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Can I Change my Name?

Whether she's a plain Jane or a more exotic Fiona, your child might suddenly reject her name. Tracy Grimm faced this when her son, Evan, declared he'd like to be known as Ewan. "He saw a movie with a boy named Ewan in it and decided he preferred it," the Minneapolis mom explains.

Even if you sweated over your kid's name long before the birth, don't take the switch personally -- especially since it's probably temporary. Instead:

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You might uncover a serious cause -- maybe she's being teased at school (Smelly Kelly, Fatty Patty) or he's grappling with his ethnicity.

Allow for fatigue
Your son, who was dubbed Robert after his dad, might be tired of being Bobby Jr. Extra-long monikers (Alessandra, Anne-Elizabeth) or unusual spellings (Geoff instead of Jeff) can also be trying at this age. For now, let him go by his "special" name.

Redirect her crush
If she's switching because she adores her cousin Nina or her BFF Sophie, you might suggest other ways to show affection, like becoming pen pals or hosting a sleepover. 

Explain exceptions
She may insist on Vanessa at home, but if she's really a Mary, remind her she'll need to answer to this in official places, such as school.