Saturday, June 25, 2011

Have Unique Baby Names Gone Too Far?

By guest blogger Jenni Sunde
What’s in a name? Our given names help shape who we are, and how we are perceived by those around us. As such, it’s arguable that a baby’s name can affect their future lives in either positive or negative ways. These are all things to consider when naming your child, although ultimately, the choice is up to you, whether you are a traditionalist or a cutting edge trend-setter. 

In some cultures, naming a baby is a sacred celebration. In the Jewish tradition, for example, baby girls receive a naming ceremony after their first Shabbat (the seventh day of the Jewish week), and baby boys are named eight days after their birth. Hindus also practice a sacred baby naming ceremony called the Namkaran. Along with friends and relatives, the child is blessed and named after a letter of the Sanskrit alphabet that is chosen based on the time and date of the child’s birth.  

In our culture, we are a little less formal, but baby naming is still an important ritual. When you are pregnant, you will no doubt receive suggestions about baby names from friends and relatives. Sometimes this advice is welcome—other times, it isn’t. A lot of us have a good idea of what we want to name our kids. When others make suggestions we merely smile and nod, and end up naming our kids what we want. 

For some people, unique and trendy baby names are appealing. When it comes to celebrities, especially, it seems that the stranger the moniker, the better—whether it’s Moon Unit, Apple or Blanket. But when does unique become just plain weird? Will our kids grow up to resent us if we name them after a newly discovered galaxy, or after our favorite food? 

What about their schoolmates? Being teased at school is always a concern. The cold hard truth is that kids can be terrible to one another, even without funny names for ammunition. We tell our children that sticks and stones may break our bones, but that words can never hurt us, but the reality is that words can hurt a lot.

While a parent should always consider the well-being of their kid, when it comes down to it, all a child really needs to thrive in this world is love, food and shelter. Even the kid with the weirdest name on the block is probably going to grow up alright if their parents provide a loving home. And who knows, maybe one day Apple will be a completely common place name.

About the author: Jenni Sunde is a freelance fashion writer and pop culture junkie. Jenni specializes in all things lifestyle-related. From home and design to health and beauty. With her love of art and all things beautiful, she delights in sharing her sense of style from her life to your computer monitor. Her title pegs her as an editor at a website that specializes in fashion careers and another that focuses on providing people with car insurance quotes, but her passion leads her into writing with a little more substance and a lot more heart.

Thanks, Jenni, for your contribution to Mommy Rantings!  So, what do you think? Have people gone too far with naming their children? Will their children resent them?

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