77 answers

PreSchool Only Want Ot Use My Son's "Legal" Name

Okay so this may be odd and I may be crazy but here goes. We just recently moved and my son, who will be 4 in Feb. will start Pre-K on Monday at his new school. We went to the school on Friday so he could see his new class and meet his new teachers and when they asked him his name he said it was CJ. Well the teacher made a comment that there was another CJ in the class and asked if he name was actually CJ or if it was something else. We told her it was Christian but we've always called him CJ and I dont even think he would respond if you called him Christian. She said that they were going to use Christian for him on all of his name tags and cubby so he begins to have name recognition with Christian and not so much with CJ. They also want to call him Christian and not CJ and teach him to write his name as Christian and not CJ. In my head I'm thinking his name may be Christian but really everyone knows him as CJ, all of our friends and family call him CJ and he knows himself as CJ, not Christian. I know that he should understand that his name is Christian and his nickname is CJ but I just think it's crazy to start calling him Christian now. So I guess I just want to know if I'm crazy by making such a big deal about them wanting them to call him Christian, not CJ or should I just go along with it and let them call him Christian at school and CJ at home or should we all start calling him Christian so he knows thats his name?? THanks

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We stayed at the school, after a few days he seemed to really like it there. We just explained to him that he had 2 names. Just like Mommy and Daddy have 2 names so does he(Mommy & T.). We also told him he could pick which name he wanted to be called by. He told me his name was Christian Jack CJ ... So I guess everyone is okay with it but me. There are bigger battles that I will have to fight for him so in this case since he seems to be fine with it, and even like it, I'm not going to sweat the small stuff....Thanks for everyones input!!!

Featured Answers

Hi, you know, you are his mom and if you say CJ, then they should honor that! I taught school and directed a preschool and would have never thought about making a child be called something contrary to what his parents desired.

1 mom found this helpful

You are not crazy, just a loving mother. However, when he begins public school the school may, in fact, demand that he use his given name. It happened to a friend of mine. If that is the inevitability he will have to deal with at school the preschool is actually helping you and him transition. Maybe you can work out a compromise...

1 mom found this helpful

I would tell them to shove it...you are his mom, you get to pick what he is called. I think they are out of line and should use whatever name you tell them.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Your attitude toward the preschool using his new name will likely influence how he feels about it. Could you explain that you love the name Christian and possibly tell the reasons you named him that when he was born. Then explain that CJ is a special nickname that is used only by special family members and friends who know him really, really well. But the people at preschool are not family or special friends yet, so the name Christian will be used for now. I hope you find a way to deal with this that is beneficial for your family.

3 moms found this helpful

I've worked in Kindergarten for years and this is always a battle for either side. Your son should learn to recognize his name and should learn to spell it as well, since this will be the name he will have to use for any formal documents. I have actually seen kids that use nicknames on state test documents and other legal paperwork, which then has to be corrected (not a huge deal, but avoidable). The teachers are trying to help, though it may not feel that way. Children at this age are starting to recognize letters and familiar words (their names) by sight, so it will only be helpful of his language development to allow him to see Christian as his name, because that is his name. Using CJ at home and on his belongings is not going to do any harm, just as using Christian at school will not do any harm. I have had several students in the past that used their middle names at home and first name at school, the first few weeks were transitional, but after that it was second nature for both names and they felt successful in being able to write both names! I hope this helps! Good luck and try not to worry too much, children are so much smarter than we give them credit for! :)

2 moms found this helpful

Personally, I think it should what you and your son want, not what the preschool wants. Ask him what he is comfortable with, and go with that. He has to live with his name, if he wants CJ, tell the preschool to use CJ (except in writing his name, because he should know how to write the whole thing). If he wants Christian, tell the family and friends it has changed. But the point is, it is your choice, not theirs.

2 moms found this helpful

My advice is by no means the only way to go on this, but here's my story and you can take it as you will...My name is Virginia, but everyone called me G. from day one. In 4th grade, I decided I was too grown up for such a nickname and endeavoured to change it myself. Not only was that a nightmare to remember for people who had known me my whole life, but I can only imagine it was annoying to adults to continually be corrected by a 9 year old! Nevertheless, the switch stuck, and I was Virginia ever after...Until...When we were dating, my husband started calling me G.. I thought is was cute (as is everything that someone you're smitten with does!!), so an interesting problem has developed. I still introduce myself as Virginia, so people I work with and went to school with call me Virginia. Everyone who knows me through hubby (his friends, coworkers, etc.) call me G.. It can get really confusing at times, and definitely makes me wish I'd stuck with one or the other. Good luck with your dilemma! Don't know if I'm any help, but let me say that my preschool would go with the name I told them or wouldn't be my preschool any more!

