5.5 yr old DD doesn't like her name & wants to change it - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Her name is Marlena. She wants to be called Grace.

Here is the funny thing. I didn't pick the name. I am not good at picking names and let my DH handle it. He did a great job with our first born son, but names is not something I like to obsess on.

He gave me a few choices and I didn't love any of them (Sophia, Katie, etc...) and I settled for Marlena because I felt pressured to choose something. (I love LENA, but I don't call her that. We used to call her Laney as a baby, but she didn't love that.)

For the first 1.5 yr, I kept saying to myself and friends that I hated her name. I really did. I finally got over it. But it is amazing she picked up on that!!!

I don't ever talk about it anymore, not since she was a baby.

I'd be willing to "officially" change her name. DH doesn't want to. Do you know anyone who has done it? I actually like Grace a lot better than Marlena.

Thanks.

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#2 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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My mother's name was officially changed from Elizabeth to Betsy when she was 2 or 3. I obviously wasn't around so I have no idea how it went. Family legend says it was because my grandma hated that people kept calling her Liz.

What do you DD and DH think of Lena?

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#3 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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I don't think I would officially changer her name just yet. After all she is only 5.5 right now and there may be many times she wants to change her name over the coming years.

However, I see no harm in letting her go by Grace. I'd start out just calling her that at home and see how it fits and how she feels about it once it's a daily used name and if after a time she still wanted to go totally by the name Grace I'd give her permission to ask others to start calling her that name.

I know tons of people who have nicknames, or go by a middle name, or whatever. I know at least two people who have officially changed their names but both waited until they were at least 18 to legally change it.

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#4 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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Why not just call her Grace for a while without making any permanent change?

We have always called my daughter by a nickname based on her middle name. It's only a little confusing when we go to a new doctor's office.

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#5 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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I'd let her do it... but to be honest, I also kind of like Grace better than Marlena.

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#6 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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Nope. My kids are stuck with the name I gave them until they can pay their own bills. They can can use any variation of their real names.. but that's it.

There are a ton of Grace's out there. Marlena is a great name.
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#7 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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I HATED my name when I was little. Because of that stupid Betsy-Wetsy doll.

I begged to have my name changed and I am so glad my Mom said no. I love my name now.
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#8 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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I went through many stages as a kid of hating my name. At 5.5 I don't feel they actually know how much they really like their name or understand the concept about changing it. To me its one of those things like changing their favorite toy/color ect.

To me that is one of those things till they can pay for it on their own they have no say. Call her Grace and see how she does with it.

On a side note it reminds me of the Full House episode where Stephanie wanted to change her name and at the end of it she realized she liked her name..lol
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#9 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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My brother went through a phase for several months at least where he insisted he be called Lando Calrissian. I'm with your husband, don't change her name officially. Call her what she wants to be called, though.

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#10 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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My youngest son went through a phase where he wasn't so sure about his name. Instead of changing it, he gave himself a special middle name... he felt that it made his name feel more complete.( we offered to call him by it too) It may not work with you if you don't have special stories around the name you chose, but it helps some kids to retell thier personal story . Thier personal myth. My son feels a lot more connected to his name when we do this, like it brings back the specialness of it!

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#11 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Yeah my 4 year old was buz lightyear for about a year. He introduced himself as such and would adamently fight any correction. I would wait for a while to legally change anything.
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#12 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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LOL I wanted to change my name when I was a young kid too. I'm glad my parents didn't change it legally though :LOL
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#13 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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My DD spent six months introducing herself as Barbie the Island Princess.

I get that this is different from your situation, just wanted to share.

That being said - let her go by Grace but wait a few years before doing anything legal.

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#14 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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Another vote to just call her Grace and wait on the name change. She may change her mind after a while.

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#15 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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My Uncle had his named legally changed from John to Ron when he was in grade school because his brother was named James and the school said it was too confusing to have brothers with names that are derivatives of each other (obviously, this was back in the day). Anyhoo, to add to the confusion, we call him Bogie, so no one really knows what the h**ll his name is.

My name is Piper, which rhymes with Diaper, so in grade school I desperately wanted to change my name to Penny which I thought was the most beautiful name in the world. Pretty happy my parents didn't go for that one!
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#16 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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Well, I come from a history of name changing.

My mother and father both changed their names. My mother when she was a pre-teen, and my father when he was an adult. Both decided to use their middle instead of first names. My mother had it changed legally, and my father simply in terms of use. My father's parents still have trouble remembering to call him by his chosen name, and seemingly were disturbed by the whole thing.

I changed my own name, sort of. Myself and all my siblings had names that were very unique. Popularity grew for my name and one of my sister's names when we were teens and adults, but when we were little kids, no one else had those names.

Now lots of kids are named my one sister's name and my name, but my other sister and brother still have *very* unique names. So the point is that I appreciated having a unique name, and when I was between the ages of 7-9 and became friends with another little girl who happened to have the same name, I decided to hyphenate my first and middle name for a very long first name.

I finally legally changed it when I changed my last name after my wedding. Now sometimes I consider dropping the second part again, just because it always seems to be an issue for people, but part of me still resists because afterall, this is now my NAME and people really ought to use it.

Anyway, I think changing the name you are called first and then waiting to legally change it is fine. It can be a pain (I used to detest adults who refused to call me my chosen name in preference for my given name). But it works out okay in the end as a general rule.

