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School are using DD2 first name rather than her given/preferred name.

(148 Posts)
ClutchingPearls Tue 02-Jul-13 09:14:50

We have recently started weekly stay and plays at school ready for her starting in September.

When we applied we used her full name online ( because that what they ask for) but have since filled out every form with her given name. Only using her first name when there is also a 'preferred' name box to put her given name in.

The teacher (new) greeted her on the first day using her first name, DD2 just stared at her. All info had her first name on.

I took the teacher aside and explained she doesn't identify with her first name and only knows it in context with her middle name and surname. She doesn't recognise it written down and really its a official forms name only and her given name is what she's known by and recognises.

She refused to use her name and said only when she knew and could write her first name would she even consider using a 'nickname'.

DD2 is a very young 4 and is needing alot of work to get her ready for school. She really struggles with numbers and letters and I feel any unnecessary changes at this point will impact her learning up to now and also how prepared we can get her for September. Plus its her name, why would we want to change it for a more complicated and different one now? It just seems very strict for a reception teacher.

It is a common nickname and also now a stand-alone name. I'm not asking for her to be called Miss fluffy bottom sweety pie.grin

Where do I stand can we force her to use it? go to the HT? or do I just quit the moaning and start getting DD2 used to it now. Its our third stay and play Friday and we're at stalemate. Do most schools accept given names?

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 02-Jul-13 11:22:28

If it's a diminutive of her "real" name, why is it unreasonable to ask that she knows how to write it?

She is going to have to know what it is and how to spell it at some point isn't she?
I mean, it is her actual name. You named her it. Just because everyone now calls her by a nickname, that doesn't mean she can't understand that it is just a nickname and her real name is what it is?

scaevola Tue 02-Jul-13 11:29:47

I don't think OP was having a problem with full name v nickname.

The problem was with using the name that is actually in use.

So, for example, she always wanted a Vicky and called her Victoria. But wanted to use her beloved gran's name too, Alice. But married surname begins with "G". So to avoid VAG, the DD is AVG, but always known as Victoria/Vicky. Then the school wants her to be Alice everyday.


hufflebottom Tue 02-Jul-13 11:34:26

dd's name is shortened, and her full name is only used by her grandparents, and when she's in trouble

she's learnt to spell her name in the shortened version, and when asked her name she tells people it's 'x'.

She recognises her full name though, and pre school call her 'x' and have done since they asked me what she answered too, there was no 'known as' just 'we notice you call her 'x' would you like us to', and i told them it was totally up to them

sweetkitty Tue 02-Jul-13 11:35:18

I have an Abigail but called Abbie, the hassle we got from family firstly as to why we weren't just calling her Abbie (her middle name had an -ie at the didn't want two -ie names sounded odd) then nursery called her Abigail had to speak to them a few times to change it.

School have been better, she's Abbie on everything there. Of course now she's older she wants to be Abigail.

SoupDragon Tue 02-Jul-13 11:43:52

Poor teachers having to remember which is izzy, bella, isla or whatever.

How is it any harder than remembering which is Jane, Sarah or Mary?

maja00 Tue 02-Jul-13 11:46:33

I think the point some posters are missing is that the school asked for her preferred name, but this teacher is insisting on using the full name anyway hmm

Ridiculous, and you wouldn't do it to an adult.

I work with children too and we have lots of children who are Rosemary but called Rosie, Henry but called Harry/Hal, Theodore but called Ted.

If Rosie, Harry and Ted are the names these children are called and the names their parents use then I would find it very weird and rude for the teacher to insist on calling them Rosemary, Henry and Theodore.

ClayDavis Tue 02-Jul-13 11:48:52

Scaevola, that was what I thought initially but the OP's second post seems to suggest it is a problem with full name vs nickname.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 11:51:01

There is nothing wrong with expecting the child to learn how to recognise and write her full legal name. In Due Course.

There is everything wrong with asking a four year old, in the delicate transition (for the OP's daughter) into school to start answering to a name she doesn't recognise.