2 moms found this helpful

As an elementary teacher, I "call" my children by the name the parents ask me to! This school year I have three boys in my class by the name of Connor. I call them each Connor and then I use the first letter of their last name. Your son's new teacher should be calling him by what YOU would like for him to be called. It is most certainly not up to the teacher, it is up to the parents.
When it comes to any sort of paperwork, such as report cards, that would be the place where she would have to use his legal name.

2 moms found this helpful

I realize I may be late on this response, but I had to respond. By all means, YOU decide what name YOU want YOUR son called! Do not let them bully you into calling him one name at school and another at home! So there is another CJ at the school? So what! There were several children with the same name at my son's preschool and they just used the last initial, or in one case the full first and last name. You don't have to be mean or snotty about it, but I would just TELL the school (don't ask, just TELL them) that you expect your son to be called by the name that he is used to, that he uses on a daily basis, and if they need to use a last name or initial thats fine. Just be nice, but FIRM. I'm having my own battles with the use of my son's LAST name due to the fact we are in the middle of a legal name change. The elementary school will not use the new last name until finalized by the courts (Jan '09) and my son HATES having to use the last name of a man (his biological father) that has not seen or talked to him in 5 years! Good Luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful

Don't worry about it!!! my boys have nicknames and some classes call them by their legal names and others don't! He will adjust just fine-my one son(I have four) is only 3 1/2 and his brother calls him by a completely differnet name("bob") kids will adjust fine and understand that people call them different nicknames....also at most schools teachers will call them by their legal name so it may be a good thing to get him stARTED EARLY!

2 moms found this helpful

Maybe have his name changed on his birth certificate if you really desire it to remain as "CJ".
I've always been a supporter of naming the person whatever you are going to call him/her. It avoids a lot of confusion especially when they're young, and they can choose a nickname themselves later on if they choose to do so.
Example: One daughter named her child "Judith Lindsey", and when we first went to visit and gave a gift, to "Judith", we were told in an icy cold tone that "She's going to be called Lindsey". Hubby and I shut bit our tongues, and later on wondered why didn't she name her Lindsey if that's what they insisted on calling her? "Lindsey" never knew she was a "Judith" until she was almost 12 years old!! It makes no sense to me at all, but that's the way my brain works!! LOL

Other than that, just let your son learn that his given name is Christian, but that you and family/friends will continue to call him CJ if that is what HE wants. Or ask that each of the "CJ's" are called CJ with the initial or actual surname, as a couple already suggested.

2 moms found this helpful

The school has a point. Your son's name isnt CJ and when he enters Kindergarten until forever, he cant write "CJ" on his homework. He will have to write Christian.

Call him CJ at home and Christian at school. Kids are resilient and adapt better than do Moms and Dads.

Dont sweat the small stuff. There will be a day, at school, when something really serious needs your attention.

2 moms found this helpful

Is the other boys legal name CJ or is the teacher just picking and choosing who has to use their legal name as well as learn to write it. I'm not understanding why one child gets to use their initials and another doesn't just because it's the same name. There are going to be many other classrooms he'll walk into, I'm sure, where there will be another Christian. What then..back to CJ?

2 moms found this helpful

As a preschool teacher for well over 30 years....may I say the teachers in "CJ's" new school seem to be right on target. If he's in Pre-K, that means he will be in Kindergarten next year and will be expected to know and write his name. I'm a 3 year old teacher and my classes are expected to recognize their written names before they go to a 4 year old class......and....I might add, that it's just December and they all can recognize their name. Your son's teachers have the job of having him prepared for Kindergarten where he will be called Christian, not CJ. In my classes, I interchange names if a child has a "nickname" when I talk to him during the day, but anything that has their name written on it is done with their full name.
Expected Kindergarten skills are harder than they used to be, so anything that the child can be comfortable with before starting it puts your child ahead of the game.

2 moms found this helpful

Well, YOU are the mom and can call your son whatever you want. The school and teacher should respect that. I don't think you're crazy at all. If there are 2 CJs, what do they do if there are 2 Tommys or Michelles? They call them by their name and add on the last initial. I think that's what they should do. I think you're totally within your authority as the mom to insist that they call him CJ.

2 moms found this helpful

While I can understand the teacher wanting to differenciate between the two CJ's, I can also understand the importance continuity of names is at this age. Find out if it is the duplication of names she has a problem with, or nicknames in general.
1st, what does the teacher call the other CJ? if she calls him CJ, but refuses to call your son CJ, it is discrimination, threaten to call your lawyer. If the other CJ is also called his official name, then chalk it up to policy, and get used to it.
If it means a lot to you, you can have his name legally changed to CJ (but cannot use periods after the letters), or CeJay, or some such variation, if it becomes his legal name, she will have to use it.
Whatever transpires, kids are remarkabley adaptable and resilient, he will do just fine, no matter what he gets called, and will even easily integrate being called one thing at home, and another thing at school.
M.

