My name has been pronounced wrong my whole life. I remember cringing before “attendance roll call” in school, specially if it was a new grade or a new teacher, knowing for sure that my name would be butchered. I would hate introducing myself, always bracing for a stomach flip as my name was constantly mispronounced, shortened, questioned.
It was not until recently that I stopped being apologetic and gained the confidence to correct people, not offering an alternative except for the one that was really acceptable to me only if I felt it was absolutely necessary.
Now, my 6 year old insists on pronouncing everyone’s name correctly, and often says "Only one person decided how to say their name and it’s the person whose name it is!" I’ve been chatting to him about this since he was 3. Watch us here, it will make you smile :)
More importantly, here are proven scientific facts gathered by the early childhood experts @indigrowkids.
Fact 1: When children feel empowered about their names, they are more likely to develop a strong sense of self. This starts as early as age 3.
Fact 2: Children who are teased about their names may be reluctant to participate in activities or make friends, for fear of being teased again.
Fact 3: Children who feel good about their names are more likely to have better academic performance, stronger relationships, and increased confidence.
And here are 3 reasons why talking to them about this helps:
- Names are a part of our identity. They are how we are known to the world, and they can shape how we see ourselves. Talking to your little one about their name is important to help them understand its significance and how it relates to their identity
- Names can be a source of pride. If your little one has a unique or special name, talking to them about it can help them feel proud of their name and its uniqueness
- Names can be a source of conflict. If your little one's name is different from the names of their peers, they may experience teasing or bullying. Talking to your little one about their name can help them develop coping mechanisms for dealing with these challenges.
Now, let's get practical. How do you do this in an easy, fun way?
HAVE A FIRST CONVERSATION:
Looking for Top Tips to discuss other kid's names? Here are 6:
1. Start with these questions “What have you noticed about the names of your friends?” What are some of the different names ? What do they think about the different names? This helps create awareness.
2. Tell them why names are different: “ Names can come from different cultures, countries and languages”. That’s why some names may sound different from their own name.
3. Talk about meanings: “Names have meanings” Some names have a specific meaning, while others may not. But each name is chosen with love by the parents and is special.
4. Talk about the different spellings of names. Some names may be spelled differently in different cultures or languages. This can help your little one understand why someone's name may look different from the way they thought it would.
5. Share stories about other people with different names. This could be people you know, famous people, or even characters in books or movies. This will help your little one see that there are many different names in the world and that each name has its own story.
6. Reassure your little one that it is okay to have a "different" sounding name. No matter what their name is, it is a part of who they are and it is something to be proud of.
PLAY A GAME
All you need: Magnetic Alphabets or any letters, e.g. Scrabble Letters
Take turns picking a letter out of the bowl to spell your little one’s name and say something positive about the letter. For example, if you pick the letter "A," you could say, "A is for awesome, just like you!”, K can be “Kind” and so on…. It’s a great way to reinforce values you want to nurture as well.
These absolutely adorable culture inspired name prints along with our book inspires them play with the letters that form their name, be imaginative, weave stories around it and fall in love with an integral part of their identity. The best part is they’re digital so you can print them however you like. Go on, get creative. They make for the best gifts! Get them here.
Follow here for 1 min reels on more conversations like this
Peek here for books, games, playkits, songs and more...
Busy Bees @indigrowkids