Why Did We Change Our Name?
This month, I finally finalised my and #JasperBean’s name change by Deed Poll. Why did we change our name?
I continued to use my maiden name after I got married and #JasperBean took his father’s name. We had long discussed a name change even before we got married, but never went ahead with it until now. The reason behind it? (Disclaimer: No disrespect to hubby’s surname or anyone with the same last name).
We did this for our son to escape prejudice in an increasing intolerant and critical world. He starts school next year and we would like to think, like all other loving parents, we just want the best start for him. Both S and I have had our fair share of name callings and playground bullying, but we were strong enough to stand up to them. Or just ignored them. And I trust #JasperBean will be strong enough too. But still why did we go ahead with the name change? Back then, we didn’t live in a world where every childish indiscretion is tagged and digitalised in photos and tweets.
Bullying nowadays is much more intense than when we were growing up.
Now, I understand, I’m not that naive to think that a name change will shield him from all forms of bullying. You might even think, I’m just being a coward and masking the problem instead of standing up to it. Am I being too reactive? Well, I’m definitely not going to sit around and wait for something to happen first.
Remember the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?”. This may have been a great comeback for insults and taunts, but statistics from Ditch The Label 2017 showed that between 2016-2017, 1.5 million young people in the UK experienced bullying. Of the 10,000 12-20 year olds that participated in their survey, 24% had suicidal thoughts, 23% self harmed and 36% developed depression amongst a list of other things that I wouldn’t want to see any child go through. With cyberbullying, the stats are even higher. If you want to find out more, you can download the full report from here.
Proverbs 15:4“Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
So although I know a name change will not change the facts, our names are also our identities and I want #JasperBean to have a name that empowers him rather than see it as something that can be used for fun or against him. Our name is a crucial factor in developing our sense of selfand shapes our identity.
85,000 people changed their name in the UK in 2016 and the number is going up.
To those who think names are “sacred” and that I’m disowning his paternal lineage. He will continue to use his father’s last name in Chinese, so we are not ditching his ancestry. Think of it as a 2018 English version update. You may or may not agree with me, but we definitely don’t regret it. And as long as my boy continues to smile and thrive, that is all that matters to me and S.
However, if there ever comes a time when #JasperBean hates his new name or bashes us for changing his life, I’ll let him have his say. 😛
I think we all want what is best for our kids and we do what we need to to make sure this happens. As you say, there maybe a time in the future where names change again, but you’ve already been brave enough to do it once so enjoy the win at the moment I say. #DreamTeam
Thank you! I feel like a pressure has been lifted from my shoulders, I don’t want my son to ask me why I didn’t do something when I had the power and chance to, so I just took the plunge. Like you say, it can be changed again!
Good for you for doing what you belive in. Unfortunately in this day and age everyone has a comment about everything! #dreamteam
Thanks! It took a lot of courage to talk to family about it, but I think it will be worth it. Comments are welcome as long as they are constructive and like you say, unfortunately sometimes they’re not.
Aww good for you, That must have taken some serious though and consideration. Thanks for linking up #BloggersBests
Thanks! It wasn’t a hard decision to make, but knowing and dealing with the impact on our family and the reaction and defiance from my husbands family was hard. They eventually came round and understood where we were coming from. X
I think that you need to do what’s best for your family and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Sure they can put in their two cents but at the end of the day, you have to do you and you have to live your life the way you want to for yourself and your child and husband. So good luck with this and I hope that your child experiences as little bullying as possible:) #FamilyFun
Thank you! To be honest, that’s exactly what I’ve done, I don’t care what people will say or react to our name change, because I did it for my child. I know he will be much happier, because I am definitely happy with this decision. Upwards and onwards!
Those bullying statistics are so upsetting. I think you probably have made the right decision. My mum’s maiden name is very Eastern European, Croatian in fact. For a while I wanted to change my name to it (long story) but everyone told me not to because of the prejudice I would face when applying for jobs and stuff. The sad thing was I knew they were right. I really hope that stops being the case because it is ridiculous that we still can’t be loud and proud about our ancestry when it comes to names.
Thank you for joining #BigPinkLink
It is shocking that we are still so backwards when it comes to things like this, but I guess some things just don’t change regardless of how much time has past. I know what we’ve done would be the best, but only time will tell. X
You’re right we all do what we think is best for our children and you have done just that. It is a sad world sometimes when it comes to bullying especially now social media is involved. I certainly hope he isn’t subjected to any. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun
Thank you. Social media seems to have highlighted that bullying is still widespread and growing, especially now that anyone can be reached regardless of where they are. It is really sad, but something we cannot escape, all I think we can do is be educated about it.
I’m glad you did what was best for you and your family and that’s all that matters #familyfun
Thank you Amy, not everyone will think I’ve done what’s best, but I’m okay with that.
I’m intrigued to know what the name was before! Such an interesting post & subject! #bloggersbest
😬 it’s more intriguing when it’s a mystery, right?