Author Topic: What would you call the kid?  (Read 13725 times)

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Hunter-Gatherer

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #120 on: September 04, 2012, 04:16:43 PM »
I would actually lean toward what the parents wanted at least until the child reached, probably 12 or 13, and here's why.

Both my ex-wife and I for our young childhood had -y nicknames that when we were around junior-high age we decided we didn't want to be called anymore, and not long after that reached the point where we hated them, yet neither of us were ever able to completely escape it completely.  I still have some relatives who refuse to call me anything else, and I'm 40 now.

When we had a son, we named him Edmund and gave him the nickname Ned at least in part because we really, really didn't want him to have a problem getting stuck with a -y nickname like both of us did.  When he was 3 and "Neddy" was starting to make its way organically around daycare, I talked to the teacher and made sure a stop was put to it (and made sure my son would also correct kids who called him that, which he mostly does).  I guess my point is that sometimes something like directing what your child be called does have more behind it, and sometimes parents can see a little bit farther than kids.  Now, he's still only 4 and a half, and we haven't had any conflicts about it yet (and I suspect we won't), but if we do, a lot is going to depend on what the thing he wants to go by is, and whether I see long term consequences to it.  Oh, and if he starts kindergarten and some teacher tries to call him "Eddie" I'm probably going to throw the mother of all hissy fits.

But again the original issue isn't about daycare workers or teachers arbitrarily deciding on a nickname, but the child deciding on what they want to be called. What if your son had liked "Neddy"? If he had asked for that and you said "no," that would have been you projecting your issues onto him. I don't see a problem with a child deciding what they want to be called. For most kids any silly name like "Spiderman" will pass quickly, but Ned vs Neddy vs Edmund is a serious choice and one that belongs with the person being named.

But sometimes the voice of experience is worth something.  It's one thing if he's twelve, or even ten,  (or whatever the age, if it was something like "Spiderman" that was going to pass quickly, I'd just roll with it because I'd know that it would pass quickly)... on the other hand, when it reaches the level of a serious choice that could well have ramifications that he wouldn't like for the rest of his life (and Neddy could, because even if he'd liked it at three, there's a very strong probability that he wouldn't at 13 or 16 or 20), then I feel that it's my obligation as a parent to step in and at this stage in his life protect him from himself.  Now, if when he's a teenager, or even a little bit younger than that, he wants to go by Edmund, or Ed, or Darth Nedulon, or whatever nickname other than Ned he might choose and he's serious about it, then I'll go along with it (I'd even try really hard with Eddie, though I'll admit I'd have a hard time it just because I don't like any nickname ending in -i, -y, or -ie in general or especially for anyone in or past puberty). 

And really, every parent project their issues onto their children, hopefully in mostly positive ways, but it's inevitable.  We try to spare them our pains and regrets while sharing with them our joys... it certainly doesn't always work, and you do have to walk that line between letting them be their own person while trying to get them to not repeat your mistakes, but we wouldn't be human if we didn't at least try to prevent them from falling in the hole that we ourselves had fallen into as a child.

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #121 on: September 04, 2012, 07:07:30 PM »
Once the child has truly expressed a thoughtful preference on their name, that is their name. Personally, I wish no one would ever call me by my name anymore. It's not my name. It doesn't fit me at all, in any way. The nicknames don't fit, and I wish I could change it, but I feel like it's too late.

But a kid's personal identity is not their parent's decision to make. Like, a parent can decide that they don't want a kid being called by a silly nickname - if the kid introduces themselves as 'Princess Ju-Ju Bee' and the parent says "Her name is Elizabeth", then I don't see that as the parent being controlling. But if little Elizabeth introduces herself as Lizzie, Beth, Bess, Betty, Liza, Liz, or Eliza... or by her middle name, then I don't think it matters if she's 5, 15, or 25. She knows who she identifies as, and as someone who struggles with name identity, I respect that more than I respect the parent's desire to have her called what they wanted.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #122 on: September 04, 2012, 11:50:33 PM »
If this was a very close friend or relative, and the nickname desired by the child was a normal one (ie "Mike" instead of "Michael" etc), I'd actually sit down and ask my friend/relative why it was so important for them to call the child by their full name. I'd be geniunely curious to hear their answer. And I think I'd gently try to point out that their child's desire to be called "Mike" instead of "Michael" isn't a slur on their parental decisions - it's simply the child forming his own, very personal, identity as "Mike". 

Bijou

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #123 on: September 05, 2012, 02:10:04 AM »
Sam is a great name for a girl but you have to respect the wishes of the parents and call her by the name they prefer. Maybe when the girl is older her folks will let her use the name Sam. 
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MariaE

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #124 on: September 05, 2012, 02:40:15 AM »
Kendo_Bunny, not necessarily - my Mum legally changed her name at age 50+ ;)

To those of you arguing that you have to respect the wishes of the parents - assuming that it's a "proper" nickname (and not Spiderman or Princess or something like that), why shouldn't you respect the wishes of the child as well?

I have a friend who's a teacher in Australia. She told me of a girl she'd had in one of her classes who was called Cinderella. Even at age 6 the girl hated her name, and refused to respond to any other name than Cindy despite her parents' protests. Fortunately my friend decided that the girl should have last say over her name rather than anybody else.
 
