Can You Judge A Child By Their Name?

Former Apprentice candidate Katie Hopkins had the parenting forums in uproar recently when she gave a startling interview, admitting she openly judged children on the names they had. Now, being of a cynical nature I could suggest that this had a lot to do with the fact that Ms Hopkins has published her own book of baby names, but whatever the reason behind her outrageous interview, she had parents who had named their children Tyler, Chardonnay or Chantelle up in arms.

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Teacher Lists

It’s not just Katie Hopkins who has pre-conceived ideas about how children named in a certain way will behave. Teachers too have firm ideas about what sort of names “good” or “naughty” children have. A survey by a teaching website unsurprisingly found that teachers would much rather teach Elizabeth and William than Bradley or Paige. The theory is that parents who choose less traditional names for their offspring, or who choose to spell a name in an unconventional manner, are less accepting of authority and convention and their children will follow suit.

The Prime Minister Test

Even the Romans had a phrase which translates as “name is destiny” and they firmly believed that giving a child a certain name could determine their future career. When naming a new baby it is hard to see beyond the baby stage and think about what sort of career they may have in the future. For example, parents of baby girls may think it is very cute to name their new daughter Tinkerbell, Kitten or Tilly-Soo but when their daughter grows up and is trying to be taken seriously in her chosen career, she may find her unusual name is more of a hinderance than a help. If you can’t see your child being a brain surgeon or Prime Minister with the name you have chosen, it’s probably a good idea to think of another one.

Part of the Package?

Of course what you name a child is only a small part of what goes to make up their personality. It goes without saying that not every child named James or Emma is going to behave in exactly the same way. Parents who are more brand conscious, and dress their children head to toe in designer clothing like Boden, Bobo Choses or even Prada or Armani, are possibly going to bring up more brand aware children than those who do not follow fashion. Similarly, parents who have had a positive experience with education and who did well at school are more likely to produce children who are in the same mould.

Choosing a Name

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It can be almost impossible to choose a name for your baby with so many other influences to consider. The best advice I ever had was to choose a name which is not in the top 50 names in terms of popularity, so unusual, but not so weird that people have never heard of it. Always spell names in a conventional way and avoid names of whatever pop star is famous currently. Use the “Prime Minister” test also and you won’t go far wrong.