Name change!

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] there!
Sorry if that’s a wrong category. It’s gonna be a long post but if you’ve ever faced with your child’s name change, please stay.
Also sorry if I wrote something without sense, this topic is a hard one for me and maybe I mixed something up.
I want to ask you, as Moms, what would convince you to let your kid change their name legally.
I’m asking because my first given name is just horrible. I guess it’s been in top 3 for around 20 YEARS in my country and it’s so girly girly. It’s so super popular here that probably lots of people started to hate it actually. Unfortunately I have to be called by that at school, because it’s my legal name… I guess some times people were even mad at me because I didn’t react when a teacher called me out. There was only one group at school/kindergarten when I was the only one with that name from my early years to high school I guess.
[name_f]Remember[/name_f] the [name_f]Karen[/name_f] meme? The name I’m talking about has been made into something similar, except that here a noun is being used derived from THIS name, and it’s used to call girls who express their political views very boldly but in a rude way, and I’ve read that some people use it to describe a person who’s very open about their sexual life.
So again, horrible.
The first time I wanted to change it was kindergarten I guess. I haven’t used this name for years, maybe with a few exceptions when I felt nameless and introduced myself with it. I chose a name I love and I use it.
I’ve felt so bad with my old name for so many years.
But one of my parents doesn’t agree to legally change it. I don’t know why, when I asked, the answer was: you can’t always get what you want.
[name_f]My[/name_f] parents name is kinda normal, maybe a bit uncommon. It’s I guess the third year when I’m trying to convince my parent… I’m turning 16 this year and I know, I could wait till I’m 18 and decide for myself but I don’t want to loose two years on being simply ashamed.
Why doesn’t my parent let me change a name which made me feel horrible for so many years? How to convince my parent? Any ideas?
Thank you so much!

Some people are just headstrong and it’s difficult to change their mind. If I were you, I’d start unofficially going by a new name with my friends, and if you still love your new name in two years you can change it when you’re 18.


I’d consider your parents point of view too… They bestowed this name on their beloved child. They must have really loved this name to give it to you because they love you. So you’re going to them and telling them you don’t like what they love. Your name makes up who you are and to change that on them is probably really confusing and possibly heartbreaking. It’s obviously your life and your choice (when you’re older), but I don’t think your parents are just being mean to you.


I’m not sure if there’s really anything you can do to change your parents mind… As much as it sucks, all I can suggest is waiting it out until you’re 18.

Since your parent didn’t give you much explanation on why they said ‘no’ my guess is they don’t want to put the effort into changing it. Maybe they do have a meaningful explanation behind it. But (on the surface) it sounds a bit selfish for them to ignore your feelings and refuse to do the necessary paperwork.

I understand that people on this site may believe your parents chose a very meaningful name, but that is our POV as name-lovers. I know A TON of people who were given a name very arbitrarily by their parents. And I know some who chose a name simply because it was popular - It was not meaningful to them, but they knew (or thought, at the time) that it would not be a name that was mispronounced, misspelled, or made fun of.


I can only respond from the POV of a parent, and I know the names I choose for my children were chosen with care and love, and while I would understand if my child wanted to change her name, I would encourage them to wait until they were out of school and out of that social dynamic before making any legal changes. But I also wouldn’t want my child’s name to make things any harder for them in life.

So I would suggest starting an open conversation with your parents, asking them why they chose your name and what it means to them and see if you can come up with a solution together. Maybe switching your middle and first name? [name_u]Or[/name_u] adding a first name and moving your first to a middle?


I have NEVER liked my birth name, so I deeply empathize with this. I legally changed my name (first and middle) to something NOTHING like my birth name when I was 25, and it was one of the best life decisions I have ever made. I socially changed my name four years before— actually I did that twice.

As someone who’s gone through it, I would gently recommend waiting until 18 if you can’t change now. I know it is difficult, but it would give you time to try out a name (or names) socially before going through the headache of a legal change. I know for me, it was a godsend to be able to do that.

Everyone’s experience is different, of course, and maybe now is the right time for you (that’s great too!) but I just wanted to offer some perspective and (maybe) some possible hope?