If you were (technically) called Doris Emmanuelle Presley, known day to day, since birth as Emma, would you not find it a little unreasonable to be expected to answer to Doris?

By the time she is doing exams I am sure that she will be able.

steppemum Tue 02-Jul-13 11:52:49

There really is a difference between Victoria often/usually known as Vicky


Her preferred name is Alice, which is her middle name, she is never known as Victoria, please use Alice on all books/certificates please.

FWIW my daughter falls into the first category, I interchange the Vicky/Victoria, she hates Victoria and only calls herself/uses Vicky. All her teachers use Vicky, when she learned to write she learned Vicky first and only Victoria much later. Vicky has always appeared on all her books.

Really can't see why school would insist on Victoria, but that is understandable. But in the case of 'Alice' it is really not acceptable - that is not her name.

2madboys Tue 02-Jul-13 11:58:33

Just wondering if any of the adults have encountered this? I had a job once where there were three people with my Christian name, one of which was the supervisor. She obviously had a complex about the name as she went by a different version of it (although it was spelled exactly the same as the other two of us hmm). As soon as she realised I was using my middle name she decided to use my first name, even though I've never used it, and not even my parents have ever used it. She encouraged everyone else to do the same, but thankfully it didn't catch on (they all knew she was bonkers grin). But it's so disrespectful! My parents chose those names for me and I use my middle name for a good reason. The OP's daughter should be given priority to learn to read and spell the name she actually uses - she will be able to learn the longer/different version in time anyway. I'd have a word with the head if the class teacher isn't listening.

scaevola Tue 02-Jul-13 11:59:57

ClayDavis given info in the two posts, I thought it was both issues. And I'm now not sure which it is.

gintastic Tue 02-Jul-13 12:00:38

DD is in reception, our school the teachers will use nicknames when talking to the kids, but when they are learning writing they teach them their full legal name. DD doesn't use a nickname as her first name is only 4 letters anyway, but I wouldn't have had an issue with this approach.

PastSellByDate Tue 02-Jul-13 12:01:52

Hi ClutchingPearls:

First off - I totally get that at 4 years of age - being called by a different name is confusing, weird & possibly upsetting. Certainly upsetting for you.


Just being devil's advocate - the teacher has to learn these proper names because scores/ marks & all recording of pupil progress will be put against them.

We have 3 boys with same name (which is so short it can't be shortened further) so they are called NAME X - based on their first initial in surname (they all hated it at first but now in Y5 it's totally part of their identity - every parent knows the 3 boys with the same first name, but might not know everyone else).


I wouldn't advice sending in a complaint - you're just starting life at this school. Also this is the end of the school year - bear in mind the teacher is most likely completely exhausted and counting the minutes until summer holiday.

My two DDs who are half-American and have middle names that work with their first name spent the first months until our first parent-teacher meeting in Autumn of YR being called first-middle name until the teacher's talked to us and twigged we just call them by their first name.

It's 30 names to absorb & quickly (you have to know them really or feelings are hurt, children are left out & worse (chaos may ensue - serious case of the giggles in DD2's class when teacher's get name wrong). So my gut instinct is wait until next year - I suspect this will resolve it selves in a few short weeks.

So although it is disappointing - they've only just met and the teacher will need time to settle in to his/her new group of students. Keep using the name you like, let friends know the name you prefer and view it as a war and not a battle. You've lost this first skirmish, but odds are you'll win the war on this one.

We have a shortened nickname for DD2 - which we just use in the family but gradually over the years the teachers & her friends have adopted it as well. It suits her, she likes it and knowing her it does make sense. You'll probably find the same works for your DD.

Hang in there & PS pace yourself - there's going to be all sorts that upsets you in coming years. This truly is small beer. Save your anger for when it really matters and hope you never have to go into school all guns blazing.

SanityClause Tue 02-Jul-13 12:07:39

My sister has always been known by her middle name. We changed school when she was in year 5, and she decided to use her first name. The trouble was, she didn't respond to her first name, and her teacher approached my mother because he thought perhaps she was deaf.

