I’m starting to worry and think I screwed things up a bit here. [name_f]My[/name_f] youngest son is named [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. However ever since he was basically born he has gone by [name_m]Ted[/name_m]/Teddy. At age 3 it really hit me [name_m]Ted[/name_m] has NO IDEA his name is [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. I suppose we would say [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] in conversation, but [name_m]Ted[/name_m] is one of those kids that [name_u]Baby[/name_u], Hun, [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] and other pet names became the primary. While I love [name_m]Ted[/name_m] for a nn I want [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] to be his name for school. [name_m]Hence[/name_m] the panic setting in!! Not to mention am I confusing my son?! Worries of identity issues are trickling into my mind too!

I’ve since told the adults we know to start introducing [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] into the mix more. Fast forward 3 months and now when asked what his “long name” is he will say [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. However “[name_m]Ted[/name_m]” is still his answer if we casually say “whats your name?” He says he likes [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] and all seems to go well… sort of. The other day he said he wanted to be [name_m]Ted[/name_m] while at the dentist. Inside I panicked and worry he hates [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. DH says I’m overreacting and the kid can change his name around. Is that true?

AND his 5 year old brother says “he forgets” when I remind him [name_m]Ted[/name_m]’s “full name” is [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] and has yet to call him [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. That is definitely not helping things. I am scared to force Big Brother to say [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] as he says he “loves [name_m]Ted[/name_m]” and I dont want to confuse him. Am I being paranoid here? I feel like to the kids I’m changing Teds name!

Be honest. [name_m]Even[/name_m] if I might not want to read it. Am I “changing” Teds name? [name_f]Do[/name_f] I just throw in the towel and have my son go by [name_m]Ted[/name_m] until he chooses? Looking back of course I should have used [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] more. UGH. Help? What are your thoughts?

I can understand your concerns but I think it will all work out.
[name_m]Ted[/name_m]/Teddy is a very common name for [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. To the point where I’m sure many adults/teachers will assume [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] is his full name. (In the US at least)

I had a cousin that went by [name_f]Katie[/name_f] from the time she was born and she had no problem understanding her full name was [name_f]Katherine[/name_f] by the time she was school age. And no problems going back and forth between the two names.

I think you’re doing well to call him [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] every once in a while, even if it’s just you calling him that. He will understand. Both he and his brother will get used to it in time.


My nephew is also [name_m]Theodore[/name_m], but mostly goes by [name_u]Theo[/name_u]. He also went through a stage of not responding to [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] because his association was mostly with [name_u]Theo[/name_u], however he is slowly learning that both names refer to him and responds to both.

I honestly think this is normal part of learning and development. I understand how it might be stressing you, but I can’t see it having any negative effects in the long term. I think your approach in asking people to call him [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] more is helpful, as it will help him learn to associate with it more.

If it helps, a friend of mine almost goes solely by her nickname to the point that I “forget” her legal name, but she still uses her legal name for her job. It helps to separate work and personal relationships, and it’s never caused any dramas for her.


@Snowandcookies2 Ps. [name_f]Welcome[/name_f] to the NameBerry community! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Thanks Berries! Maybe I am projecting a bit as I find I have to “think” before saying [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] and it feels off. Like a fake name. But we choose [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] for life and [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] as a casual family nn that got too permanent lol. Hopefully [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] will happen before school😁


It will work out, just give it some time :slightly_smiling_face: It’s normal that his older brother needs to get used to calling baby brother [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] instead of [name_m]Ted[/name_m]. And even of he keeps calling him [name_m]Ted[/name_m], that’s still okay. [name_m]Just[/name_m] keep referring to your son as [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] regularly (but not necessarily all the time), and he will understand his full name is [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] by the time he goes to school. Maybe his older brother will copy you, maybe not, but that’s both fine.
[name_f]My[/name_f] second son is now 17 months old and goes by his middle name most of the time (as a form of endearment). We want him to go by his full first name with people who aren’t close family or friends, so to those people we refer to him by his first name. We’re doing the same with our newborn twins and their full names/nicknames. But it’s not a disaster if you start with that a little later. Things will turn out fine.

My daughter is almost exclusively [name_f]Rosie[/name_f]. She gets “[name_f]Rosalie[/name_f] [name_f]Lyra[/name_f]” when she’s in trouble, but otherwise she doesn’t get [name_f]Rosalie[/name_f] at all, from anyone. She just started school and the teachers all called her [name_f]Rosalie[/name_f] the first few days (I guess they didn’t look at the “preferred name” on her forms!) and I told her to just tell them she prefers [name_f]Rosie[/name_f]. She did and now everyone calls her [name_f]Rosie[/name_f]. She’s 5, she was well aware that her full name was [name_f]Rosalie[/name_f] beforehand. So I wouldn’t worry about him not knowing his full name.

May I ask why it’s important to you that he is [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] at school? I’m team let him be [name_m]Ted[/name_m] if that’s what he wants.


I don’t think it’s a big deal. You’ve corrected the “error” and he now knows his full name is [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. You can use it more often if you like but he seems to really love [name_m]Ted[/name_m] and so does the rest of the family. Let him love his name!


My cousin [name_f]Madeline[/name_f] didn’t know her name wasn’t [name_f]Maddie[/name_f] for a few years, but now that she’s older she understands and answers to that as well as the nickname. I don’t think you should worry too much. He might just be too young to fully grasp that he has another name.

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I don’t think it should worry you. A lot of kids go by nicknames, I’ve always had a nickname and have never ‘gone’ by my formal name accept in formal situations, and I don’t remember having a problem knowing that I had a full name and a nickname.

I don’t think you need to worry about him knowing his full name is [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. By the time he really starts school, he’ll probably know that’s his full name and the teachers will see that as his full name as well.

As for wanting him to go by [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] instead of [name_m]Ted[/name_m], even if you HAD called him [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] exclusively from day one, there’s no guarantee he wouldn’t want to go by [name_m]Ted[/name_m] or [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] later in life. [name_f]My[/name_f] brother’s name is [name_u]Michael[/name_u] and he has always gone by [name_m]Mike[/name_m], to my mom’s chagrin. But my mom and I both ALWAYS call him [name_u]Michael[/name_u], even though to everyone else he’s [name_m]Mike[/name_m]. Similarly, my dad always went by [name_m]Bill[/name_m] but all of his sisters and his parents called him [name_m]William[/name_m]. So it’s possible your DS might be [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] to you and your family but go by [name_m]Ted[/name_m] with others.

Also, he may prefer [name_m]Ted[/name_m] now but later might like [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] more. At the end of the day, he’s going to tell people to call him what he wants to be called. You can keep calling him [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] from time to time, to reinforce that it’s his full name, and maybe he’ll decide he wants to go by that later. [name_u]Or[/name_u], he might just want to be called [name_m]Ted[/name_m].

I think [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] is a gorgeous name, but I really adore [name_m]Ted[/name_m] too. I think as long as he knows his “long name” is [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] then personally I’d drop it - if he loves [name_m]Ted[/name_m] and his brother loves [name_m]Ted[/name_m] then why not let them keep using [name_m]Ted[/name_m], even at school if that’s what he chooses? It’s so lovely that he’s got two great options to choose from, and at different stages in life or with different people can change how he chooses to be called.

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