The Many Thoughts Parents Have Before Choosing Their Child’s Name

Just how difficult is it to choose the right name for your li’l one? Well, this dad shares his struggles of finding the right name!

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” said Juliet, in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Yet, here we are struggling with this dilemma! And it is probably self-inflicted in many ways. Before even Kian was born we had decided that if we had a boy, it would have Mama’s first initial – K – and if it was a girl, then it would start with Papa’s first – T. 

Kian was lucky, or at least I think so. As we scroll through names, for both boys and girls, we realized that the letter K had so many options-the letter T, not so many. To my own mama – well done in picking my name; we are definitely struggling with other options!

Well, let me restate that. We are struggling because we are picky parents. Whether we like to admit it or not, we have standards, criteria or just plain OCD and so everything is thought about, and then thought about again, and again- lists are made, narrowed down, and revisited before a decision is finally arrived at.  

As so too with Kian, there were lists, shortlists and then more debate. I also happened to be reading the Muqaddimah at the time and there I came across the reference to Kian. Done! Settled! That was it for me.

When Kathleen and I decided to name our kids we had also settled on two other important factors that would play a role in picking names. They had to be neutral – they didn’t have to have too much of a bent towards either of our home countries. Additionally, they also had to be easy to pronounce.

Having grown up, studied and worked in Western societies that couldn’t get my name right, or had found more iterations of it than I could imagine or that my parents had envisaged, I was determined that my kids could tell people their names without spelling them out or more importantly, when they ordered their Starbucks coffee there wasn’t an embarrassing iteration of their name penned down on that cup! Ha!

While we want to be innovative, creative and all that, we also don’t want to be the ones that go over the top. Apple, Brooklyn, West (or North West or whatever direction it was) are a bit out there for me. Besides what would I get with a T – Toffee, Taffee, Tamarind, Top? Sounds a bit over the ‘top’, no?!

And so with Baby #2, we are back to the same problems as we had with Kian. It’s probably a bit more complicated now though given our own ‘restrictions’. I’ve been reading regularly over the last few months (not just to pick names by the way), but I am fairly certain none of The Gene, Sapiens, or Selfie carries in them content worthy of picking a baby’s name with T. Or I am pretty sure that is not the intent they were written with. They do tell me a lot of other interesting and knowledgeable things, just not a name!

So, debates, lists and shortlists it is for now – thankfully we have some time to continue this. Besides the aforementioned criteria, we also need to think about what names with T work with the last name such as Sakhrani-no offence to my ancestors and the creators of my family name, but that is one tough last name to pair a ‘neutral’ sounding name with. For the boys a Theodore Sakhrani or Theo Sakhrani doesn’t work – it sounds like a past president from the 40s who got put in the wrong century, not to mention the wrong country… it’s an accident waiting to happen in school!

I wonder if all other parents face the same issues or we are just doing that typical human thing of overthinking? 

You would have thought that the second time around should have been a lot easier, but oh well, here we are. So, if you have been in our shoes or have any ideas (or lists of names), please do share.  My wife and I can’t wait to read them! 





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