5 Ways to Get Dads Excited About Baby Names
I’m that rare flower in the world of baby-name blogging: a man.
And while I’m content to be in a female-dominated field, it’s puzzling that more dads don’t take an interest in naming their kids.
It seems like it’s usually the mom who draws up lists and researches each possibility exhaustively. The father just retains veto power.
Of course, this is a gross generalization (I’m about to make several of those), but men need to take a more active role. And I don’t mean insisting that their son be called “Jr.”
So in the interest of breaking down sexism by making a series of very sexist assumptions, here are five things that might get dads more excited about baby names.
1. It’s like fantasy football.
Naming your kid lets you comb through more than a hundred years of stats in order to find the perfect choice. What fan of baseball or football wouldn’t delight in that? You can drill down to state-level data (maybe the top 10 list in Wyoming has the best “draft picks”) or even go overseas.
2. It’s more fun than picking stocks.
I wrote a piece last year about how stock-picking techniques can be applied to baby names. But the best part happens after you’re done. Then you can sit back and see if your choices appreciate or depreciate.
If you can pick a top 500 name that ascends to the top 100, you’ve got some serious skills. Of course, you don’t want it to get TOO popular — that’s like busting in Blackjack. (Alright, my analogies are starting to get pretty muddled here.)
3. Leave your mark.
You may buy a sports car during your mid-life crisis, but there’s a better way to confront your mortality: Find a kickass name for a person that will outlive you.
That kid will be walking the Earth — impressing people with your good taste — long after you’re gone.
4. Get back to your roots.
Naming a child is a good excuse to learn more about your family and ancestors. If you cede your baby-naming duties to your partner, you lose a chance to pass along a piece of your heritage.
Not every family shares a surname these days, but it’s nice for the children’s names to reflect the shared history of both parents.
5. Your future livelihood may depend on it.
Research has shown that kids with certain names have more successful careers than others. (One study found that people with shorter names were more likely to become executives.)
When you’re retired and living on a fixed income, you may need some financial help from your child. If you give them the right name, maybe you’ll be able to live in their pool house someday.
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on June 15th, 2015 at 6:41 am
In my own personal experience, I find that men are less involved in the baby naming process, not because they don’t care, but because they have no choice. Because ultimately, at the end of the day, if mum doesn’t like his choices then dad’s names get flushed down the loo. And if dad doesn’t like mum’s choices, then that’s just too bad. Why? Because the woman is the one who has to deal with swolen ankles, back ache, morning sickness, loss of figure, the pain of labour etc. etc. – I’ve seen women pull that excuse constantly in an attempt to justify how their own baby name choices should take priority over the father’s and it also seems to double as a reason as to why it shouldn’t matter if he doesn’t like her choices.
So, for a fair few guys, it’s not that they aren’t invested. It’s just that they don’t have much choice or say in the matter.
on June 15th, 2015 at 2:31 pm
On the other hand, my experience has been rather different…my ex vetoed almost all of my name suggestions (which weren’t kree8tiv…unless you count Melissa, Kyra, Alexandra, & Juliana in that group) & grumbled “Why can’t we have a normal name like Susan or Linda?” My brother just said no to everything my SIL suggested for months. And my husband & his ex were restricted to saints’ names because his ex insisted on that. Fortunately there are so many saints that they were able to find names they both liked pretty easily.
on June 16th, 2015 at 8:02 pm
I am a sexist dinosaur, I know, but until men can get pregnant and bear children, the woman’s word should be the final one. I never get these posts that say, “My husband insists on our son being named Gary Cleveland the 3rd and I must follow along.”
My parents are a case in point. They had settled together on Laurie Ann, but after 36 hours of labor (!), my mother said, “I don’t think she looks like a Laurie…” and my father said, “Anything, anything you want” so she went with Leslie, which I far prefer to Laurie Ann.
His contribution then was my middle name, Diane, which seems fair.
on June 16th, 2015 at 9:29 pm
All I know is that I could NEVER name a child unless the father of my baby agrees with the name I’ve chosen. My husband/partner/boyfriend/fiance will indeed have a say in their child’s name! They are as much of a contributor to the child’s life as I am. Just because he didn’t birth them, doesn’t mean he can’t add input into his child’s lifelong identification….
on June 16th, 2015 at 9:42 pm
Commenting on the articles content now – I liked it a lot (though I did find it a little too short)! I love hearing a man’s perspective on naming; especially in a community so full of women. A male viewpoint is always refreshing and I hope to see more blog posts by you, Mr. Nick. I would love to read about a male’s mental process of choosing names and what you view attractive, kick ass names.
I find myself romanticizing names and obsessing over a certain name for a while and then moving on, do men do the same or are they more likely to stick with a name for a prolonged amount of time? Are there names that men prefer more than women? I have so many questions about the opposite sexes form of naming!!
(I really, really hope that they give you a bi-weekly blog spot on here or maybe a weekly)
on December 4th, 2015 at 5:57 pm
While I agree that men need to be actively involved in the naming process, I think that the way this article is written is just plain dumb. The author sounds like he’s hosting a pep rally. I get that he’s trying to use “real-life” comparisons, but telling a man that “naming a child is like picking teams for fantasy sports!!!” is not going to get him all too excited. My husband would roll his eyes and tell me to please not talk to him like he’s 5.
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