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Thread: Changing a child's name

  1. #1

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    Default Changing a child's name

    My eldest child is called Alexander, but known as Ally. In Scotland this is pretty much understood to be a unisex name, but here I have found it is overwhelmingly a female name. We don't want him to develop a complex (a few lovely kids have asked why he has a girls name ) so have encouraged him to choose a different name if he wants, and suggested various things like his full name, or Alex, or Al. He has always said he likes Ally best, which is fine and we are happy as long as he is happy.

    Today I suggested Xander, courtesy of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and he loves is so much he is refusing to answer to his old name. Obviously I will give it a while before doing anything formal such as telling the school, but has anyone had experience of their child changing what they are known as whilst still at school, and how did it go?


  2. #2

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    Awww, that's a pity. I love Ally for a boy.

  3. #3

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    are u asking like changing his name officially or just wat he goes by if its just wat he goes by then its up to him

    sort of like my son who is James but known as Jamie or me my name is Jacinta-lee but i prefer to be called Jacinta is that wat u mean?

  4. #4

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    Not changing his name officially, he is and always will be Alexander. It's more that at school, his books, coatpeg, etc, all have the name Ally. He has never used the name Alexander other than for passport applications etc. I know it's just a case of letting the school know that his informal name had changed, and I would do it at the end of prep, so he goes into grade 1 with his new name. I'm more thinking about the other kids, and whether or not he at the wrong age to do this (ie not old enough to deal with constantly reminding people, and too old that the kids will just accept without asking what is happening).

  5. #5

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    I think it's fine if he chooses to be known as something else. (gotta love Buffy hey!) We have a child in my son's class that changed the way his name is pronounced. It's now pronounced phonetically as previously it wasn't. This is as there was mucvh confusion at times. Everyone just said: yep this is now what he is... I think you'll be surprised with how easy it will be.

  6. #6

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    Thanks Inanna, that's great to know He is practising writing Xander now and seems to have mastered it, so we will see if he still likes it after a few weeks and if so will let the school know.

    Oh yeah, and I suppose we should tell my hubby when he gets home that the name we carefully chose for our son is now no more

  7. #7

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    DS has changed his name to Anakin Luke Skywalker and goes nuts if you mention his actual middle name...

  8. #8

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    I would imagine it should be fine, my brother changed his name when he was in year 6 I think from memory. He was previously known as Ed or Edward and decided that he wanted to be an Eddie. The school and his friends took to it without a problem but I took about a year to come around. I had so much trouble remembering the change after always referring to him as something else. I also kept thinking he would regret it as he was choosing a more 'child like' name over a more adult one, just as he was about to enter a older phase of his life. He is now 30 and still known as Eddie!

    Personally, I love the idea of children having the ability to choose their own name variation. I like the sound of your son taking ownership of his identity and being proud of it, just gorgeous.

  9. #9

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    oh i love Ally for a boy too,
    i don't think it would be an issue to change it to Xander though. if he likes it, go for it!

  10. #10

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    Definitely shouldn't be an issue at all. My Mum's name is Patricia but has always used Mary (her middle name) as Patricia is also my grandmothers name. She signs everything as P M xxxxx though.

  11. #11

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    Thanks everyone. OH has come home and is not impressed with what DS1 wants to do so there will be nothing immediate anyway, just good to know there is an alternative he likes if he gets sick of the "girls name" jokes.

  12. #12

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    I was thinking - could you just change it to 'Alexander' and that way people can choose what they like - whether it be Ally or Xander? That way, if he changes his mind again you wont have to change anything

  13. #13

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    I agree- maybe just ask that his full name is written on things. I've never heard of Ally being used as a boys name so I can understand how he's feeling uncomfortable in an Australian school with Ally written on his things.

  14. #14

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    I thought the same thing as sneaky. And just let his teacher know that he has a new nickname. If it's not 'official' it's not a huge deal, just letting others know so that they don't call him something he doesn't want to be called.

  15. #15

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    On enrolment forms in NSW schools it has a space for name and then another for known as or prefers. It would be no hassle at all just to mention to his teacher that he wants to be Xander now. TBH I think it is your DS's choice not your OH's.

  16. #16

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    Both my girls picked out what they perfered to be called. Both are forms of their names but it was what they wanted. We still call them but their given names.

    They just started writing their new version and everyone followed.

    Should not be a problem if he wants to be called something different to his given name, alot of people have nicknames.

  17. #17

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    Thanks for all your help. I feel more confident now that if he wants to change his "known as" name it will not confuse the other kids too much. I guess that's the benefit of a name like Alexander, there are so many shortened versions than can be used he has a great choice. I really hope he sticks with Xander though, it's such a cool name.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by meow View Post
    I agree- maybe just ask that his full name is written on things. I've never heard of Ally being used as a boys name so I can understand how he's feeling uncomfortable in an Australian school with Ally written on his things.
    That's exactly right, I know how difficult school can be so if his nickname is causing him issues I want him to feel that is something he has control over and can change, and not feel pressurised because it's a name we like.

    I will speak to OH about this another day though, his immediate reaction was "don't be silly, of course Ally is a boy's name"

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