The Name Dilema - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds will be 5 next month. Just over 2 years ago he insisted on changing his name to "100". Everyone calls him that (some of them don't like it, but he insists ). Dh and I are okay with this, his name=his choice. Recently a few people have brought it up, things like how appropriate it is, how "weird" it is, what other people will think, etc. Now, if he wanted to be called "Billy" or "Sam" or something no one would care, but because he chose a NUMBER its a big deal.....

The thing is, he prbably will never go back to his original name. He is very clear about that fact. He likes his "new name". It has been 2 years now, so not really a phase. Soon he will have been 100 longer than he was Akira.

Now for the question. Should we change his name? Dh always said if he still wanted the "new name" when he was 5 we should change it. I wasn't so sure as I figured it would be like a nickname. Now I see how just changing it would be easier. It is such a PITA to explain all the time. Plus, I feel like all the questions put him on the spot. I would rather people just thing he has crazy parents than for them to call him or his choices "weird"

So, the pros:
-people will have to respect his choice of names and not try to sneak in using his original name
-less explaining when filling out forms
-takes pressure off him to explain why
-he goes by new name exclusively
-respects his choice

the cons:
-he can't actually use the number, he would have to spell it out
-what if he changes his mind (doubtful, but could happen)
-have to change documents and such
-kind of a pain to fill out all the paperwork
-what if in another 2 years he wants a whole new name

Now, I am not really concerned about any of this really. I am just wondering what others might do. It has been almost exactly 2 years so its kind of on my mind. I am proud of my boy for being so confident in himself to declare what he likes and doesn't like. Really it is his choice not mine. I am just curious how other parents would handle this?


 

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#2 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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Tough. I think personally I would have him wait until he was 18 and just deal with the questions and explaining until them. I just think that while he may love the name at 5, he may hate it at 13, etc. I would just explain to him that you are happy to call him whatever he wants and when he turns 18 he can change it legally if its what he wants.

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#3 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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Well, I changed my name to "Johnson" for two full years from age 3-5 and I sure am glad that my parents didn't change it legally .

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#4 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 12:50 PM
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I would wait until he is 18 and let him decide if he wants to literally change his name just in case this is a childhood whim. When I was 6, I begged my mom to change my name to Karen. (I was obsessed with Karen Carpenter) I am now glad she did not take me seriously.

People are very flexible and I think having his nickname be "100" will be ok. He may initially be called his given name but all he'll have to do is say "I like to be 100" and it will be all right. A lot of people have nicknames.
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#5 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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I agree I would wait until he was much older before changning it leagally. I also went through a phase where I wanted my name change when I was in 3rd grade. i'm glad my mom didn;t listen to me!
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#6 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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my brother changed his name for almost 2 years when he was 4 1/2 to "luke" for Luke Skywalker. he wound up taking it as his confirmation name when he got older I would let him change it when he was older as well. ITA with boongirl- lots of people have nicknames, including ones that have NOTHING to do with their names. My dad's family- Uncle Willy's name is John. Uncle Petey's name is Robert : they've been those nicknames forever!

I think he can tell friends, teachers, etc. that 100 is what he prefers, & is what *everyone* calls him!
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#7 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 03:02 PM
 
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Very timely. Dh and I were just talking about this the other night since DS declared himself to be Jim Rockford (of the Rockford Files) going on one year ago and it just got us to talking, though not seriously at this point. We decided we would be open to considering a legal name change if asked by DS, but likely wouldn't assist until into middle teen years, i.e., 16. We decided not to necessarily wait until he was old enough himself, as after drivers liscences and all it will likely get even more complicated.
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#8 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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I would wait also. I think all the legalities and paperwork would be more of a hassle than explaining all the time.
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#9 of 33 Old 03-09-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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your son is awesome! 100 is a cool name! if this happened to me and my dd then i would not change her name legally until she was older like maybe 10 or 12....
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#10 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 12:09 AM
 
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I'd wait until he was older. My son insisted on being called "baby duckling" for two years! I think he and you will still get questions about it even if it is made legal.
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#11 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 01:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I am not the only mother of a name changer! Do the rest of your dc ONLY go by new/chosen name. I mean we NEVER EVER call him his original name. Not even once in the past 2 years. I mean I wanted to change my name when I was a child too, but it was never as extreme and long lasting as ds. He will never go back to the original name. I know that through and through (you'd have to know the spirit of my boy to truly understand how sure I am of this). He *may* choose another name at some point. Who knows.

