Just how much does your baby's name influence her future? Turns out, quite a bit.
The common thread in baby naming today is that there is no common thread. Unique names have taken center stage like never before, with parents seeking to ensure that their sons and daughters stand out from the crowd. But that's hard to do when the crowd is filled with kids named Moon or Sparrow or Darko.
Pamela Redmond Satran, author of "The Baby Name Bible," says that the most popular baby names now are the ones that no one else has thought of yet. "Parents are pushing the envelope in a lot of ways in terms of choosing names that will be different," she said in an interview with Yahoo Parenting. "They're looking for names that their child won't share with anyone else."
So just how will all of these unique names affect the next generation? According to the experts, labeling your kids with a creative moniker could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Kids with unusual names might see themselves differently from their peers, and they may be treated differently too. Even if it's just little reminders at roll call or when meeting a new friend about their unique status, over a lifetime it can add up to create a kid who sees himself as one-of-a-kind.
What's more, research shows that kids with "likeable" names receive higher grades from teachers, while kids with "unlikeable" names experience high levels of social isolation. Not surprisingly, boys with "feminine"-sounding names have more behavioral and academic problems in school than their peers. But on the flip side, girls with "masculine"-sounding names are more likely to pursue careers in science, technology or other STEM fields.
It's too soon to tell how future kids will be affected by another new trend in baby-naming — that of naming babies after guns, knives and Hollywood tough-guys. According to Nameberry, a website created by Satran to track baby name trends, violent baby names are on the rise. Despite, or possibly because of, the prevalence of gun violence in the news, baby names such as Magnum, Pistol and Shooter are starting to spike and so are names such as Trigger, Gunner, Barrett and Remington. Movie tough-guys have also inspired a new round of baby names, with Clint, Sylvester, Rocky and Rambo all surging in popularity.
If creative baby names inspire creative children, it's chilling to think what violent baby names might beget for the future. Here's hoping that this particular trend creates a reverse effect on the next generation.