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5 Ways to Pick the Right Name So Your Child Won’t Hate You

Heed my warning, if you don’t one day you will hear, “I get picked on at school, I have no friends, others won’t date me, and I can’t wait until I turn 18 so I can change my name! I hate you dad!”

There are essentially two different avenues that you can pursue when choosing a name for a baby. You can give your newborn child a classic name, one that is relatively common for the time period, and does not stand out on its own, or you can give your child a name that is distinct or unique in some manner. There are benefits and drawbacks to each avenue.

Here are some of the strategies to use when picking a name your child will like and not hate you for.

1. Choosing a Classic Name

Consider choosing a classic name, one that is relatively common and that has been around for a while. Some names never appear to go out of style, including names like Abigail, Emily, Hannah, Melissa and Jessica for girls and Michael, Alexander, Joshua, William, Daniel and Noah for boys.

No, Max nor Maximus Aurelius does not fall in this category just because you think the movie Gladiator is a classic. I don’t care if your son looks a little like Russell Crowe.

2. Choosing a Family Name

It has been common practice for centuries to name children after older members of the family. While naming your son "Michael" after his father is an option, one of the better routes to pursue might be to give your son the middle name "Michael" and a distinct first name so that he carries on an important naming tradition while still maintaining his own individuality.

Being Michael Jr. only looks cute for so long, uh maybe until you are 10. Then it’s just boring.

3. Choosing a Popular Name

Every year there are surveys that track what baby names are most popular, giving some insight into naming trends. For example, the most popular baby names in 2009 were Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Emily, Madison, Abigail, Chloe and Mia for girls and Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, William, Joshua, Daniel, Jayden, Noah and Anthony for boys.

4. Choosing a Unique Name

It is becoming increasingly common for people to choose unique names when naming new babies, but there are both advantages and disadvantages to choosing a name that nobody has ever done before. When naming your child, one of the most important considerations is that your child must grow up with that name, endure the thoughts and words of classmates in school and eventually secure a job with that name. Ask yourself, "Will my child change his/her name upon turning 18?" before choosing something too off-the-wall.

• Brooklyn? Why not just name him Salt Lake City?
• Jax? Just add an A for Ajax.
• Perky? Boy, your breasts sure are perky.
• Zeno? Future galaxy explorer, dun, dun, dun!

5. Choosing a Name that Spells and Pronounces Easily

Another common practice in choosing unique names is unique spellings. If you choose a classic name with a non-traditional spelling, then you should expect that your child will have to spell out his or her name for other people often, and pronunciation may even be an issue at times. Rather than choosing a non-traditional spelling like "Madysen" in place of "Madison," consider the simplicity of going with the traditional spelling.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to choose a name that is unique, meaningful or special in some way. What you do need to do is choose a name that your child is going to feel comfortable growing up with. Do not choose your baby name on the fly, but rather give it some real time and consideration before settling on a decision. By all means stay away from any names that could produce sexual innuendos.

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