Choosing a name for your baby is a huge responsibility and not one that should be taken lightly – after all, your child will probably be using this name for the rest of his or her life. That name can affect how others perceive them and how they think of themselves. It’s no wonder that many expecting parents get into disagreements over what to name their new child.
You probably already know where to go for ideas on baby names. Any bookstore will have at least a half dozen encyclopedias of names or you can search the Internet to find millions of possibilities. However, you probably won’t find a lot of help in narrowing down all of those options and choosing a name that both of you can agree on.
Why Finding a Compromise is Important
While the name for your baby is clearly a big deal, some couples aren’t as concerned about the name disagreement. But how they handle this early parenting battle will set the stage for all of the future disputes to come – and there will be more disputes. From setting curfews to picking a daycare, parents often have to reach a compromise on issues about their children’s well-being.
Reaching a compromise on your baby’s name, therefore, is the first step in creating a positive method of making future decisions.
How to Reach a Compromise
First, you need to communicate. Maybe you love the name “Angela” but your partner is adamant about not using it as your baby’s name. Instead of arguing, ask “Why?” Names often have strong emotional connections for us. Maybe Angela was the first name of a girl he had liked in grade school, the teacher who gave him an “F” in algebra, or the aunt he never cared for. You probably have some names you dislike for similar reasons, too.
Once you understand why some names are off-limits, then you can start working together to pick names you both like. Take a copy of one of those baby name books and two different colored markers. Then each of you can take turns marking all of the names you like. Flip back through the book and make a list of names that had been marked by both of you – no matter how much you disagree there are bound to be some you can agree on.
After making that list, you’ll have something to work with in order to picking a name you both like. And don’t forget children need middle names, too. One common parenting compromise is to let one parent pick the first name and the other parent choose the middle name. It may need be a win-win situation but it works.
The best part is once you’ve chosen that special name, you can let the whole world know by sending out baby picture announcements, such as the Sailboat or Floral photo cards.