Do you correct people if they shorten your child's name? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 63 Old 06-20-2010, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS's name is Christopher. We call him Christopher. We have never called him Chris (I <3 Christopher... Chris, not so much). When he gets older, if he wants to shorten it, that's fine... but for now, our choice is to call him by the full name.
Sometimes, other people call him Chris. And it kind of bugs me. Because I always introduce him as Christopher, and I generally feel that you ought to address people the way they introduce themselves to you (so if they introduce themself as Mr. Smith... you call him Mr. Smith... not John). But it happens very infrequently and it's usually people that we see very infrequently... and I have felt uncomfortable correcting them. So I have just been letting it slide. But I'm really feeling like I just need to get up the guts and correct people (I have issues with confrontation)

So what do you do (if you're in a similar situation)? Do you correct them? Do you just let it slide? If you correct them, what do you say? And how do people typically react to you correcting them? If you don't correct them, why not?

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#2 of 63 Old 06-20-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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My friend named her son Joshua and I called him Josh when he was younger and she got really mad at me. I didn't understand why she got mad at me at the time since I imagined you wouldn't call your child a name in which you didn't like the obvious shortened names. I could see being upset if I was calling him Pete or something totally different. I can sort of see why your upset but I also think it's not a big deal.

I try to let things slide off my back as much as I can. I ask, 'is this REALLY a big deal?'

For my son, his name is Cayden and people try to shorten is name to 'Cee' or 'Cay', but it just doesn't flow off your tongue like Cayden does...for me though, I really don't care, I call him Cayden and as long as they aren't calling him something inappropriate and rude like Butthead, then whatever.


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#3 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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It really drives me bonkers. My son's name is Micah. He is called everything from Mike to Mikey to Michael. I don't really mind Michael that much, but I do not care for "Mike" or "Mikey" at. all. When Micah introduces himself and the other person repeats it wrong, he will say, "No. Mi - CAH." (Not rudely, just emphasizing.)

If he doesn't correct them, I will... I am not mean about it. I just say, "No, it is Micah." I have never had someone say anything more than, "Oh, Micah, I really like that name." or "Oh, I went to school with a Micah." or something like that.

I think that if you aren't rude about it, they won't be either.

Rebekah , single working mom to Micah (04.12.2007)
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#4 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:04 AM
 
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It doesn't bother me, but then I name my kids longer names with the intention of shortening them. My older one is Caitlin, she usually goes by Caiti but answers to Cate, Caiti, Caitlin and a bunch of other names My second is Raeanna, we often call her RaeRae, though I am surprised to find I say Raeanna more often than Rae or RaeRae.

ETA: my name is Kimberly, but I go by Kim, and DH is Daniel, but goes by Dan. It's just something that seems natural and normal to me, to have an "informal" name and a "formal" name by having the long and short versions.
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#5 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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If it's a "one off" (as in we will probably not encounter them again & if we did would probably need to reintroduce ourselves) I don't correct. Otherwise I do. I've gone into school and talked to a teacher about this issue as well. With us, the issue is a bit different--- DS is a Nathaniel and goes by Nate. Either is okay with him, though he prefers Nate. What he doesn't like is being called Nathan. It's surprising the number of people who are introduced to him as "Nate" and call him "Nathan"

 

 

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#6 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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Yep. I correct. I dislike one of the nicknames for my son's full name and don't mind the other. If someone calls him by either nickname I simply state "Actually, it's <full name>".

I did it when he was a baby and by the time he could talk he corrected them himself.

Now that he is school age he has decided to go by the nickname I don't mind at school. I have told him that I prefer his full name but that I don't mind if he goes by that name. Now that he's old enough for an opinion I have asked him if he would prefer I call him by the shortened version and he just wants me to keep calling him by his full name.

When people now call him by the shortened version I generally ask them if he asked them to call him that. If it wasn't the way he introduced himself or how he asked them to address him I ask them to use his full name.

Mom to DS 4/24/03 and DD 4/17/06
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#7 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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My son's name is Benjamin, and we use his full name. In the instances I can think of where people called him Ben, what I did was use his full name in my next sentence. For instance, I get the question, "Is Ben walking yet?" and I reply, "Benjamin started walking a few months ago." It generally seems to work. I don't think I would correct someone unless I felt they were being purposely disrespectful by trying to shorten it.
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#8 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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Honestly, although I love Christopher, Stephen, Daniel and Benjamin and the like, this dilemma of yours is exactly why I refused to name DS any of these names. People like to shorten names and create nicknames. It's just something they do, I think to create or reinforce whatever bond they feel. Heck my DH's name is Tye and people tried to shorten it to "T".