1 mom found this helpful

T.:
They have done this in schools since the 80's. My niece was Melissa and we called her Missy. They called her Melissa and she had to learn to write her name like that. Wasn't a big deal. You may want to talk to him about it and let him know as it may be confusing. Just let him know that CJ is s a special name that is used at home and continue to use it if you want. My neighbors had a son and his name is Christopher Shannon. THey always called him Shannon. In middle school he decided he wanted to be called Chris... I still call him Shannon.... :)

Good luck. Think the main thing is to let him know. He may be like me. I went by my middle name all my life and in college they called me by my first. When the did roll call, I never answered and would have to request they call me A..

A

1 mom found this helpful

T.,

I have gone my whole life using my middle name instead of my first name. Also, my second child goes by her middle name as well. It is helpful for a child to have an identity with their first name. You will not always be there to explain that the child has a nick name. I can understand that the pre-school would like to be able to differentiate between two children with the same nick name. Since your CJ is the second one there, it makes it necessary that they call him something else. They could call him CJ C. But allowing him to develop a relationship to his given name is also a good thing. I would not worry about calling him Christian at home. He will understand easily that his name is Christian, but the people that love him call him CJ.

My daughter goes by her middle name, but also we have a nick name from that we call her too. Mostly just loved ones call her that, and she likes it that way. You might find that CJ likes having a more formal name that helps him to differentiate the layers of intimacy humans construct around themselves.

When my daughter started kindergarten, I was sure to explain to her teacher that she went by her second name. Not a problem, but when she went to PE and music, those teachers didn't know any better and called her by her first name. It was good that she knew that was her name as well.

I hope this helps a little bit.

J.

1 mom found this helpful

My second son's name is Adam Umar. We have always called him Umar, but when he was young they called him Adam at school. He's 24 now and generally goes by Adam. But in our extended family he is always Umar. It is possible for a child to adapt to two different names.

1 mom found this helpful

Is the OTHER kid's 'real' name 'CJ'? I doubt that it is. What's wrong with having 2 kids with the same name? It happens a lot even with long names (like T., Jennifer, Alicia, etc). Are their last names different? They could use one of their last initials (like CJT or CJ2) without even having to use it on both of them. I think I'm on your side in this (and after reading a few other responses, it looks like I'm not the ONLY one)!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a friend that has the same problem. Her son's name is Jonathan, she and her family have called him Jon-Jon since he was born. When they put him in head start they insisted that they call him (the school that is) by his name on his birth certificate. The school calls him Jonathan and at home he is called Jon-Jon. He knows the difference now. At first he hated being called Jonathan but now he's fine with it. I bet he still prefers Jon-Jon but I think he's used to the school calling him by his first name. You may want to call your son by CJ at home and be called Christian at school. Jon-Jon didn't know his name was Jonathan but now he does. Any time his mom called him Jonathan, he'd say no, it's Jon-Jon. He now knows that he has two names, one for school and one for home. I hope this helps. Take care, J. A.

1 mom found this helpful

I would tell the teacher that there's another Christian in your family and it would be confusing for CJ to be called Christian when as far as he's concerned that's not his name. I would also tell her that frankly you aren't comfortable with changing his name to facilitate classroom conversations. If she insists, then I would insist that he be called CJ, label his cubby as Christian "CJ" to familiarize him with his "real" name and go from there. SOME teachers try to "parent" for you...set the tone now or she'll have "suggestions" the whole school year (I've been there!)....

1 mom found this helpful

In 100% agreement with you!

Just remember..you can catch more flies with honey, so if you want to stay at this preschool, I would be nice, but firm on your convictions. Come back with something like, "I know it has to be a total nightmare for you to have 2 CJ's in your class. We have 2 Melissa's in our family/the Sunday school I teach (etc), but my son's name is CJ and we have no plans to call him anything else. How about we get him used to recognizing his last name and you call him CJ Collins in class? How does that work for you, or can you think of a solution that would work better for you, that would still allow him to be called CJ?"

I think the key is to to remember what you want (him to be called CJ) and also remember that pretty much anything else is negotiable, and see if you can come up with a win-win.

Good luck to you!!