We are happy to leave things as they are, I just get annoyed with certain people who just refuse to call him 100 for whatever reason. Every time they call him the wrong name they are corrected. It just feels disrespectful of my boy. Sometimes I think we should change it as a show of support or something.

OTOH Other kids just love his name. He walks into a room and everyone shouts "Hi 100". Not bad for an ASD kid And truly, it suits him.

I was accosted at a child's birthday party about this a few weeks ago. I guess I was more curious than anything what more likeminded parents thought. Not that it would change anything. I love my boy and all his fabulous quirks


 

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#12 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Let me just say kudos to you mama! How freaking respectful of your child!! I had a cousin who wanted her name changed from Grayson to Merriweather. She kept at it for years and her parents compromised and changed her middle name from Lee to MW. But they would never call her MW or supoort others that did...it made me sad even as a kid. So I just think its great to see true respect for your son as an individual!
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#13 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 02:58 AM
 
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My mom actually encouraged name changing for me. For a long time i went by Rita. When i was about 10 i decided that i didnt like it so i went by Margo for awhile. My mom is the one that suggested MArgo and it seemed so grownup and so glamourous to me
I went by other names later that had NOTHING to do with my real name. IU think it is cool that you respect that.
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#14 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 03:14 AM
 
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I wouldn't go so far as to legally change it, only because while two years may seem like a long time, it really isn't. My daughter decided she wants to be a paleontologist when she was 3, and she will be five this year and that fact hasn't changed. But that really doesn't mean she WILL be one as an adult. It's a nice thought, but we just can't be sure.

When my sister was in elementary school she would sign all of her papers with "Amber", although her name is really Corinne. She's 17 now and of course she goes by Corinne

My cousin went by his middle name for his ENTIRE childhood, because "Virgil" was just too wierd for a kid in public school, apparently. But now he proudly uses it.

I could go on, I have many more examples, but I think you get the idea.

~Sara, WAHSingMomi to girls R and AV, S.O.A.R. Scout Leader and Homeschooling In Detroit Blogger

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#15 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 03:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama
the cons:
-he can't actually use the number, he would have to spell it out
Yeah, how will that work? Would he be "Hundred" or "One Hundred" or "One-Hundred" or what?

When you say, "100," I pronounce that as "One Hundred" But then that's a two word name and that is complicated in itself.

Anyway, I actually like the story of the fact that he chose the name. I'm not sure it's right for you to legally change it and make it look like you named him that, if that makes sense. I mean, it's his story and maybe he doesn't want you to take the credit?
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#16 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyway, I actually like the story of the fact that he chose the name. I'm not sure it's right for you to legally change it and make it look like you named him that, if that makes sense. I mean, it's his story and maybe he doesn't want you to take the credit?
Wow! I never thought of that. Right now he tells people "I had a different name before, but I named myself 100".


 

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#17 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 11:34 AM
 
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Another wanna-be name changer here. I wanted to be "Luke", too, as a 3-5 yr old. I don't think I exclusively used it as your son does, but I intensely disliked my name at that time and Luke Skywalker was so darn cool, and I desperately wanted to be male. Now I am fine being Stacy, and never wanted to be male past those few years.

I'd suggest waiting for anything legal. He may never choose to go back to his given name, but he may identify more with a different name sometime. And, many people have nicknames, and legal names that may serve to be a bit easier in regards to societal expectations. This may not be a concern for you or DS, but you never know--he may end up wanting a name that would raise fewer questions on applications/interviews as an adult. Of course, he could always change it again...

Stacy-- Wife to my DH, mom to three: noodle girl:, Lego boy , little guy :
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#18 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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I agree with others that it's totally cool.
I also agree that it's respectful to call him that but I would wait on the legal name change.

I had a friend who insisted on being called another name from preschool on. She picked her own name and made a point of telling teachers and such she needed to be called the new name.

For her 14 birthday, her parents allowed her to change it legally.

I think it's good for him to learn to tell people his name and be clear about it. It may help him with a stronger identity and teach him the importance for speaking up to others. He may be a lot stronger for doing that instead of living his life having people think his parents named him something weird.
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#19 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama
:. I love my boy and all his fabulous quirks


How freaking respectful of your child!!


