the same things my mother (with the same name) told me.
But if the reason is something “stronger”, something related to a bad experience, or maybe because they are being bullied, or because it doesn’t match their gender… I would of course respect their choice.
I agree with @UnderTheRainbow. I wanted to change my name for years when I was a kid/teen because I thought it was too popular and wanted something more “special”.
Now that I’m older I realize how special my name is because it links me to my family.
If my child wanted to change their name I wouldn’t take it too personally.
If it was for no other reason than they wanted to be “cool/more unique etc” I would assume they will grow out of it.
If they still want to change it when they’re an adult then of course they have every right to do that and I would respect their decision.
I’d support it 100%
If my child hates their name, I wouldn’t mind if they wanted to use their middle name, nickname or something else.
I went by a nickname unrelated to my actual name for most of my teens. In my 20s I “grew into” my birth name and have used it since. I can’t imagine not allowing my child to do the same if they wish
I’d be sad but I would understand. I’ve had times where I’ve hated my name.
We would be willing to call them by the name they chose or prefered, and if they wanted to legally change it in adulthood, we would support it. If we could be involved in the re-naming process, I think my partner and I would love to give ideas or at least give support on some capacity.
I think I’d be pretty cool with it. I try not to get too emotionally attached to my names, because at the end of the day, they are just names.
That’s an admirable philosophy!
Of course there’s no telling how I would feel in the moment, but I’d like to think that I would fully support my child’s decision to change their name. I’d hope to be given a logical reason why though. If my son honestly doesn’t feel like X, and would rather be known as Y, that’s his choice.
Given the folly of youth though, a legal change would have to wait until their of age to do so themselves.
If it’s a four year old who insists they want to be known as, say, [name_u]Noah[/name_u] because their best friend is called [name_u]Noah[/name_u] and they think it’s a cooler name, I’d know it was just a fad and not think too much of it. But if they were older, I’d sit them down and find out the reason why - as others have said, we all go through phases of hating our names. I’d be supportive of using a nickname or something as a teen though I’d encourage them to give it time to think about it if they wanted to use a completely different name - unless of course it was related to gender identity in which case I’d support that.
On the subject of whether or not I’d agree to legally change a child’s name before they are an adult: I largely agree with what has been said here if the name change is not gender-identity related. However, if a child wants a new name because they are transitioning to live as the opposite gender I would strongly encourage parents to consider doing the name change before they start getting records that will follow them throughout their lives (e.g. high school, work history, driver’s license, etc.)*. There is a very good reason for that - while explaining a name change that was done just because you wanted a different name is merely an annoyance, having to do that for a transgender name change means essentially outing yourself.
*This is assuming that a “final” decision has been made on transitioning, name choice, etc. You shouldn’t make legal changes if not sure, but don’t make a trans child who is transitioning in all other aspects wait until they are an adult to change their name for no other reason.
Unless it’s because of gender, I’d agree to calling them a different name if they were mature enough (maybe 12, but every child is different), although I’d probably make them wait until 18 to change it legally.
I have many friends who have changed their names, so I’d be perfectly okay with it! I’d feel a tiny bit of sadness that I wouldn’t get to use the name anymore, but ultimately it would be up to them. No matter the reason, I’d immediately switch over to the name they wanted, because they’re their own person. I think I’d do the same thing no matter their age too, as a lot of the time a young child is more sure of who they are than we think. If they were extremely serious about it, and if it had anything to do with their gender, I also would not wait until adulthood to legally change it. I would feel awful knowing my child had to go through years of dealing with a name they did not identify as or were not comfortable with.
The most important thing is that my child feels happy and loved, and like they can be who they want to be. Names aren’t that important when you look at the big picture.
Totally agree with @UnderTheRainbow. Then again, it all depends. I went through a phase when I hated my name (not to mention renounced my culture) but I’m actually very fond and proud of it now.
Well I would understand and ofc I would let them go by something else! If it’s a really strong reason and they want to officially change it, I maybe would ask them to keep their birth name for a middle, but ultimately, I wouldn’t mind. Hurt, maybe in the beginning. And I would respect them and call them by what they want to be called!
I would be sad obviously, but it’s their name and they have to use it, so I’d be supportive in the long run.
Though, as someone who hated their name when they were younger, I think sometimes you just need to grow into a name. Disliking it at one point doesn’t mean it is actually terrible or that you’ll never feel connected to it, so I would want them to have multiple discussions on why they feel that way before officially deciding to change it.