1 mom found this helpful

You are not being silly. Speak with the teacher and give her the suggestion of adding your son's last name or the first initial of his last name to his nickname, ie: CJ B or CJ Blank. It make sound funny, but it will work. My daughter has 2 Taylors in her class and 1 is Taylor J and the other is Taylor Blank. If they can call him Christian then they can add onto his nickname.
Personally I would not allow for it. Your child as well as your family decided to call him CJ for a reason. He identifies with that as being his name. Later when he is older HE will be able to determine with name HE wants to use. FOr someone to force him to not use a name that he identifies with himself is like telling him he is wrong or not good enough.
Then again, you could ask him what he thinks. Maybe he wouldn't mind using his proper name.

1 mom found this helpful

You're NOT crazy! This means something to you and you have the right to say something about it. Even just reading this it feels wrong to me for them ask you to call your child something else. I think you can handle this politely and not cause a problem at the school while still letting them know that his name is CJ and that is what he will be called. It's not fair to a little kid to suddenly be asked to be called something other than the name he knows is his. He can learn to write his letters and learn what his "real" name is without them changing it at school. Trust your gut on this one and good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

I think they should call him what you'd prefer. What happens when they have 2 "Jacks" in the class??? Do they make one of them change his name??? If it were me, I'd gently but persistently insist that they find another way to deal with it...kids love fun and fun ideas...they wouldn't even mind "CJ 1" and "CJ 2" or CJ "last name"...
Put you big girl panties on and for it!
C.

1 mom found this helpful

he is Cj everywhere else he should be CJ at school too. tell them to write his last name or initial on everything to know the diff between the CJ's. and why is it that your son has to give up his name and the other child doesnt?? i wouldnt stand for it. i have a daughter named Savannah Claire Louise but she goes by Claire. and in school she will go by claire not Savannah. i go by my middle name. and like you said when people call my by my first name i still dont always pick up that they are talking to me lol.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear T.,

Please don't start your son's school career off with letting a school bully you. There are times to step back and times to stick to your guns. This is the time to stick to your guns. Your child is going thru tremendous changes and his name, of all things, shouldn't be one of those changes. Tell the teacher that flat out. What she can do is call each CJ by his initials and last name. It's not that hard for her to handle the nickname, and it's what I've heard many teachers do. Your teacher would not like it if people called her by another name just because someone else in her group has her same name. She is just trying to make things easy on herself by downplaying a child's importance.

If she refuses, go to the director and insist.

Good luck!
D.

1 mom found this helpful

T., I think Keri nailed it on the head when she referred to the confusion of having two CJ's in the class. But what you, and the pre-school staff need to remember is that they are working for you and they need to acceed to your wishes. Let them know, as politely as possible, your son's name - CJ - is not negotiable. He responds to CJ, regardless of whether there is another CJ in the group. If you want REAL confusion, can you imagine a world where NOBODY had the same name as anyone else? He IS CJ and that is what he is to be called. If it simplifies the issue, the school can, as Keri suggested, call both boys by their last name too. CJ Smith and CJ Jones, or whatever works for them in that respect. But, to arbitrarily change his name for their convenience is unconscionable and they need to be willing to make certain concessions to accomodate and respect their employers wishes. This is not, remember, the only pre-school in town and, if they are so unyielding and disrespectful as to change what your son is called - despite your wishes - because it would be confusing to have two people with the same name, they may not be the best pre-school either! Unless you are absolutely wedded to the idea of your son in this particular establishment, you might want to start looking around for another pre-school - one which might be more sensitive to your needs and wishes.
And I don't believe this is an issue of not using a given name and 'dealing with the consequences'. People get names wrong all of the time, even the simplest names. My name is, while not exactly mainstream fairly simple to pronounce, one would think. It's not a name that readily lends itself to cutsey nicknames and even sharing it with a well-known actress (I had it first, btw!) people still get it wrong. I have gotten used to receiving mail with my last name being misspelled more ways than I can begin to count. And, the name being non-gender specific, I also get a lot of mail addressed to "Mr." It's an easy way to sort serious mail from garbage.
It doesn't really matter what a person is called, you can bet a certain percentage of people are going to get it wrong. My son's name is Dylan - again, not a name that readily lends itself to nicknames and diminutives. He learned by the age of 6 some people were going to mispronounce his name with a long "I" sound instead of a short "i" sound. It didn't take him long to learn to politely pronounce his name for them.

As he grows older, CJ will encounter lots of other people with the same name. But CJ will learn to accept that. At times there may even be a bit of confusion should he find himself working with another CJ. (My father-in-law had the same name as another man - first, middle, AND last ... and they both lived in the same city. Talk about confusion!) But, as long as you teach him to deal with such episodes respectfully and not be offended or take it personally if someone makes a mistake, he will learn to cope with people's errors in his own way. And it will hold him in good stead for other, more serious events in his life.