So, if the school do insist on using her whole name, they need to be aware that she has never been known by this name, and may have difficulty responding to her "new" name.

anklebitersmum Tue 02-Jul-13 12:12:46

I have changed my name in an office environment so I was known by my middle name as there was another anklebitersmum already. I still wouldn't expect my 4yr old to to accommodate some teacher's whim though.

Have to say that we've had similar issues as regards the pronunciation of my daughter's name (yes, both first and last names). Apparently the fact that my daughter had the downright cheek to say
a) 'that's not how either of them are said' and then
b) 'and you don't spell my surname like that either' made her 'disruptive'.

Suffice to say that Mummy went and 'disrupted' the Head's day wink

Floggingmolly Tue 02-Jul-13 12:34:00

sweetkitty. That's the weirdest logic I've ever heard confused
You wouldn't actually give your dd the name Abbie because it sounded odd with her middle name, but you now insist that that's the the name she's known by????

steppemum Tue 02-Jul-13 12:46:43

I don't get people who say 'you should have just called them Kate not Katherine if you like Kate'

My dd uses the 'Kate' version now, but it is really a little girls name. i know full well that when she is a high court judge, she will prefer the more grown up 'Katherine'

I did this as a child, was only known by the nickname until I was an adult

hels71 Tue 02-Jul-13 12:52:16

Well in our school if you were Victoria Alice always called Alice we would all you Alice. (once we knew).
If you were Victoria known as Vicky you would be called Vicky (But things like reports may well have Victoria on).
If you were Victoria known as Chickpea you may well be called Victoria!

Thurlow Tue 02-Jul-13 12:57:34

It sounds off of the school to not use a preferred name when they've asked for one - but I do think your daughter should know her full first name and learn to respond to it too. And I'm speaking as someone who's DC has a long first name but is almost always called a short version. We still use her longer name sometimes and I'm going to make sure that she knows it.

Greythorne Tue 02-Jul-13 13:04:04

If her proper name is (someting like) Katherine but you call her Kate, then YABU and she will have to learn her name sooner or later.

If her proper name is Katherine and she is known as Rebecca, then the teacher is being unreasonable.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 13:05:35

But does she need to learn it Right Now, at the point of starting school, when she has so much else on her plate and so many other new things to learn?

Not a very child-centred approach is it?

bigbadbarry Tue 02-Jul-13 13:12:09

I've not read the whole thread so sorry if I am repeating. My daughter Maggie had Margaret on her school peg for her first day of reception (and of course she knows that is her "real" name) but as soon as we pointed it out has been Maggie ever since. I cannot comprehend why the school would have an issue with that.

ItStartedInRome Tue 02-Jul-13 13:13:58

OP, hope you are not being offended by all the angry, nasty comments from people who seem determined to turn every reasonable question into an opportunity to launch an attack on someone seeking guidance.

FWIW our DS has a name that leads to lots of different NN for eg William, Billy, Bill, B man, Wills, W, Willy Woo, Mr I Am. He is 3. He knows all his little NN and I think you have enough time to help your daughter to learn her formal name before September. IMO the teacher is being nutty.

bigTillyMint Tue 02-Jul-13 13:16:05

DS's name at home/with friends is a shortened version of the one on his birth certificate and on the school register. The teachers in his primary school didn't have any problem using the shortened version, but supply teachers caused quite a bit of hilarity. He usually put them straight pretty quick!

Just talk to the teacher and ask her/him to please call your DD the shortened version.

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 13:25:30

I do with all those posting with "if you wanted to call her Beth why didn't you just name her Beth instead of Elizabeth"-style responses would just stop. It's irrelevant to the OP's question and it's not helpful in any way.

Nicknames, and a child's identification with a particular name, tend to develop organically within families. I have an Aunt Mary Joan who's been called Jody practically since birth. Against her parents' wishes. It just happens sometimes.

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