Baby name choice causing family split

sis3September 22, 2012

What are your thoughts on a mother choosing for her new baby the abbreviated form of a name already given to her cousin's one year old younger son? Let's call them 'Brad' and 'Bradley'. She had no wish to copy but had other reasons for choosing the name Brad. Should she have sought her cousin's approval before naming her baby?

In this case her cousin, my stepson, is outraged and the issue is causing a big problem in our family. He sent her a very curt congratulatory email with a pointed reference to the name similarity. Her baby is only 2 days old and now, in the midst of her happy glow, she is hurt.

Unfortunately we are unwillingly caught in the middle and in trying to gently diffuse the situation have been angrily and unfairly accused by my stepson of inflaming it! I should add that he himself chose a name 6 years earlier, let's say 'Michael', that in it's abbreviated form, 'Mike', was already in use several times in our family. Ironically this included the firstborn of his other cousin who my stepson never consulted before naming his own son. The family, including Mike's mother have never taken issue with his choice.

I am not sure there is any way that this can be resolved other than by my stepson's temper cooling over time (knowing his nature I will not hold my breath) but he will almost certainly sever the relationship between himself and his cousin, which is especially sad as their two firstborn sons adore each other. I also fear he will punish us by restricting our relationship with our grandchildren 'Michael' and 'Bradley' who are very dear to us.

I would be grateful for your thoughts.

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If the cousins are around each other often and live in the same town, then yes, she should have asked him if it was okay to name her baby "Brad." If not, then it's no big deal except at family get togethers. But I'd still be angry like your stepson.

Unless this is a family name passed down through generations.

I was in the same situation after I had my first born. We gave him a name that will always be classic, and it was a name hardly ever used. I didn't know a soul with that name.

After he was born, an acquaintance asked if she could name her son the same name. I politely told her I'd rather she didn't because we thought long and hard for our son to have his OWN name. I think she was offended, but I didn't really care.

Do you see your stepson more than the cousin? If so, I would tell him that down deep you agree with him but unfortunately it's too late to do anything. I do understand his anger though.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Thank you Oakleyok, I value your perspective so I have copied your response on to the duplicated thread so that others can share it.

If anyone else has thoughts to share would you please post on the duplicated thread "baby name choice...." which seems to be going stronger than this one. Thank you. Sorry for the duplication.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:15PM
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