What's in a Name?

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I'm realizing that one of the most surreal aspects about being a parent is that I (we) have named this unnamed being. We have put our preference upon him already. It feels ... unnatural, like in some way I'm sullying his being. It suddenly seems so bizarre to me that we give names to our children at birth. I mean, it isn't exactly necessary - he's got no clue that "Liam" refers to him right now*.

I think this is actually is a small aspect of something much larger - I wonder at every action, comment, etc. as to how that may shape who he becomes in the future. Are we scarring him already? Are we dooming his reality by doing - or not doing - X? Are we setting him on the right course by modelling some action - or not? Oh my goodness. I suppose I best get used to this new reality of mine....

*Don't get me wrong, I like his name. And, as a matter of fact, I like my own name, so either my parents got it right, I grew into it, or both.

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this is exactly what holds me back from having children right now. and for the past 26 years.

i'm just saying I HEAR YA.

love from leila

Leila, more than just [i]that[/i] has kept you back from having children for a whole 26 years:)

as a psych major, I ran across the theory of the "good enough mom" that suggested that a caregiver that is imperfect is, in fact, entirely ideal to creating a healthy person. You can listen to me, I'm a trained professional with lots of experience!

Okay, I guess I am going to have to weigh in since I am a trained professional (Mommy, that is). My advice? Get over it. In my years of experience I have proven to myself several times over that children grow up in spite of us, not because of us. They are not empty vessels without personality or will. Some of the things that I have felt most guilty over, you guys don't even remember. Conversely, some of your most traumatizing moments are things I don't remember. And then there were the things that I thought were a huge deal at the time, that just don't matter now, and probably really didn't then either. Was I a perfect mother? Far from it. I do hope I was "good enough." There are loads of things I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now. Are my kids perfect? No. Are they, for the most part, well adjusted? Well, I'm pleased with the results. Since my children are human, with all the human frailties, they, just like me, are not perfect. And that's okay. We each have our path to growth. I think the gain comes from the effort, not the arriving.

I personally feel that one book I read has made a huige change with my interactions with kids. I will bring it to the wedding and give it to Ma. I don't know how appropriate it is right now for you and Mark and Liam but I know that in the long run it might be helpful.

How funny that R.T. Bean just offered you a book, because I was going to urge you to never read parenting books! So many people I know get caught up in what their parenting "philosophy" is instead of just being themselves, doing what works for them and figuring out what's important to them.

I'm with you on the wonder of naming children. I wonder how our daughter's life would have been different if we had named her Adelaide, as we almost did.

My book is really for teachers- but I know I'll be a better parent for having been a teacher.
The book talks about being calm and really thinking about what will help the child learn from their social errors, rather than punishing in anger. Which is harder than it sounds!

Rae changed her name.

And Steve Levitt wrote an analysis of how likely a person is to have a child out of wedlock, acheive a certain level of education or commit a crime, based purely on their name.

It turns out that they are well correlated; you can make a strong prediction about a specific generation of children. In the subsequent generation, names get copied by parents who are emulating successful peers of theirs and the power of a successful name gets diluted. Fascinating.

I discovered your website on yahoo and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. Best regards.

1925: Patek Philippe watches, the first instantaneous perpetual calendar with indication of the change of leap years.

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Between me and my husband we've owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I've settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

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This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

The statistics are really overwhelming, the stakes are usually huge, it is challenging to talk about and even more complicated to deal with it. Technology, counseling, communicating... each of them compete with human nature. Plus every scenario is different.

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This page contains a single entry by Mara published on April 28, 2007 6:18 PM.

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