The school should honor your wishes as to what he is called. But, in the final analysis, it's not so much important what he is called, as who he is and that is what you make him. (That's also why it's so important to make sure you have the right pre-school - one that reflects your perspectives on child-rearing and not their own attitudes on "a job".)

In short: This is a question of the pre-school staff respecting your wishes. You are the boss in this situation. Your son's name is CJ. No, you're not crazy.

1 mom found this helpful

CJ is your son. He should be called what you want him called. You are paying the preschool to provide you a service -- which should include using the name you prefer for your son. Would they be taking such a stance if there were not another CJ in the class? It is not uncommon for a class to have multiple children with the same name. There are other ways to distingush between them -- using last names or initials for example.

1 mom found this helpful

I have had similar experiences. My 13 yr old is named Bradley but we have always called him BJ since he is a Jr. When he goes to the doctors for the most part he is Bradley just because it has always been easier, but when he started school and we met his teachers I informed them that he is called BJ. Although his teacher liked Bradley better, they agreed to call him BJ. They taught him to write BOTH names, which I thought was great. Of course now he is middle school and prefers to be called Brad by his peers and teachers. My other son had a child with the same name, Sean, in his class one year and they even had the same last initial so I had the teachers and students call him Sean Gregory using hi middle name.

My advice is to tell the teachers to call your son CJ because that is what he is used to BUT also have them teach him the proper name. I have never believed in just going along with what the teacher says if I do not think it is what is best for the child. I think it would be too confusing at this age to be called one thing at school and another at home, and might confuse the child more if you suddenly change what you are calling him at home. Let that decision fall in his hands when he is older and if he decides to outgrow the nickname.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with what the others are saying. She can familiarize him with his full name on the cubby, that is a great idea. When my kids were in school they asked for the full name then nicknames and used the nicknames if indicated.
Also what if his name were Michael or Sarah and there were 3 in the class? I have a Sarah and a Jessica and there are always 2 or 3 in the classes. The teachers call all of them Sarah or Jessica and use their last names if needed.
Stand up for yourself and your CJ. You can do it!!!

1 mom found this helpful

HE IS YOUR CHILD, AND YOU DETERMINE HIS NAME!!!!!

Pardon me for shouting. He is your child and you determine his name. There will always be another person with his name somewhere along the line, and he and the grown-ups around him need to learn to sometimes say "CJ Smith" and "CJ Jones." If these preschool people are so rigid and unreasonable as to refuse to call your child by your and his preferred name, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT leave your child there. Find a daycare provider who is a lot more reasonable and who will work with you on issues. What do you think these people are going to be like when it comes to discipline?! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like the preschool you are looking at is not very respectful of their clients. I've never encountered teachers who forced parents or children to go by a name other than the one the parents call him/her by. While they are probably just trying to make things more convenient for themselves, you have to also recognize that their intrusiveness into a personal matter in regards to your son's name doesn't bode well for future issues (like disciplinary matters). I would start looking for a new school if I were in your shoes.

1 mom found this helpful

You are the mom here if you want him called CJ then you will have to put your foot down right from the start. No need in being mean about it just be firm if that's what you want, and from your letter it sounds like you want him going by CJ.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You and his Dad are the ones that named him, not the teacher. My son has never gone by his "legal" name either. (Unless he's in trouble, of course) His preschool teacher tried to call him James and he didn't respond. She asked me about it and I told her that he knows his name as Jimmy. From then on he has always been Jimmy to all his teachers and makes sure to tell a new teacher at the beginning of the year. Anyway, you should tell the teacher that although his name may be Christian, YOU have chosen to call him CJ and she can't change that just because it would be easier for her in class. My thought to make it easier for her is to go ahead and teach each of the boys their last names too so that she can tell what belongs to which boy. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You are not crazy, just a loving mother. However, when he begins public school the school may, in fact, demand that he use his given name. It happened to a friend of mine. If that is the inevitability he will have to deal with at school the preschool is actually helping you and him transition. Maybe you can work out a compromise...

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter's name is Leigha and there is another Leah in her class and it's not even considered to call her by any other name, the teacher just calls them by their name with either the last name included or the letter of their last name. I would talk to the teacher or principal about it.

good luck

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had two "Jakes" in her 4 yr. old class. One went by "Jakey" at home, so that's what he was at school. The other had red hair, so they called him "Jake Red". He and his family were fine with that. In fact, we saw him at lunch today and I told my daughter (now 8), "Hey there's Jake Red". There will almost always be duplicate names in classes. If he knows himself as "CJ" then "CJ" it should be. Go to the director if necessary.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you are the parent and get to decide what your child is called. You also pay the tuition (I'm assuming) so they should give into your request. Just tell them "We prefer him to be called CJ, however you can refer to him as 'CJ Smith' to avoid any confusion with the other CJ in his class." What if there were 2 Jennifers... would one have to become Jenny against her will??? My daughter's name is Katelyn but she goes by Katy. She'll be 4 next month and just recently asked why I sometimes call her Katelyn so I had to explain the whole nickname thing to her (doesn't help that the only time she's called Katelyn is when I'm reprimanding her!). Just my opinion but best wishes!!