I think it's okay to gently correct people if you prefer, but unless and until it's your child that's the one insisting on the full name, I think it's a lost cause.

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#9 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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One other thing I wanted to mention, people tend to create nicknames when a name doesn't lend itself to one anyway. My sister is Sarah, but tends to go by "Slastname." I dunno why, I think it had to do with assigning email addresses for something:
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#10 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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#11 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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I correct (as politely and gently as possible). Mostly, because I want my kids to be confident enough to stand up for themselves one day. They deserve to be called by whatever version of their name they choose and I should set a good example for them now.
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#12 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odenata View Post
For instance, I get the question, "Is Ben walking yet?" and I reply, "Benjamin started walking a few months ago." It generally seems to work.
This is typically what I do. So they'll say, "How is Chris doing?" my answer "Christopher is doing great..." But it doesn't seem to work for me.

I get the idea behind the question, "Why name him something if you don't like the shortened version?" On the other hand, "Why call someone something if that's not how they are introduced to you?" My name is Shannan. But nobody takes it upon themselves to call me Shan (unless its someone in my immediate family and they are writing me a quick note or email).

Anyway, I will probably continue to respond like Odenata's example. And if it's someone we'll be around on a regular basis, I think I just need to say, "Oh, we call him Christopher" in an upbeat tone and then move on with the conversation.

Also, wanted to clarify that I don't usually get bent out of shape about it... Just sort of inwardly raise my eyebrow and move on. I was only thinking about it b/c of the thread about changing DC's names (not that I ever plan on changing his name... Christopher really fits him... one of the posts just got me thinking about it... and someone did call him Chris just the other day)

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#13 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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My daughters name is Madeleine. It's pronounced the proper french name (not Mad A LINE) and spelt that way. If I wanted to call her Maddy or Mads, I would have named her that. Her name is Madeleine and that is what we call her. She will even correct you.

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#14 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 07:43 AM
 
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My name is Patricia. My family calls me Tricia or Trish. When I started school my mom told the teachers I was to be Tricia, Trish or Patricia....well in grade 2 the new girl (became my best friend until g10) started calling me Pat....it stuck. I introduce myself to new people as Pat or Patricia. My family still calls me Trish/Tricia. If others call me that it feels weird...sometimes hubby will call me Trish around family and it still feels weird (we've been together 20y)
So I think encouraging what you want your child to be called is fine....but don't expect it to stay.

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#15 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 08:06 AM
 
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I'm quite sensitive about nicknames. I have a very common name that can be shortened to so many names. I hated that growing up. We gave our son a name that has no nickname for that very reason. However, we're due to have a daughter any day now and we did pick a name(or you can she she picked her name- had a dream about her and she introduced herself w/the name) that can be nicknamed to names I really dislike, but I will probably correct people with a simple "She goes by _____" if they shorten it.
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#16 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 08:33 AM
 
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DH is Christopher, but goes by Chris. My name is short, so there were no convenient nicknames. DS1 doesn't have any either. DS2 is Alexander, so he does get Alex a bit. We'll usually name drop his full name in a sentence at some point, but it's not a biggie for me, since I also like Alex, DH prefers Alexander though. The only people I've ever heard call him Alex are from the islands, and it's a sign of affection so it's all good. I figured it would happen once he hit school and in the end, when he's old enough, he'll figure out what version he wants of his name.

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#17 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 09:22 AM
 
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No, but it used to bug my mom like crazy. (though only with my brother - she had major issues with people calling him 'josh' instead of 'joshua', but didn't see *anything* wrong w/ people calling me 'em' instead of 'emily' :boggle: )
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#18 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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I don't mind being corrected. Usually I try to use the name that the parents use. Once, I referred to a baby as "Jamie" after I heard his parents call him that, only to be told it's "James". I didn't know what to make of that, honestly, but since then I've always called the kid "James". So my only advice to parents is to correct early and as often as needed, in a gentle manner, but watch what you use, since others take their cue from you.

I know 2 Christophers who have both preferred the full version to "Chris". I met them as adults and both I'm sure I had heard called "Chris" by other people. When I used Chris, each told me that it was Christopher - in a casual "oh by the way..." sort of manner.

