How to Help a Child Appreciate Their Name

Bullies, insecurities, and a difficult pronunciation can all be factors in leading a child to dislike his or her name. However, with these few steps, your child can be on their way to loving their name, and loving themselves.

Steps

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    Consider ethnicity. If your child has a Latino, Asian, African, or European heritage, their name may reflect that. Children often feel different because of this, but you can remind them that their name fits THEM. Teach them more about their heritage and place of origin. Name influential people from that place.
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    Ask your child why they dislike their name, and listen closely. Your child will feel better if (s)he feels able to be heard. Furthermore, you might figure out how to fix that problem: a "boring" name can become more interesting if it is shared by an awesome explorer, and an "unpronounceable" name might pale in comparison to oddities like Tchaikovsky or Chopin (two composers whose difficult names didn't prevent them from becoming famous).
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    Find out what their name means. There are many baby name websites that will tell the meaning of their name. Make them a nameplate, placemat, poster, etc. with their name on it and decorate it with its meaning. For example, the name "Sarah" means princess. So if your daughter's name is Sarah, remind her that she is a princess, and make her a craft with her name on it and a princess. Buy her a princess outfit. Make her feel special. If your son's name is "Max", that means "the greatest." So tell your son that he is the greatest son you could wish for, ask him to name off things he thinks are the greatest and decorate his craft with those things.
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    Find people with the same name. Was there ever a celebrity, politician, or other important person that shared your child's name? Tell your child about that person. Give them someone to admire.
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    Explain how you decided upon the name that you did. Was there a friend of yours? A colleague? A mentor? Sharing these people with your child can reassure them.
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    Always try to build up your child. Compliment them, and praise them when they do well or put forth good effort. Assure them that you love them. Doing so will help build their confidence and self-worth and help them appreciate their name.
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    Is there a nickname you can give your child that he or she likes? This can be a good compromise. Do they have a fun middle name? Consider letting them go by that.

Tips

  • Give them a stuffed animal or a doll with the same name.
  • Always encourage your child.
  • Always build up your child; never tear her down. His or her concern about their name is valid. Help them in a nurturing and supportive way.
  • If they dislike their name because of a bad nickname they have in school, consider talking to the principal. They may be a victim of harassment or bullying.

Warnings

  • Your child may refuse to accept their name. If so, be patient. This is probably a phase that they will grow out of.

Things You'll Need

  • Craft supplies
  • Baby name books (or websites)
  • History websites

Article Info

Categories: Raising Children | Teaching Children Skills