Why a child should not be named after one of the parents
As I myself was named after my father, I was frustrated many times right up until I left home. Below are six reasons not to name your child either after you, or your partner.
1) Same name, opposite personalities
What happens if the child grows up to be nothing like the person they’re named after? Some child-parent relationships end up being in a bad mess, and if the child being named after a parent, this could make the conflict worse. If the child is very annoyed with being called after a parent, they may even go as far as changing their name.
2) It’s just uncreative!
There are millions of names to choose from for your child so why recycle one that is already used in your family?
This was the main problem with my father. He was the ‘John Smith' and I was the ‘Jr’. He not once referred to himself as ‘John Smith Snr’ outside the home or received any post with Snr on it. Because of this, problem 4 below was made even worse.
4) Post, Bank Statements, Phone Calls
All the post my Dad received was in ‘John Smith’. Even things he ordered online would be posted to that name. Whereas everything that was posted to me had to be ‘John Smith Jr’ or else my Dad would open it. My first job rejection letter, first pre-paid credit card, my ID Age Card, my first bank letter and many other things were all opened by my Dad. The trouble is since Jr isn’t on my Passport or any other official document; I can’t use it where the entity requires an exact match to what is on the document. Sometimes I just forgot to put it on. Other times I didn't put Jnr on was it's a bit like shouting out; 'Hey, do you know my Dad? Well you should...because I have the same name as him!'
5) Getting Jobs
My Dad worked in a senior position in a company so was known by a lot of people, which also meant he had a lot of people who didn’t like him either. When I was looking for jobs as a teen, I faced the prospect of putting ‘Jr’ on my Resume/CV and put the HR person trying to find out who my Dad is or just instantly confirm their suspicion that I am the son of my father, or else leave out the Jr and hope that the company doesn’t know my Dad but still go through the name mix-ups if I get any reply. Even getting work experience placements for school was hard and months later I’d find out that the very people who rejected my application for a work experience placement had actually done business with my Dad.
However, I no longer had to deal with that problem since I moved out of the state my parents live in.
6) The ‘Snr’ is a nobody and the ‘Jnr’ is a celebrity
One thing I’ve noticed is that there is a lot of celebrities that are named after their parents, but don’t continure the ‘tradition’ themselves. The best example I can think of is Usher, the R&B singer. Usher’s full name is Usher Raymond IV, his father, grandfather and great grandfather are all called Usher Raymond; and I thought I had it bad! Of course, Usher became 1000x more famous than any of the other Ushers were. Is it no surprise Usher IV didn’t name any of his kids Usher?
Other celebrities include Robert Downey Jr, Will Smith, William (Bill) Clinton III, William (Bill) Gates III, Andre Rieu and Antonio Sabàto Jr. I tried to find some female celebrity examples, but in general being named after the mother is less common in my experience.
Some people who are named after a parent may go through life and not experience any problems but I think as we progress through the 21st century, it's going to be even more tougher for people who are named after a parent. Twenty years ago, no one bought anything online. Fifty years ago, most people didn't own a landline phone. Today, children leave home at a much later age too, meaning they're going to have to put up with the annoyances of being named after a parent for even longer!
If I'm making a simple situation very dramatic, i'm sorry. It's just I myself was continually getting frustrated being named after my father. I'd change my name but it's my name. Everything one accomplishes in life is done with their own name.
It's just sad in my opinion that people have to share the same name with someone so close to them.