Should mum allow teen to change her 'old fashioned' name?

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK 

Rose is a classic name by anybody's standards, but 'classic' can fall into a few categories including 'old-fashioned' and even fusty, depending on who's evaluating it.

A heartbroken mother has consulted Mumsnet for advice about what to do. Her 13-year-old daughter says her name is 'too old-fashioned' especially when paired with the family's last name and mum is distraught about it.

"I'm heartbroken as it is a name we picked for her because we loved it. We can't really shorten her name and we've never used the associated nickname. I just can't my head around calling her something else. AIBU [Am I being unreasonable] to keep calling her by her name?"

After a number of requests to reveal the name, she posts, "Her name is Rose. She wants to be Ava or Evie. We don't have any connections to those names so I think she's just picked them because she likes them? She's always hated being called Rosie or Ro. It's always been Rose."

To be sure, Ava and Evie are very of-the-moment names, despite their long histories, that feature in top 10 or top 20 lists in most english-speaking countries. They carry a fresh, modern feel thanks to their revival over the past decade. It's little wonder a girl of just 13 sees Rose as a tad antiquated.

But should she be permitted to change her name? The Mumsnetters came out in force to share their views, which varied widely.

"I gave myself a nickname at 13 that I hate now. I grew into my actual name and I love it. I would encourage your daughter to adopt a nickname and explain often young people are still discovering who they are, that if she still feels the way she feels in 18 months then you'll help her look into name changing options at that point. I'm a Meredith which felt very old lady as a teen."

"Just tell her she can do it herself when she is 18. The names I liked when I was 13 are different to the ones I liked a few years later."

And this, from someone who did change her name.

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"I legally changed my old-fashioned flower name as soon as I could. It's very popular now which I find funny as at least two of the people who teased me unmercifully have called their daughters the very same name. Hating your name is awful. I became a different, more confident person when I waved goodbye to it."

Most commenters feel that the mum should go with the flow and her daughter will either get past the idea, or if she is really serious about it, she can change her name legally when she's an adult.

This commenter makes a very good point.

"My DD changed her name at 18 - I cried a little inside, but put a happy face on for her because it was HER name. If your DD doesn't like it, she shouldn't have to stick with it to avoid hurting your feelings."

Any parent who has lovingly chosen a specific name might be heartbroken if their child grows up and loathes it. We'd love to check in with this mum in 5 years' time to see what her daughter decided in the end.