Importance of Selecting Baby Names

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Choosing your baby’s name is one of the joys of parenting. It’s an important one, too, because your child will, in all likelihood, carry the name you choose forever. The way you see the world and the lifestyle you value often determine the name you pick, according to the BabyCenter.

Your Personality

Sensible and compatible types tend to choose classic names that stand the test of time, such as Anna, Elizabeth, Mary, John, David and Robert. Trendy, fun-loving and stylish folks pick the hottest names of the season, which in 2007, were Hailey, Madison, Caileigh, Aiden, Caden and Ethan. Parents who fancy themselves nonconforming and confident may choose a radical name, such as Poppy, Zula, London, Phoenix, Urban or Atticus. Green people who view themselves as compassionate and who care deeply about social issues and the environment may choose Autumn, Jasmine, Meadow, Cedar, Clay or Stone. Retro parents who love black-and-white movies, vintage cars and witty conversations might pick Alice, Betty, Ruth, Stanley, Oliver or Ronald.

Being Different

Today’s strip mall culture may foster the desire for parents to name their child something completely different, according to the “Psychology Today” website. Some parents use alternate spellings to be different, such as Kassidy, Jazmine or Mikayla; others mix-and-match names, picking such monikers as Rylan or Ashlynn. This type of obscure naming took root in the 1960s. It has become popular enough that the top 50 baby names, as of 2010, account for fewer than 50 percent of boy names and less than 40 percent of girl names, which has never happened before.

Perception

The name you select can reflect the high hopes you have for your child. Choosing an uncommon name signals that you believe your child will go far in life by telling the world that your child is different. Cultural critic Joseph Epstein told the “Psychology Today” website that naming a child Luc or Catesby, for example, makes it seem as if your child will do more than sell car insurance.

Reality

No correlation exists between popularity or social achievement because of a child’s name, Martin Ford, a psychologist at George Mason University in Virginia, told “Psychology Today”. A name could have an effect on a child’s life, but a positive effect is just as likely as a negative one. The name is not likely to be a significant factor in a child’s development. What does contribute to a child’s personality is how you raise your child. And, sometimes, that coincides with the type of name you choose.

Ethnic Names

Some people have an ethnic bias, and this can transcend to your child’s resume when it comes time to gain employment. Marianne Bertrand, economics professor at the University of Chicago, created resumes with names considered white, such as Brendan, or black, such as Jamal. The white names, no matter the credentials on the resume, resulted in twice as many callbacks. Keep in mind that employers who discriminate based on the name on a resume would be likely to discriminate regardless of the name.

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