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Naming a Child After Your Hero

Posted on 8/08/2012 in Pregnancy & Baby & Well-Being

One of the things to which the attention of expectant parents inevitably turns before too many months of pregnancy have passed is the name that will be given to their child. As the months go by, the need for
maternity clothes arrives, decisions are made about cots, car seats and prams and the pressure mounts to decide on a name that will identify and define your child for the rest of their life. It is a big and important task!

A name that is special…

Because a name is so significant, many parents want their child to have a name that is special and meaningful. Quite often, children are named after people respected by their parents and some parents consider names that honour those that they hold in high esteem -- namely, their heroes.

Names with personal history and tradition…

Within families, it is quite common for particular naming traditions to be followed. For example, sons may be named after their fathers, while in other families, the same letter is used for the names of all children. If you do have such traditions in your family, be mindful that every child feels unique and special even if they share a name with someone else in the family.

Make maternity lists…

This includes lists of maternity dresses, the items you need for baby’s arrival and, of course, all the jobs you have to do to prepare to welcome your little one home. Also, list the names of people you love or want to honour and the names that carry special meaning for you…

It is a great idea to write lists of names that you and your partner love and names that appeal because they have special meaning or honour someone else. You will probably find that you quite quickly strike particular names off your list, but also that you will revise, change, edit and add to your list over time.

Thinking about your heroes…

Children being named after people that are the heroes of, and much admired by, their parents are certainly not an uncommon phenomenon. Heroes come in all sorts of guises and may well be a family member, a friend or some other ‘everyday’ type person.

But, the heroes of some people may be characters, musicians, actors, sportspeople, and so many others that are not known on a personal level. And, reasonably often, these sorts of heroes have unusual and quite outlandish names. While there are no official rules for naming a baby, striking a balance between a safe, pleasant-sounding, traditional name and a name that is unusual and unique is often a good thing -- but not necessarily easy to achieve!

Role models and heroes can certainly be a source of inspiration when naming a baby. With the incredible success of the Harry Potter novels and films, the name Hermione enjoyed a massive spike in popularity, while a similar effect was seen with the name Isabella, following the Twilight series.

Both Hermione and Isabella are perfectly nice and acceptable names, but it is worth keeping in mind that some names of heroes are controversial and may not cross cultures very well at all.

Measure your expectations…

Parents should also think carefully about how the names they choose set up their own or others’ expectations of their children. Some parents opt to name their child after a famous sportsperson or film star -- often in hope that their offspring will enjoy a similar trajectory of fame or success as the iconic figure. Disappointment sometimes follows when the child isn’t at all sporty or has no acting talent or star quality.

Having said this, parents of children who have been named after a person who is celebrated for good deeds or positive historical importance rarely regret their decision.

Naming a child is a very big responsibility and much thought is devoted to the topic as you wear maternity dresses, read baby books and prepare for the arrival of your little one. Although it can be special and significant to name a child after your hero, special care should be taken to ensure that the selected name is fitting and will not cause embarrassment, disappointment or hardship for the child as they grow up and become an adult.


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