Mom seeks advice over fears she ‘ruined’ daughter’s life with a certain name

A concerned mum has taken to social media to express her fear that the name given to her 8-year-old daughter will lead to ridicule later in life.

In a post shared on UK-based online forum Mumsnet as Leolala, the worried mum said she had named her daughter ‘Alexia’ and now regrets it.

“At the time of his birth, I was aware of dyslexia [as a] term but it wasn’t everywhere like it is today and it never occurred to us that alexia is also a medical term,” she said.

Alexia refers to a type of acquired dyslexia that can develop as a result of traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia. “We just had a hard time coming up with a name and the two really liked it,” the concerned mother said. “When we googled it at the time, we found it stood for ‘defending men’ and thought it had a good meaning.”

What impact can a name have?

Parents often look for unusual names to help their offspring stand out from the crowd. However, some research suggests that there may also be negative consequences.

A 2009 study published in Social Sciences Quarterly found that minors with unusual, uncommon, or unpopular names were more likely to engage in criminal behavior than those with popular or more commonly used names. This could largely be due to the way children with these kinds of names are accepted by their peers. A distinctive nickname could leave the youngster open to ridicule and even intimidation.

This seems to be the root of the mother’s concerns in the post about her daughter’s name. She admitted that she was “constantly obsessed with the choice we made”.

She has offered her daughter a name change, but the child has so far refused, telling her she “loves it”. Her mother, however, remains worried. “She’s not aware of the negative connotations, but maybe she’ll find out one day,” she wrote.

Why change a child’s name?

Despite the mother’s concerns, Jami Dumler, a licensed clinical social worker with in-person and online counseling firm Thriveworks, said Newsweek the parent must look at the big picture.

“What I encourage parents to do is take a step back and re-analyze the why, asking themselves, ‘Why should I change my name?’ If the answer is anything other than what my child wants and what’s really best for them, then let it go,” she said.

A file image shows a worried child and a woman. In a post on the British forum Mumsnet, a mother says she regrets the name she chose for her daughter.
photo/Getty guns

“Everyone is going to have an opinion,” said the social worker, who specializes in family dynamics, pediatric and adolescent trauma as well as mood and anxiety disorders. “There are usually more positive opinions. However, negative opinions are often the strongest. You’re never going to make everyone happy by choosing a name for your child.”

Dumler also said that while the mother may be afraid of what’s to come, “no one can predict the future, including the possible comments your child will receive throughout their life regarding their name.”

How to deal with bullying

“What you can plan for is equipping your child with the tools to have healthy boundaries, self-confidence, and the ability to safely discuss any bullying experiences with you,” Dumler said. “You can create this by modeling these skills yourself, helping them find solutions to social conflicts that arise, and empowering them to come forward on their behalf with confidence or identify a nickname that empowers them, if you want.”

The key, according to Dumler, is to “give our children the tools to meet life’s challenges, rather than trying to shut them down or shield them from every uncomfortable moment that might come their way.”

Replies to Mumsnet’s post expressed sympathy and support, but some commenters struggled to see what was wrong with the name.

“It’s a perfectly fine name, you’re worrying for nothing,” BuffaloCauliflower said. WhatAboutYa wrote: “It’s not that bad but I would start calling her Lexi which I think is kinda cute.”

SingleAndProud said: “In the nicest way possible…you really shouldn’t give so much space to a decision you made almost a decade ago that the person who bears the name has no problem.”

Newsweek was unable to verify the details of the case.

If you have a family dilemma, let us know via We can seek advice from experts and your story could be featured in Newsweek.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button