Names and dates

After careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of all the options (a short chat one night) we have reached a momentous decision. Even though we don’t know whether the baby will be a boy or a girl, we have decided that it will definitely…….. have a name.

Our only discussion of names succeeded in ruling out many options, but that didn’t help either. I had hoped that by the time we had eliminated the names of every footballer (rugby players would have been fine), pop star and breakfast TV presenter there wouldn’t be many names left. But I was wrong. Looking at the names with the highest and lowest average GCSE results didn’t help much either. We had already ruled out Kylie, Charlene, Wayne, Dwayne and Duane (yes both spellings are in the bottom ten) and Emily and Charlotte (amongst the top scoring names at GCSE) are out of the question as the baby’s future aunts have already bagged them.

Whilst I’m on the educational theme, it is worth noting that summer born children tend to do less well academically. Or more specifically summer born boys do less well. Since we don’t want to find out the sex of our child in advance, I would welcome suggestions for other ways around this problem. For instance, if the birth happened in Australia (where it is winter in July) would that solve the problem? Would it help if it was a particularly cold summer? (Probably not – they usually are and yet the effect still exists.) What are the chances of Kirsty crossing her legs until 1 September?

In the meantime, the unborn baby will continue to be known mostly as the bean, sometimes as the bump and if it’s future paternal grandmother gets her way, as the smidget.

This is future-smid-dad, signing off.

PS – Since writing this post on a number of people have emailed us or written comments to say that the reason summer born children tend to be a little behind at school is because they are younger than their classmates and have less schooling in total, as they usually do not start school in the autumn term and may only have one or two terms in reception class. We understood this already, and the pretence that we didn’t was a joke. Fortunately there is pretty good research by Charles Desforges and others which shows that the strongest influence on children’s educational attainment is the value that their parents place on education – and we both place a lot of value on it. This has a significantly stronger effect than age, gender, ethnicity, affluence or quality of teachers on how well children do at school. For more information see http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR433.pdf

3 thoughts on “Names and dates

  1. I should like to suggest not deciding upon a name until after the baby is born.

    It has always struck me as a special kind of madness to decide on a name for someone before you've even met. If you were getting a new puppy, it is unlikely that you'd be discussing names to call it on the way to buy it. You meet the puppy, bond with it, and work out the right name.

    So why do humans get treated with less dignity than dogs when receiving their name? I say, time to put this right.

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  2. Oh, and sorry to comment twice, but the reason a summer child may perform more poorly is not due to the season, but the academic year.

    Traditionally, if you are born on 31st August, you are automatically an academic year higher than someone born on 1st September. Thus you start school a full year younger than others in the year group. Obviously with an entire year's less development, and a year's less pre-school, this puts you at a disadvantage with your peers.

    (There are exceptions to this. Sometimes schools have a Jan intake, but of course this leads to other problems.)

    So unless Kirsty aims to be a month and a half overdue (I don't recommend this), your kid will likely be one of the younger in the year. However, since he or she will have you two as parents, and your genes, I've a strong feeling that she or he will already be given a hefty advantage over the others to begin with. Pick a decent pre-school, and with your brains in his or her lives, I've a strong feeling yours will buck the trend.

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  3. See, I figured you were joking. Well, I more assumed that there was little chance you'd have failed to figure it out. But then I couldn't let it be out there without a correct explanation, because that's how idiocy gets going : )

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