DS has a 2 syllable, somewhat uncommon name that can be shortened to a much more common name, but no one ever does. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because we never call him by the nickname.
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#19 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 09:38 AM
 
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I named both of my girls names that I didn't mind the nicknames. My youngest was almost Kendallynn but I didnt want her shortened to Kendall, so we went with a different name.

I do tell people their whole names and will correct someone about my oldest more often than my youngest.

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#20 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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I think it depends on the situation. If it's someone you won't ever see again, then who cares? People you encounter regularly, then yes.
Btw, my son's name is Andrew and I've always called him Andrew. I worked with a lady that always referred to him as Andy, and it drove me nuts. Yes, I corrected her, but we're talking everyday for 5 years. "How's Andy doing?" every morning.
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#21 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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My kids go by their full name, Katelyn, Breanna, Danelle..
And as young as 2 Katelyn would correct anyone that called her anything else.
I corrected people, her name isn't Katie it is Katelyn. Now at 12 goes by Katleyn.

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#22 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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I do not correct people. My oldest is Andrew, we call him Andrew. Very occasionally someone will call him Andy. I don't correct them because in my opinion that is between the 2 of them and their relationship, not me. If someone asks me what we call him I say Andrew. I picked his name, I call him by his name, but what the rest of the world does is not for me to control. I might step in with an explanation if needed (like, "he isn't used to being called Andy") but so far not really necessary.

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#23 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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No. But my 8 year old does correct people who shorten his name because he prefers his given name. My 4 year old has lots of ways to shorten his name and neither he or I mind.
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#24 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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I don't correct, I figure I'll leave it to DD to decide what she wants to be called, I'm sure she'll have no problem correcting people when she can talk. Her name is Ameya. DH and I call her Mimi. My family picked up on that, and they call her Mimi as well. DH's family likes to call her Mia but she doesn't respond to it . Eventually they'll figure it out, or she'll turn around and tell them.

My boss and co-workers shortened her middle name (Isabella) and call her Izzy. Didn't see that one coming. They're 3000 miles away, so I just ignore it.

We've crossed lots of names off our list due to potential nicknames we didn't like.

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#25 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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I will correct. Dh has it all the time. He goes by David (not his real name), will introduce himself as David, and get "hi Dave" in reply. He's politer than I am and lets it go, I correct every time.

Dd2 has a name that another name is very similar sounding to (like Alice to Alison). She gets called the other name frequently (even by a teacher) and I correct. She won't correct the teacher as she's too scared to, but I have spoken to him. His excuse was that the class before has a kid of the other name in it. So? You don't call her my kid's name, and you've known my kid since she was born. Get. It. Right.
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#26 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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I just let my kids do the correction but making sure they do it in a polite way..
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#27 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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It used to bother me when my dd was younger, but it wasn't something I made an issue of. Usually I am only bothered about little things like that when I am stressed out so I choose not to say anything because I don't want to have a nasty confrontation that is really driven by my stress over something else that is harder to control. My dd is good about correcting people if she feels the need to and always has been so I try not step in and do things that she can do herself. If it is something he cares about then I think you should teach him how to correct people on it, but if he hasn't showed any signs of caring then I think you should try to let it go.
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#28 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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I go by a nickname. It used to bug my mom SO MUCh when people called me by my "big name". Me? I don't care, and I'll answer to either one (I'm Betsy, but my "big name" is Elizabeth). It doesn't really matter, though I know that I *am* Betsy, and the Elizabeth is just something some people call me.

My kids both go by nicknames. Only one relative tries to lengthen out ds#1's name, and I mostly ignore her. LOL. DS#2 goes by "Mac", and his bigger name is McDowell, so I think that's too much of a mouthful for most people.

Ds#3 doesn't have a good nickname yet (his name is Marshall), so we're anxious to see what he ends up with.
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#29 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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Doesn't bug me at all heck my Username is a shortened version of my LO's name. So I can't relate as a parent. And as a kid I'd answer to any name I loved nicknames.

My sister however hated them. I can remember one day she said to my mom "My name is Julia, not jules, not juju, Julia. J-U-L-I-A" It cracked me up. I'm so waiting till I get that from my LO, because she is so like her aunt in many ways.

I would feel a little upset if I was corrected, but only because I'm sensitive. I truly believe people should be able to decide what they are called. I guess i'd just expect it to come from the child not the parent.
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#30 of 63 Old 06-21-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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Yes, I do politely correct people. My name is Regina, not Gina. I say something nicely for myself and did for my kids.
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