Study Shows the Cost of an Unusual Baby Name

243834320_87c0358aebOf the many decisions we make as parents, the name we give our children is one of the most important. It has never been easy for me to name any of my children. With my third child due at any time, my husband and I have yet to pick one out.

I’ve always found it very important to give my children a family name because of the meaning behind it. My oldest daughter’s name, Harlan, is my mother-in-law’s maiden name, and I fell in love with it at soon as I heard it. Although it’s not a name that you hear all the time, it completely fits her personality, and I am so glad that we chose that name for her.

When I was pregnant with Avery, I knew that I wanted another family name, but I also wanted it to be unique. After searching through our family tree, I couldn’t find another name that I liked as much as I did Avery. Although Avery’s name is more common than Harlan’s, it is still a name that I love and cherish.

But, according to a recent study, my love of the more unusual, less common names for my children might be doing them a disservice later on in life. In a study of more than 2 million children in Florida, researchers found that children with more traditional names are more likely to have higher grades at their year-end tests. According to The Times, a British newspaper, these children could be suffering academically because their teachers are “subconsciously lowering their expectations” for them because of their unusual name.

As a former Florida middle school teacher, I have to say that this is completely outrageous and insane. To assume that a teacher is setting any sort of lower expectations or standards because of a child’s name is not only crazy, but it’s wrong. For the four years that I taught, I had students with names that I had never even heard of and I also had students with names that you hear every single day. Their names had absolutely nothing to do with how they performed in my classroom or how I taught them. This study has no merit and it’s suggesting that teachers use stereotypes to base their opinions on students with names that you might not hear as often as others.

It’s becoming much more common these days for parents to name their child something a little bit more unusual than the run-of-the-mill. As a mom who prefers something a little bit off the radar, I don’t think I have hindered my children in any way because of what I’ve chosen to name them.

Still thinking of a name for your upcoming arrival? My advice is to go with a name that you love and will cherish forever regardless of what this ridiculous study says. Your child’s name doesn’t determine their success in life.


More from Lauren on Babble:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram!


Image via Flickr User  kaatjevervoort

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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