1 mom found this helpful

It is truly up to you. Do not let a school decide this for you. Do you want his name to be CJ through school or Christian? If you want him to be CJ and you feel like they are "changing" his name, then it is your duty as his mom to stand up for him at this age and insist that you do not want him to be called Christian, etc. If they don't like it, find another preschool. Period. But it is your choice! If you named him Christian because you like it and you're ok with it, then go for it. Bottom line is, my point is that this is your decision, not the school's -- do not let THEM tell YOU what to do for your child. Next year he will move on to new teachers and a new school but he is always your son.

1 mom found this helpful

They call him CJ at school or else; there are no other options. He is YOUR child and they should call him by what YOU tell them to; if not, then I wouldn't want him there. If they go against you on this, Lord knows what else they will try to pull.

1 mom found this helpful

This is what happens when you name your child one name and then call them something different. He will have to learn to deal with this for the rest of his life. And that includes school, doctors and even into college and employers in the future. If you are not going to call your child by their "given name" then you need to be prepared to deal with the consequences.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

The teacher should call him what you call him or what you would like him to be called. That is why a lot of paperwork asks for nicknames too! I used to teach before having kids and I always called the kids the name that the parents preferred. I usually used the first name and then the first initial of the last name. The kids actually liked it. It kind of made them "special." Your teacher could easily call both of these boys "CJ" followed by their last name. Honestly, the teacher is probably doing this to make it easier on herself. However, she is there for the kids! If your teacher won't budge I would take it up with the director or principle. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

What I want to know is this: did the teacher say that she was going to ask the other CJ to go by his real name, too? If not, then her request is ridiculous. It's probably not that big of a deal, but since your son is 4 and he's been going by CJ then that is what he should be called.
My husband, his father, and my son all have the same name. Grandpa goes by "Hal," my husband goes by "AJ" and I call my son by his name, Ansell. But really, since there's three of them we kinda have to call them all something different. However, my husband has gone by "AJ" most of his life so that's what we call him.
If the school teacher insists on calling your son Christian and making him put that on his name and cubby tags, put "CJ" underneath everything. He can tell people "My name is Christian but I prefer to be called CJ." But like I said, see if she wants the other little boy to do the same thing or if she's just trying to prevent herself from being confused. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

That is crazy. The school should call your son by the name you want him called and the name he is used to. I would stand my ground on that. Classrooms have to deal with the same names all the time. Your son could be CJ C that would help they "figure it out." Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.!
You already got a lot of responses ... I just wanted to say that the school should respect your wishes on what you want your child to be called!!! What's the big deal anyway, so what if there are two CJs in the class! Good luck!
Cyndi

1 mom found this helpful

WOW! You are the parent!! The school can't tell you what to call your son! His name is CJ, and they need to respect that. I would talk with them on Monday. YOu want it to be a good start for your son, and changing his name may cause trouble. I have never heard of anything like this before. I was a teacher, and on all of our forms it always said : Name_________ Nickname__________.

1 mom found this helpful

Ask him, my grandson is 4...his name is Jeremiah and some people want to call him Jerry. He will tell them real quick his name is Jeremiah. He is ok with a couple of people calling him JereBear. So he does differentiate, maybe your son will have an opinion?
Pat

1 mom found this helpful

You are NOT crazy, they are.

Yet another reason to consider homeschooling!
I can't believe anyone would be so officious as to tell you, the parent what your child should be called. If he was Tommy or Tom instead of Thomas, or Jimmy instead of James, would they make an issue of it? Ridiculous, disrespectful, and completely overstepping their boundaries.

I would not go along with it personally, but I am a bit of a rebel and touchy about my boundaries. I would take it up with the teacher AND my husband present and make sure she was aware in no uncertain terms what our child's name is- then if she was unwilling or unable to make me feel comfortable with her attitude towards my child, I would take it up with the principal- if I was putting my child in school at all- I homeschool because it is frankly LESS HASSLE.

JMO!

1 mom found this helpful

T., I am just writing to say I agree with the others. My DS is Zach and there was another boy in his class (many years ago as they are 20 yrs old now) but his name was Zack... with a "K" and we use an "H" but when speaking there was always a Zach B or a Zach Z.. no biggie.