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Mental Magpie

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #125 on: September 05, 2012, 02:51:47 AM »
If this was a very close friend or relative, and the nickname desired by the child was a normal one (ie "Mike" instead of "Michael" etc), I'd actually sit down and ask my friend/relative why it was so important for them to call the child by their full name. I'd be geniunely curious to hear their answer. And I think I'd gently try to point out that their child's desire to be called "Mike" instead of "Michael" isn't a slur on their parental decisions - it's simply the child forming his own, very personal, identity as "Mike".

I've been following the thread but haven't had much in the way of a comment mostly because I didn't know how to word it.  This ^ however, is pretty much exactly what I think I would do.  I would also then refer to the child as she wished to be called because, after all, it is her identity we're talking about here, not the one her parents want to have for her.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #126 on: September 05, 2012, 03:26:55 PM »
I also think that when a child is first learning to speak and say their own name, it may be a bit of a tall order to get a toddler to clearly say something longer, when a nickname might be easier.   

I do understand where some people are coming from on saying the kids don't get to make the decisions.  I'm pretty easy going about some things, but my hills to die on are them going to school, doing homework/studying, going to church, and the new one, joining the church choir. I think it would be good for them but pirateboy2 has been fighting me on it.   He's the one I think would benefit the most from it, too.
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Dazi

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #127 on: September 05, 2012, 05:34:30 PM »
If the child is old enough to express a strong definite preference and its not some crazy or derogatory name, I would call them by whatever they wished.

And this is why...

My family always called me by my first/middle name combo or a completely unrelated nickname.  I hated both.  I wanted to be called by my first name only.  It was a battle of wills I eventually won. To me the only time other kids got called my first and middle name, they were on the line of really getting into trouble.  I guess I got in worked into my head that I was getting "yelled at" or "warned" by everyone all the time by them using both names.
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Tabby Uprising

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #128 on: September 05, 2012, 06:07:35 PM »
In my e-hell dreams this thread ends with everyone joining in for a rousing chorus of "You Can Call Me Al".

Surianne

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #129 on: September 05, 2012, 06:25:24 PM »
I would go with Sam, as the child prefers.  I think it's important to respect the child's preference when it comes to issues of identity.  If the parents decide to end the relationship over that, it's their choice -- maybe losing enough friends over it would eventually make them realize they're hurting themselves and their kid,

Mental Magpie

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #130 on: September 05, 2012, 06:33:34 PM »
I would go with Sam, as the child prefers.  I think it's important to respect the child's preference when it comes to issues of identity.  If the parents decide to end the relationship over that, it's their choice -- maybe losing enough friends over it would eventually make them realize they're hurting themselves and their kid,

I completely agree.
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #131 on: September 05, 2012, 11:34:44 PM »
I think what it comes down to, is that the parents are trying to impose a particular personality onto their child. And I think that's futile, at best.

I can understand the argument that goes "Parents have the right to make all decision relating to their child. After all, parents raise their child in a certain religion, send them to a certain school, so why shouldn't they have the right to refuse a nickname?"

To me, raising your child in a certain religion, etc, is the parents' way of wishing to imposing certain values on their child (which is understandable). But imposing a particular name on them and refusing an acceptable nickname, is the parents' way of imposing their ideal personality on that child. IMO, that is NOT understandable.

For example, in the OP's example, the parents may hate "Sam" as a nickname, because they think it's too masculine, and they want Samantha to grow up dainty, demure, and feminine. But Sam is who she is. If she's a tomboy, no amount of calling her "Samantha" is suddenly going to change her personality. If anything, it may make Sam resentful and rebellious when she gets older.

Redwing

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #132 on: September 06, 2012, 09:15:59 AM »
In my e-hell dreams this thread ends with everyone joining in for a rousing chorus of "You Can Call Me Al".

 ;D

skeeter

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #133 on: September 06, 2012, 10:04:12 AM »
I think in this hypothetical situations the parents are being disrespectful of the child. If a child insisted I called her Cheetos I would do it out of respect for the child's wishes. While parents do give a name it is up to the child to accept it. Then again I have friends who name their kids some pretty ridiculous stuff so I doubt I'll blame the kids for wanting to be called something else when they realize how lame their parents are when it comes to picking names.


I don't agree with this at all.  If my 3 year old decided that he wanted to be called Spiderman, am I being "disrespectful" if I don't want him to use that name?

For the OP - in front the parents I'd call her Samantha.  But if she's old enough to be having private conversations with other adults, and I know this is her preference, I might call her Sam.

And this can go pretty far...I have a cousin who had his grade school teacher one year convinced that his name was actually Optimus Prime.  My grandmother even has a card he made for her and signed as such.

Thipu1

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Re: What would you call the kid?
« Reply #134 on: September 06, 2012, 10:50:31 AM »
This sort of thing can have odd repercussions. 

A cousin's son was always known as 'James'.  It wasn't until he was in his 20s and needed a copy of his birth certificate that the learned that 'James' was his middle name.  his real first name was 'Michael'. 

From that point on, he demanded to be called 'Michael'.  for a year or two there was great stuttering going on at family gatherings as people got used to the new name.