The Baby Name Game
By Rachel Fulton
Can't agree on what to name your baby-to-be? Perhaps you come from an
Irish family and your husband is Italian. You prefer Ian and he'd
rather Antonio. Or maybe your husband insists on naming the baby after
his favorite aunt, but Zelda just doesn't do it for you. Before you
wind up giving birth to a baby known only as "X", here's some expert
advice on how to resolve the naming issue.
Before you can make any decision about the name, it's important that
you both hear each other out, says Jeffrey Smith, M.D., assistant
professor of psychiatry at the New York Medical College in Valhalla,
New York. "Spend plenty of time listening to why each of you favors a
particular name. For example, ask, 'What do you like about Uncle
Harry?' or 'What was so special about cousin Rita that you want to name
our child after her?'" Each of you should try to understand where the
other is coming from and feel you're getting a fair shake. Just knowing
that you're understood goes a long way in resolving conflicts. To
ignore the reasons why each wants a particular name is
counterproductive. Then, once you both feel really tired of the
discussion, you're ready to make a decision.
The next step is coming up with a compromise that will help in the
decision-making process. "Maybe you can choose the first name and your
spouse the middle name," suggests Dr. Smith. Or one of you will name
the first baby and the other the second. Or you might even forget both
names and come up with one you both like.
If, after taking
these measures, you still can't come up with a solution, it could
signal deeper troubles in the relationship. When both partners feel
like their concerns aren't being heard and they're both unwilling to
compromise, it's a good idea to seek professional help so that you can
each learn skills that will help you to communicate better, says Dr.
But more than likely, you and your partner simply need
to talk, hear each other out, and understand where the other is coming
from, says Dr. Smith. Once that is accomplished, it won't be long
before you'll both be oohing and ahhing over little baby Zelda Rita.