I think too your son should be CJ and his last initial... easy.

I homeschool so we avoid a lot of this.. but my DD name is Madison and everyone wants to call her Maddy.. she politely corrects them and says, my name is Madison.

I do think it is good for CJ to KNOW his legal name but that is as far as I would push it.

Good Luck and remember something VERY important....
ALWAYS DO WHAT IS BEST FOR "YOU" and "YOUR" FAMILY.
NO MATTER WHAT!

1 mom found this helpful

As a teacher I have had several of the same names in both classes. It is going to happen. What will happen if a christian enrolls after your son...are they going to ask him to use a different name. If you don't have a problem with it then use christian, if you have a problem then tell them you want him to be called CJ. They will figure it out. I used numbers after names that I had two or more of if the initials were the same. One time I had 4 chrises! 2 of them with the same initials. Or i would say chris B., Chris S...they can work it out...I wouldn't stress over it, but like another post said, you want to make sure they are going to be parent friendly and include you in your child's life. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

They should go by what YOU call him.
My son's class has two Michael's. My son and another boy. They just lucked out that my son goes by his middle name. The school calls him Alex, we call him Alex, his friends and family call him Alex... He knows his name is Michael. But he still calls himself Alex.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like the teacher just wants to make the situation easier for her. You call him CJ, so therefore that is what she should. Tell her thank you for wanted to "help" him and you, but you call him CJ for some reason. And it's your choice and your child. We have had numerous kids in my son's class through the years with the same name and the teachers/school just work it out somehow. There have been 2 Britneys and 2 Erins, and 2 Evans. It's challenging for a teacher, but their job is to teach...not decide how your child shall be called. I like CJ and it's so much easier to write. He can still learn to write Christian, but I would insist (nicely) that he be called what you call him.

Aren't adults so difficult?

Take care,
C.

1 mom found this helpful

That seems weird! Are they only doing that to keep things simple because there is another CJ in the class? Because if that is the case, they are ALWAYS going to have a problem! We have THREE Destinys in the 3rd grade class I work with! That will happen with common (and sometimes not so common - it's not like every other kid you meet is called CJ!) names...

My other question is do they make this OTHER child go by HIS legal name, or is it a strange case of that actually BEING his name? Some parents do only give initials to a child, but that is rare. So unless they are having ALL the children (even ones who go by their middle names) learn to recognize their legal names, I would not stick with that! If there are extenuating circumstances, such as the other CJ being mentally or intellectually impaired, and they are worried about total confusion on his part, that would be more understandable, but I am sure they would have already mentioned that to you.

My recommendation (as a former PreK teacher) is to put "CJ" on every label for him, but maybe underneath or in parentheses put "Christian" so that the boys remember which things are theirs. They should also do that for the other child, like if his name is "Charles", put that under his "CJ". Most schools just use the child's last name or initial to go along with the first name. But maybe with initials, CJ C. & CJ B. would be a little awkward...?

When I was in 5th grade, another girl moved into my class with the same exact name as me! And "Benefield" is not a common last name, either. You'd think they could've put her into another one of the 5th grade classes! But instead of calling us "A. Marie" and "A. Renee", or using M & R to distinguish, they called me A. #1 (b/c I was there first) and her A. #2. Both of us hated it...you can imagine the other kids making bathroom jokes about it! I was glad I wasn't "number 2"!

Let the teachers know how you feel about your son being called something different and that he will eventually learn that his real name is Christian, and he will learn how to spell it. How about he gets the letter recognition down first?! :D You can even work on his name situation at home. Most 3/4 year olds are smart enough to recognize their own names after alot of exposure to it - by the end of a few months of school, kids can usually identify someone's artwork on the wall b/c they know how to spell everyone's name in their class...

Don't roll over for stubborn teachers now - trust me, you will be letting them push you and your children around for years! I am dealing with huffy, stuck-in-the-mud middle school teachers now and can't believe these people are even allowed to teach children of any age! Ugh! Best of luck to you!

A.
PS - my dtr's name is Anna Grace, and that is what we have always called her. Except, opposite of most parents, if I call her only "Anna" she knows I am getting too irritated with her behavior to get out both names! LOL! :D Anyway, almost ALWAYS at school (she's in 4th now) they just want to call her Anna and this year's teacher convinced her it is easier for her to have to only write 4 letters instead of 9! I told them that she will answer to either one, but it still, at the age of 9, takes her a minute to realize someone is calling her if they use only "Anna" - there are other Annas in her classes, so you'd think they would welcome the difference with her name, but some teachers can be picky.... Do whatever YOU want, not the school!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree. You are the parent. Your child's teacher is employed by tax dollars, thus YOU. Therefore, you have authority over her in regard to PERSONAL issues in you're child's life. Speak with her first, and if you get nowhere (we've had a couple of control-freak "this is my classroom and I'll do as I very well please so screw you" teachers), speak with the counselor and then the principal. My understanding is that public school "preschool" teachers don't have to have any kind of educational degree.....just the same requirements as substitute teachers. Some states that's a high school degree, ged, some states it's two years of college....etc.... You're the parent. It is your duty to be an advocate for your child. If you can, start Monday before class starts and if you get nowhere go straight to the office and demand to be seen by someone with authority.