Mom to Ds1 (8 1/2) Ds2 (6) Dd (2 1/2)!!!!
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#20 of 33 Old 03-10-2006, 06:14 PM
 
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ITA with all the pps who've said to wait on the legalities of the name change. I also totally agree that your son is very lucky to have such respectful parents!

You know, just because you change a name legally doesn't mean people HAVE to call you by it. I have a relative who was named Elmer. Needless to say, he hated it, so when he was his 20's or 30's he changed it, legally, to Al. There are very few people, outside of very close friends or those who never knew him by any other name, who actually call him by Al. Drives him absolutely batty, but that's the reality...Even after 20 some odd years of a legally changed name, people refuse to use it.

Also, I have to wonder how much your ds would appreciate having a name like One Hundred in another 20 years. A name is a very important thing...it's what's presented to the world. That kind of permenant decision isn't exactly one that should be put on a child's shoulders. When I was 5 I was a very tiny kid and my nickname was "dinky". I decided that my new name was Biggly Wiggly. I was darn insistant that EVERYONE call me Biggly Wiggly or BW. Thank GOD I wasn't forced to live with that name for the rest of my life! As an adult I would have been highly ticked at my parents for allowing me to make such a grown up decision without having the grown up knowledge of the implications.

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#21 of 33 Old 03-11-2006, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it's good for him to learn to tell people his name and be clear about it. It may help him with a stronger identity and teach him the importance for speaking up to others. He may be a lot stronger for doing that instead of living his life having people think his parents named him something weird.
I love this line of thinking! He is so darn confident about some things, yet so unsure about others. Of course the Mama Bear in me wants to protect him from 'those' kind of people who will have nothing nice to say. He probably deals with them better than I would though.

Quote:
How freaking respectful of your child!!
Thanks


 

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#22 of 33 Old 03-11-2006, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, I have to wonder how much your ds would appreciate having a name like One Hundred in another 20 years. A name is a very important thing...it's what's presented to the world. That kind of permenant decision isn't exactly one that should be put on a child's shoulders. When I was 5 I was a very tiny kid and my nickname was "dinky". I decided that my new name was Biggly Wiggly. I was darn insistant that EVERYONE call me Biggly Wiggly or BW. Thank GOD I wasn't forced to live with that name for the rest of my life! As an adult I would have been highly ticked at my parents for allowing me to make such a grown up decision without having the grown up knowledge of the implications.
I think that truly depends on the child. Some children may be subject to whims. Not mine. He has never made a spontaneous decision in his short life. It is just not the way he is wired. I imagine he has a mental list of dozens of reasons of WHY he does anything he does in a day. It is amazing to hear his thought processes. With most children one could see this as a nickname taken one step further. For him it was a serious life decision. He is not a "typical" child

Thanks again everyone for the input. We don't generally get support in this matter so its nice to hear all the differing opinions from people who don't feel as though they have a stake in our decisions.


 

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#23 of 33 Old 03-11-2006, 02:21 PM
 
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When I was 5 my best friend and I wanted to change our names. My mom told me that it was the law that I couldn't change my name until I was 13. A year or so later I had forgotten all about it, however I was never called what I wanted my name to be.

Quote:
So, the pros:
-people will have to respect his choice of names and not try to sneak in using his original name
-less explaining when filling out forms
-takes pressure off him to explain why
-he goes by new name exclusively
-respects his choice
I disagree with alot of these being pros.

People do not have to respect his choice. There are alot of people who will not call someone other than by his original name.

With a name like "100" there will still be explaining when filling out forms. I get questions about my girls names all the time.

It will not take the pressure off him explaining why, he will still be asked about his name, why he chose it etc.

Sure it respects his choice, but he's 5(3 when he came up with this???) not a person with enough maturity to make big decisions like this that will affect the rest of his life.

Are you planning on homeschooling him? If not(or if homeschooling does not work out) then what about peer pressure from other kids.

On any school forms I've had to fill out there is given name and name to be called sections.

It's a cute name at this age, but not so much in 4-5 years.
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#24 of 33 Old 03-11-2006, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our family actually WOULD refer to him by 100 more if it were legal. It would send a message to them that he WAS serious. They have actually been really good about it lately. We joked about just making it legal and it seems to have made them realize that it really is that important to him. Not like poor Elmer in a previous post

Yes we are homeschooling, so that isn't an issue. Like I said, everyone (including his doctors, therapists, etc.) already refer to him by 100.

