Should You Give Your Child A Middle Name?

Written by on January 23, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page


happy-babyA long standing tradition when it comes to naming your child is to give them a middle name. Some parents use the middle name as a way to keep family names alive, some use it for religious purposes, and others use it as a way to give their child the top two names that they like.

Although having a middle name is popular, more and more parents are starting to forgo giving their child a middle name. If you’re contemplating whether or not to give your child a middle name, the following are some pros and cons.

Pro: You can give them a family name.

Some parents like to keep family traditions in the names of their children, but some parents may not want to use the family name as a first name. Because of this, many parents opt to make their child’s middle name the family name. Some parents even use the mother’s maiden name as the middle name of their child. This allows the mother’s family name to continue even though she had to change hers.

Con: It’s another name to choose.

Some parents find choosing a child’s first name extremely difficult, but what they don’t realize is that the middle name could be even harder. Now, not only do you have to agree on another name for your child, but you also have to choose a name that flows with the first name. This can prove even more challenging to the parents and cause even more stress.

Pro: It adds individuality to your child.

If you have a very common last name, it’s very likely that there will be another person in the world that shares their name. (Google your own name to see what we mean.) By giving your child a middle name, you’re adding some individuality to their name. While there may be thousands of Jane Smith’s in the world, they may be the only Jane Petunia Smith.

Con: It’s not common everywhere.

Just because having a middle name is common in America doesn’t mean that it’s common in all parts of the world, and if you’re having a child with someone from a different country, you could be asking them to do something that’s against their heritage. This could cause major disagreements in your relationship.

Pro: It can help avoid identity theft.

Your middle name can serve as a security measure for your identity. For example, in order to open up accounts in your name or steal your identity, a con artist will need to know your middle name, or at least your middle initial. Since there are 26 letters in the alphabet, this is not something that they can easily guess, and it could be the reason your identity remains safe.

Con: Not having one could hurt your child.

Since most people have a middle name, not giving one to your child can make them feel self conscious. For example, children often talk about middle names, and if your child doesn’t have one, it may make them feel different.

This is a guest post.  Stacey Margaret is a freelance writer and mother who loves to analyze the newest naming trends in modern society and often blogs about great first or middle name ideas.

Image courtesy of africa /


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