It is be­lieved the name we are given can pre­dict our fu­ture, so what will to­mor­row look like for your lit­tle Peb­ble or Cap­tain?

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Contents -

A look at the pros and cons of giv­ing your bub an ‘un­usual’ name

One of my favourite things to do on a Mon­day morn­ing is to stand in the au­di­ence at my daugh­ter’s school assem­bly and lis­ten as names are called out. Un­like the Jes­si­cas and Sarahs of my time, my daugh­ter’s school is a sea of Emer­alds, Ravens and Heroes.

Ac­cord­ing to To­bias An­thony, au­thor of Hip­ster Baby Names, this so-called “hip­ster” name trend is one that’s quickly spread­ing across the coun­try. Even though he’s equipped with a pretty de­cent mous­tache − he in­sists he is not a hip­ster (To­bias rides a bike, and ad­mits, “It has gears”, and his cof­fee or­der is a stan­dard latte rather than a lum­ber­jack). “If you think about it, our names are a call­ing card,” says To­bias. “They give us a sense of iden­tity, and what par­ents re­ally want these days is for their kids to be mem­o­rable and to stand out from the crowd, not only in the play­ground but also as they move through life.”

But what should we make of the stud­ies that show hav­ing an un­usual name can of­ten make life more dif­fi­cult? Those with clas­sic names, such as Deb­o­rah, Carolyn, Robert and Peter, are most likely to be­come CEOs (and, there­fore, be wealthy). In stark con­trast, boys with un­usual names are more likely to en­gage in crim­i­nal be­hav­iour. And boys with fem­i­nine-sound­ing names, such as Shan­non or Ash­ley, are likely to suf­fer from be­havioural is­sues that stem from a lack of con­fi­dence.

One land­mark study also found that those with eth­nic names re­ceive 50 per

cent less call-backs for job in­ter­views than those with Cau­casian-sound­ing names. What, then, will the fu­ture make of the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of hip­sters called Gul­liv­ers, Jag­gers, Ju­nipers, Delilahs, Edies and Pix­els?

On the other hand, there are many ad­van­tages to hav­ing a hip­ster name. “Cre­ative names of­ten give kids li­cence to dance to the beat of their own drum and de­velop an in­de­pen­dent way of think­ing,” says To­bias. How­ever, there are down­sides. “There’s a real cul­ture of ev­ery­one want­ing to be a celebrity now, and think­ing that by giv­ing their kids celeb-wor­thy names, they just might make it big,” says To­bias. “Sadly, I think our age­ing hip­ster ba­bies might be in for a world of dis­ap­point­ment in later years when they dis­cover they’re as or­di­nary as ev­ery­one else.”

Yep, hip­ster names are be­com­ing so pop­u­lar that our Harpers, Junos and Cle­men­tines run the risk of blend­ing in with all the other kids in the play­ground. The les­son here? Name your child what­ever makes you happy and re­mem­ber, some re­search shows the one thing that’s go­ing to dic­tate whether your child rules the prison yard or be­comes the boss of a For­tune 500 com­pany isn’t the name it­self, but your par­ent­ing style. Good luck!

Cre­ative names of­ten give kids li­cence to dance to the beat of their own drum and de­velop an in­de­pen­dent way of think­ing.

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