Your Name, Your Life

With a name like that, what could possibly go wrong?

KwaTashea Marfo, Staff Writer

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The overwhelming feeling of welcoming an individual into the world is a life-changing event that shapes the lives of both mothers and fathers. Pondering questions start to run through the minds of the newly parents; one being what name would best fit to the characteristics that will be placed upon this child? In many cases, a name is chosen months before the child is born while in others a child’s name is created several days after the child is born. 

But the question remains: how can someone predict the challenges that will come along with the name that is chosen for their child? New parents tend to have the same mindset as others, they wish to pick a name that is simple enough to pronounce but is often times spelled different. Simple names such as Makayla would be spelled like Michaela or Micaela. 

The difference in the spelling of a common name enables individuals to establish a difference amongst themselves. 

However, what about people who are given names by their parents that aren’t as common; names that you wouldn’t typically hear on a day-to-day basis. Speaking from experience, my name is not very common thus making it unique. 

See, my name is KwaTashea pronounced as Qwa•Ta•sha. Growing up as a child, I was not very fond of my name. I guess you could say I had a strong sense of dissatisfaction with my name, but it was for a valid reason.

I didn’t quite understand why my mother would give me such a complex name. I always wonder why couldn’t I receive a simple, common name because that alone would have made my childhood so much easier. In the early years of my education, I was bullied by others because of my name.

People would make fun of my name when they first heard it or would make comments such as “Oh that’s ghetto” or “That’s typical of your mother to give you such a name.” One teacher even went as far as to say “You know your parents spelled your name wrong. The way they spelled is too complicated.” 

As a child, this bothered me so much that I didn’t even want to go to school. I couldn’t handle the emotions that would come from being bullied because of a name that I was given at birth. 

Needless to say, I was embarrassed to have a name that was different from my peers. But as I got older, I started to embrace the name that my mother has given me.

In essence, I think parents should be considerate when choosing a name for their child. They should consider all possible challenges that could occur to their child due to the name they have given them. While the name may be “cute and unique”, no parent wants to have their child ashamed of their given name. 

While overtime I was able to come to an understanding and accept the name my mother has given me, others may not be as lucky. According to an article written by Michelle Kaminsky at legalzoom.com, two main reasons people decide to legally change their name is due to their dislike of their name or their desire to have a less “ethnic” name that would help decrease the difficulties of pronunciation and spelling.

Choosing a name for a child can be exciting for parents, but they should always consider the psychological effects that can come with a name that is chosen for the child. With the ultimate decision of the child’s name being entirely up to the parents, they should strive to have a name that suits the child. However, the name should not be extreme to were it can be potentially embarrassing because the parents wished to have a distinctive name for their child.