Naming a child

From TAJ  2015.

Receiving a name can be regarded as the onset of a person’s biography. It not only symbolises the beginning of human existence but also the start of a specific life program. Naming a child signifies the birth of his or her identity but is also a sign of the individual’s life script.

Names seem far more than arbitrary labels useful for telling one’s children apart, or alerting friends to falling safes and other imminent dangers. They seem instead to capture and shape the individual.

When parents choose a child’s name, they often do so in relation to passing fashion, their fascination with a character from pop culture, or admiration for a favourite actor or actress. They may also choose names that are popular in one time period but nonexistent in another. However, family tradition often plays an important role in choosing a name.


Naming a child is one of the most important moments in the life of both the family and the child. A name is a label for the person’s identity. It usually influences what we think about ourselves and what others think about us, especially on first meeting. Giving a name to a child symbolises legitimising a new being

Percentages of people who like their name

Yes = 55%

Mostly yes = 32%

No = 10%

Definitely no = 3%

Person thought parents had certain intentions when choosing their name and it was a conscious, purposeful choice = 56%

Person thought parents chose their name without much thought or at random = 30%

Person thought parents chose name in a reckless way with little thought = 5%

Person thought their name had influenced their life and shaped their life path = 45%

People who said they would choose a first name that sounds pleasant and has positive connotations = 59%

People who said they would choose a first name that was unusual to emphasise the child’s uniqueness = 39%

People who said it was important for a child to have the first name of a significant family member = 15%

People who said it was important for a child to have the second name of a significant family member = 51%


Her name could have been quite influential in how she views herself





Kim Kardashian and Kayne West have named their son Saint. They did this because he is a blessing, as mother had such difficult pregnancy. She had to undergo an external cephalic version to move the baby from the breech position.

As is seen above parents can choose a name for a child using a wide variety of criteria or different reasoning.

Naming a child is a 100% non consultative exercise for obvious reasons. The child cannot be asked what it thinks, so parents are left in a position where it is completely up to them, one could say it’s a bit of a narcissistic exercise in this way. Even with quite a young child, parents can still consult them about what colour they like for clothing or what food they may like for lunch which of course is a sign of good parenting. But the very label a child has to “wear” for its life, is its name, part of its identity and it has no say in it whatsoever.

Every child has to be named, every child has to have a birth certificate and has to have a name on that birth certificate. A birth certificate is an interesting document. It is sign that you officially exist and sometimes the name on that certificate is not liked at all, and it can never be changed. People can change their name legally but the birth certificate still remains.

Naming a child after a family member or a famous person can be a particularly hazardous task. If a chid is named after uncle Harry, that is all good and well, except that uncle Harry was a boozer and a womaniser. The child is being given that label to wear for its life time.


Saint is going to hear the story behind his naming as his parents tweeted it to the world. As we know a child does not have any A2 logical thinking powers, it only has A1 illogical and magical thinking abilities. When told such a story a child could easily decide that it is bad because it was its fault that “mummy got hurt by me”.

In the psychotherapy business this is called the ‘birth’ story. If a child is told its birth story and it is a particularly bad story that can play a significant part in a child’s life script. However for Saint it is much more than just the birth story as he is named after the birth story so it is something that he will wear everyday of his life. It has the potential to be far more influential in how he ends up feeling about himself, than just a birth story by itself might be.

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