And he was actually 2 when he came up with it, maybe even a little before 2. For most of that first year he didn't insist on it. It became a permanent thing about a month before he turned 3. He never actually acknowledged his original name anyway. He would spell it out from the time he was 12 months, but never say it as a whole He named one of his stuffed animals his name, so he claimed it was already taken (there CAN"T be 2 mama). Now he just says his "first name" is too boring. He likes his "next name" better.

I think there are some decisions that we make when we are young that last forever. Much of who we are is formed in our early years. I wish people gave children more credit and respect. Not all kids are the same Some are definitely very impulsive. Others are very logical. Most are somewhere in between!


 

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#25 of 33 Old 03-11-2006, 09:01 PM
 
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I'd ask him what he thinks about legally changing his name, and offer him the list of pros and cons.

I totally wanted to change my name from the time that I was 4 years old. I used several different names, but quite honestly I would have been thrilled if anyone would have considered taking me seriously enough to make the change legal at *any* point. I'd be happier right now with *any* of the names that I'd used than I was with the name that I was given at birth. I didn't get to change my name legally until I was 21 years old, and that was rough for me. I'm happy with my name right now, but like I said I'd have been very happy with the other names that I used (there were only three, though; I didn't switch on a whim or anything). I can still tell people that I named myself if I want to, but I don't generally; it doesn't come up, because my name is now my name on all of my legal documents.

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#26 of 33 Old 03-11-2006, 09:49 PM
 
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I agree with the others about waiting to change it until he's older. But yay to you for respecting his choice! And as far as others' concerns that it's not appropriate, who are they to say what is and what isn't appropriate for a name?
We've been insisting since our daughter was born that she be called by her full name (Caitlin) and not be called Catie. Still my husband's mother has insisted on calling her Catie, but we now have support from our daughter. My husband's father and stepmother recently got a dog which they named Katie. Someone slipped and called my daughter Catie, and she responded with, 'my name is CaitLIN, I am NOT a dog.' I think people are going to listen to her faster than they did us.

Yay to you for respecting your son's choice.
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#27 of 33 Old 03-11-2006, 10:03 PM
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Rain has been Rain for 4 years now (her choice). She was telling me the other day that she was contemplating changing it to Wren... but perhaps she was just messing with me. Most people don't know it's not her legal name - she's on a trip with her dance studio now and I had to fill out a lot of papers with her legal anme and then add "Rain" in the margins... but that rarely comes up.

I've gone by 3 or 4 different names in my life, for periods of ten years or more - I mean totally different from my birth name, not nicknames. It means I can't leave my name in outgoing voice mail messages because different people know me as different names, but other than that it's okay. I've thought of legally changing it but never have, because it always seemed like more hassle than it was worth.

I guess I'm in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" group, and since it doesn't seem to be causing major problems, I'd leave it as Akira legally and 100 as the name he goes by.

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#28 of 33 Old 07-24-2006, 09:22 AM
 
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Just had to pipe in and say... My 3yo son has been "Hockey Guy" for a year and a half now. He sometimes goes by Milo, but if someone calls him Milo and he chooses to be Hockey Guy, he will correct them. My parents were terrible about it and made him cry once because they not only refused to call him Hockey Guy, but they kept insisting that his name was Milo. I had a talk with them and they now respect his choice.

There isn't much you can do about most other people, but you are supportive and respectful, that is so much more important! Way to go awesome mama!

Jennifer :, blessed wife to 4/00 and joyful mother of 6/03, 2/06 and 3/10.
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#29 of 33 Old 07-24-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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As someone who does not use my legal first name, I can say that it isn't that big of a deal to be called something else. In the case of using a middle name, it is probably a little easier for people to accept, but I never really had issues with getting someone to call me what everyone else called me. I did choose to use my first name for Kindergarten, but went right back to my middle name for first grade. It was a teensy bit annoying to tell new teachers that I went by R instead of E, but I got used to it quickly.

Also, my now-6 year old wanted to be called Spiderman for at least 2 years when he was younger. Maybe if it had been a cooler, more creative name, we'd have taken it a bit more seriously, but we just chalked it up to being a little kid and playing with identity. He does have 3 names that we have always used interchangably (Benjamin, Benny, Ben) and he chooses different ones from time to time and we've always given him the say in that.

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YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
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#30 of 33 Old 07-24-2006, 07:22 PM
 
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Just wanted to introduce myself & my 4 1/2 yr old son named Peter Pan. I just go by 'mommy'.
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