Kylie Jenner’s baby name-stealing beef is a real-life problem

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It’s an accidental robbery

“A friend stole two of the names I’d picked – and then claimed they were her own idea in the first place!” one exasperated mom complains. Although maddening, psychologist and relationship expert Dale Atkins says this behavior can be completely unconscious.

“Expectant parents hear names all over the place,” says Atkins. “It’s impossible to remember where they get every single idea from, and they may truly think they came up with it themselves – or at least heard it somewhere that has nothing to do with you.”

What to do

If a frank conversation reveals that the person has no idea she “took” your name, you don’t have much choice but to accept it. After all, she really might have heard the name elsewhere – there’s no way to know for sure!

You can still use the name, or you can look for alternatives. Whatever you decide, remember that if you don’t want it to happen again, mum is definitely the word this time around. 

“I won’t tell anyone what name I’m planning to use,” says one mom. “We want to name my son after my dad, but my sister is due with a boy right around the same time and might use the name herself. If she takes it, I can’t accuse her of stealing because I haven’t told her about it. And I didn’t try to call dibs on the name because I think whichever of us gives birth first should have first pick.”

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Think about going with a completely different name — and don’t look back

We get it: picking out the perfect baby name for your bundle of joy is an extremely personal experience. After all, it’s the name you’re going to sing about during feedings and scream at the top of your lungs when they’re late for school for the umpteenth time.

But if sharing your child’s name with someone else in the family or a best friend is too much for you to bear, go with one of your backup choices instead. But Shannon cautions that parents shouldn’t overthink the decision or harbor any ill-will toward the person who nabbed your top choice first.

“Let’s say this situation deeply upsets a parent and they end up naming their child something different — will they really love them any less because they chose a different name?”

If you absolutely can’t let it go, have a direct (but kind!) conversation with the parents about their name choice

If you still feel like you’ve been truly duped and won’t feel right without discussing the issue with the friend or family member, then do so. It’s totally fine to start the conversation off by saying that even though it might seem irrational, your feelings are hurt nonetheless. But keep in mind you might not exactly get the answer you’re looking for, so bringing it up at all should really be your very last resort.

“The hurt mother can confront her close friend or relative and let them know that this hurt her feelings,” said Shannon. “She then has the option to accept their apology or accept that they may not offer one whatsoever.”

She also explains that it really depends on the person who stole it in the first place. “If the fellow parent who stole the baby name is a close friend or family member, then perhaps there could be a conversation to be had about it,” she said. “Again, not much will get resolved; however, it could be a chance for you to stand up for yourself. If it is an acquaintance, then I don’t think there is any upside to confronting them.”

Regardless of which course of action you take, parents should remember that first and foremost, sharing a name with someone really won’t matter down the road. As long as your baby is healthy and happy, there’s not too much else to worry about.

And Shannon agrees: “Admittedly, this situation can be very frustrating; however, this is not something you should lose sleep over.”

Image Source: Unsplash user Tim Bish


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