Monday Musings - Are Hyphenated Last Names For Kids A Good Idea?

by Samantha on May 4, 2013


Hello my name is

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate: that is the question.

These days, it’s one that most parents think about to some degree, given the growing number of women who choose to keep their maiden names after marriage. Certainly one can understand this desire; after all, there are a myriad of reasons as to why a woman would want to hold on to her birth name. Career success under this name, a connection to her family and ancestry and something as simple as the sound and flow of her name are reasons enough.

Because of this, there has been a more frequent discussion of the decision to give children of these marriages double-barreled names. It’s no surprise that a woman who has carried and given birth to her child would want him or her to carry at least some of her family name. On the other hand, there are many who feel that the decision to hyphenate a name is one that is fraught with trouble. The issues that they cite include a lack of unity within the family (the mother inevitably has a different name than the child, even if part of her name is the same) as well as what to do about future generations. After all - what happens when two children with hyphenated names grow up and marry each other? Do their children end up with four last names, or has what may have been perceived to be the inevitable occur: that one family name is chosen?

Full disclosure: I have a hyphenated name, but it’s not the result of marriage - at least not mine. My last name is my father’s last name, whose own father added a second name to his existing one (that’s another story in and of itself). I kept my full hypenated name after marriage, but my kids have my husband’s last name. Confusing or disjointed? Not to me - though some would disagree.

So what is the solution to this important question? Is it best to give your kids a double-barreled name, or choose one or the other?

Are hyphenated last names for kids a good idea or not?[Tweet “Are hyphenated last names a good idea or not? via @samkj27 #names #kids”]

Leave me your thoughts in the comments below. Can’t wait to hear from you!

VIDEO: Are hyphenated names for kids a good idea or not?

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