Cheers to you, whatever name you choose will be perfectly you, and it doesn’t need to be legal for it to start being yours :slight_smile:


Do you think that maybe your parent feels a little hurt that you want to change your name? They picked out a name for you with the intent that you’d like it and use it, but instead it’s the exact opposite. Maybe that’s why they refuse? Unfortunately, it looks like you’re going to have to wait until you are 18 to legally change your name.

I’m in a somewhat similar situation as you are. I don’t mind my name too much, in fact I kind of like it (especially the nickname I had). However, I never felt like my name was nice enough compared to other people’s names and as a Kindergartener tried to write different names on my papers. Last year I kept trying to go by nicknames loosely related to my full name, but they never really stuck. Recently I decided I wanted to start going by my middle name, [name_f]Elise[/name_f], which is what I am called in public/online and I very much enjoy it. I’d personally never legally change my first name to [name_f]Elise[/name_f] as I still kind of like my first name, but I totally understand wanting to change your name.

What I focus on is appreciating that I’m able to have an alternate name at all, and I think you should look at it that way too. You are already doing all you can by introducing yourself as your alternate name, and I think it’s great that you love the name you chose for yourself. Good luck :slight_smile:


I’m almost sure they chose this name simply because it was “fine”. No story behind, no special meaning.

So from a parents’ point of view in this situation, I have a child who passionately hates their name. I put a lot of thought in to their naming and yes of course it hurts. In [name_u]Germany[/name_u] the scenarios in which you can legally change your name are few and far between and she won’t be able to do it any time soon unless circumstances change (although we are considering looking at the legality of doing it in U.K. after the pandemic as she’s half British). I didn’t and still don’t like that she’s rejecting the name I gave her…

BUT, it’s my child’s name not mine and it’s her life and her identity. I don’t own that. We have agreed she can go by her middle name (which she does like and it is legal to do so) and will transition to her new name when she changes school later this year.

I think the best thing you can do is consistently and calmly communicate your feelings on your name to your parents and hope they will support you in making a change.


Is there a nickname you can derive from your first name that you can go by instead? [name_u]Or[/name_u] do you like your middle name or could make a nickname out of it? Perhaps your parents will be more agreeable with you going by a different name if it’s still part of the name they gave you. As a bonus, if you can make a nickname for yourself that’s derived from your first or middle name that could also be a nickname from another formal name then you could legally change your name to the other formal name when you turn 18 (ex. [name_f]Karen[/name_f] → [name_f]Kara[/name_f]/Cara → [name_f]Caroline[/name_f])

I would also just continue trying to have open and honest conversations with your parents about your name. Try to show them how hard it is to have a name that is a meme/has a negative connotation – maybe even show them some examples online and talk about how that affects you. I’d also say something like “I respect your feelings but I will be changing it when I’m 18.” Perhaps if they know that you’ll change it in a couple of years anyway, they might be willing to compromise. Perhaps you could even try to include them in the process of picking a new name? I can definitely understand how it might be hard for them to let go of the name they chose for you, so maybe letting them help would make them feel like they’re picking it too.

Good luck!


I use a different name now, not connected with my first or middle name, so there’s no use in changing the ‘unofficial’ name I already go by.

I won’t go into details but if I didn’t mix anything up (tough things to remember) my middle name is being connected to a past trauma and I started getting flashbacks after hearing my middle name so I have to legally get rid of it too. I guess I never liked it that much tho…

Anyway, thank you so much for your response. :heart:

I use a different name now, not connected with my first or middle name, so there’s no use in changing the ‘unofficial’ name I already go by.

I won’t go into details but if I didn’t mix anything up (tough things to remember) my middle name is connected to a past trauma and I started getting flashbacks after hearing my middle name so I have to legally get rid of it too. I guess I never liked it that much tho…

Anyway, thank you so much for your response. :heart:

I’m not a parent, but I’ve socially changed my name and I have parents who call me by my chosen name.

What helped with me was convincing my parents that this was not a choice I made on a whim. I wrote a letter to my mother explaining my rationale for my new name. She agreed that it was something I had wanted for a long time and that it meant the world to me, and she saw that my name was affecting me much more than a name should.