That said, I think if she felt really strongly still after a while, a legal change would be fine but I suggest you consider whether you want her given name to be maybe a second middle name in case there are any issues in the transition.

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#17 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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My mother had my name legally changed when I was about 7 (grade 2) Well actually she had my first name Scarlett legally added unto my existing name Melissa Laura so I have 2 middle names now.

At first I was called Melissa a lot still by my family and friends but eventually people stopped calling me Melissa and called me Scarlett more. We also moved a lot so the next school year I was in a new school and was registered and introduced as Scarlett. Truthfully it didn't really affect me much but I am a unique person so I liked having a unique name as a teenager. It is more popular now (met a baby Scarlett today) but now that I am an adult I don't really care if my name is popular or not and I think it suits me.

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#18 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Another vote on just calling her Grace and letting her change her name legally when she's an adult.

Enjoying life with DH since 05/04 and our two boys Oliver 02/07 and Theodore 07/10 
        
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#19 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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#20 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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This won't be helpful, but it will make you chuckle.

When my daughter was that age she wanted to keep her name but change the spelling. As in, my name is Lisa but you spell it P-A-M.

Try explaining how no one will understand that to a 5 year old.

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#21 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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Funny, on the weekend I was having a name discussion with a friend and she told me about a friend who changed her kid's name at 5 years old. The daughter hated her name but chose something very similar to replace it.

If she's hated it for a long time then I'd probably willing to change it although I agree that the better option would be to just call her the name she likes and do the paperwork when she's older.
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#22 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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Moving to Childhood Years since this about a specific age/stage.

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#23 of 32 Old 03-02-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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My fear about changing it would be that later she would change her mind and then not really understand why you couldn't have it changed again. And again and again and again.

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#24 of 32 Old 03-03-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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Ok, so during DD1's pg, DH and I had issues with naming. After she was born, he finally agreed to a version of the name I wanted but I never felt it was quite right. She never knew this. When DD1 was 4, she decided that she did not want to be the name we named her but actually the name I actually had wanted, all on her own. She is 7 now and her name is legally changed, we were changing last names (adding mine) and we just did the first name at the same time. It took DH over a year, probably closer to 1.5 years to really accept her new name and stop using the old one. DD1 wouldn't allow anyone else to call her by her old name except for DH and then he gradually just switched. I think that sometimes they just know that their names are not right for them.

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#25 of 32 Old 03-03-2010, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies. Thats a cool story Peony.

We pronounce her name "Mar LAY Nah" (not Mar LEE Nah) so Lena (as much as I love it) doesn't quite match as a derivative. I know it's a pretty name, but it's just so-so to me. I prefer Grace.

I'm feeling better about the whole thing... just calling her Grace now and seeing how that goes will work for us.

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#26 of 32 Old 03-04-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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I would not change her name. Kids always want to change their name at one point or another. It's normal. I honestly don't know one child who didn't want to change their name! A 5.5 year old is not old enough to make such a huge decision. I think your energy would be better spent coming up with ways for her to love her name or coming up with nicknames from her name than basically telling her that you agree that her name is no good by agreeing to call her another name. There are many cute nicknames from Marlena - how about Marley or Mena or Lena?

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#27 of 32 Old 03-04-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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I have no issue whatsoever about her wanting to change her name. There are tons of people around that go by their middle names, nicknames, or names that are totally unrelated to what's on their birth certificates. What, really, is the harm in letting her try it on for a while? Maybe it will stick, maybe she'll shed it and reclaim her 'real' name...who knows. Call her Grace, watch her smile. What's the harm?
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#28 of 32 Old 03-04-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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I think Grace is a beautiful name...and it's kind of spiritual...maybe your little girl is drawn to it for that reason too...it could be more than just not liking Marlena...

I agree that calling her Grace is a good idea for a while...you can always change it in the future if she still wants to do that...or if you wanted to keep her name that your DH chose you could maybe make Grace her legal middle name and she can go by that...although that might be more confusing...

Anyways this name change thread caught my eye b/c just this evening my DS (age 4.5) said "can you take me to the 'port house' (read court house) so I can change my name to Batman." LOL (he should meet up w/ Buzz Lightyear and Island Princess Barbie)
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#29 of 32 Old 03-05-2010, 03:30 AM
 
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My DD's name is Grace, so obviously I understand why your DD likes the name so much.

But I don't think I'd legally change her name just yet - maybe in a few years if she still really wants it?

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#30 of 32 Old 03-05-2010, 03:43 AM
 
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My older daughter hates her name and wants to change it. She's 10 now, still hates it and wants to change it, but I kind of feel like that's typical for the age. When she was younger she told me she wanted to change her name to one she picked, so I told her OK. She asked if I would let everyone know to call her that, and I said I would. We went to visit a friend and my friend called her by that name by her request. I think the name was Delorah. She lasted about an hour before deciding she didn't like that one either.

I remember being about 6 and being in love with a certain name, I thought it was the best name on earth, I was going to name my child that. But now I can't recapture that feeling, I have no affinity for the name.

Anyway, my daughter can legally change her name when she's older if she still wants to, or she can go by a nickname before that if she wants, but she's just critical without having anything she actually loves. If she really had a name she loved, I'd probably call her that.
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