Your child has experienced a huge change with the move, probably bringing a different area of town or new town, and now a new school. The last thing he needs is for some unimportant adult to tell him that his name is wrong, that she knows more than he does, and that she's going to manipulate him emotionally through discipline if he doesn't acquiesce to her demands. Honestly, she sounds like she's in the wrong career field.

But that's just my two cents. And I have incredible respect for teachers as both my parents taught for over 30 years apiece and I saw the different hells associated with the profession.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You are the mom and you have the right to call him "pick'ur nose" if you want to and others should respect that. If you want his name CJ then tell the teacher that he doesn't know Christian and he prefers to be called CJ and if she gives you any slack about it, then tell her to call the other boy by his first name so yours can be called CJ. If she refuses, find out what her name is and then tell her that your friend's name is that name and you want to call her harry. See how she likes that.
I guess I am passionate about this because I was stupid enough to be talked into naming my youngest son James like his dad. I hated that name first of all and then second of all when the name James came up I automatically saw red horns (his dad was the devil). (Nothing agains my child and NO I don't say that around my child). But, teachers wanted to call him that at school and in Dr offices, etc. And we were so use to calling him by his middle name that when someone called him James, he and we just sat there.... we never acknowledged that. When they would say the last name then we would speak up and say, his name is Austin, not James. When the teacher would call on him, he hated the name so badly that he just sat there and if the teacher got in his face or ask why he wasn't answering he would simply tell her that she didn't call him. When the teacher told him yes she did he would say "no you didn't, my name is Austin. I didn't hear you say Austin." They finally get the pic when the kids don't answer to that. Obviously your little boy is not old enough to not answer.
If it was me, I would react according to my mood. The mood I am in right now, I would see if she had a child in that school and if she did I would call her some other name in front of the teacher and then if the teacher questioned it, I would tell her that we already have a friend named 'whatever her name is' and then tell her so we are going to give her another name. Then when she isn't happy about that, I would explain to her that is how you feel with your son's name.

Now.... on a better note. I do like the name Christian. It is very pretty, however, you are the parent and you can call him mojo if you want to and it shoudn't be anyone's business nor anyone else's right to change that.

Good luck, stand tall, and stick to your guns.

1 mom found this helpful

He's your child and its your job to determine his name not the teacher. My son had a daycare class once where there were 2 Wills. That went by Will M. and Will T. Also I don't get this whole comment about your son will have to be able to write Christian in kindergarten. Maybe our system here is different but my son only writes Will on his papers, not William. While he can recognize William as his name, he can't spell it on his own and his school doesn't expect him to. My 1 yr old goes by JD but some people people insists on calling him James (saying JD are letters not a name). This makes me very mad, especially seeing as its family that does it. So he probably will know that James is his name too but I plan on having his teacher call him JD unless he tells me otherwise. James is a bit shorter and easier to learn to write too that Christian. If your son's teacher still refuses to use CJ is there another nickname you might be open to? Like Chris, or some other version? This is a battle worth fighting but if you don't have the options of switching schools you may want to be willing to compromise.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that's really weird of the pre-school to do that and WAY too controlling - at least it would be for me. I'd change pre-schools if it were me. YOU'RE the parent, you have every right to call your own child by the name you choose - nickname or not, and they have no right to change that and teach your child to be called something else. Just my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

No advice, but as a Rebecca that's almost always gone by "B.", I can tell you it is a pain in the neck to have the two names, but there are plenty of people who do (Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney come to mind).

1 mom found this helpful

I understand where the school/teacher is coming from.Kids start learn to write letters..names,alphabet,number and so on at this age and his name would be the first thing he would learn BUT as a parent if you want him to be called CJ then put your foot down and tell her that is what he is supposed to be called while in school..be ready for a fight though maybe.Specially if he doesnt react and the school/teacher tried to tell you he is disobediant,slow(if he doesnt aswner to the name) and a number of other things...good luck
S. B

1 mom found this helpful

I think you should be able to call your son what you want to call him! If you want him to be called CJ, then everyone should comply! You should insist he be called CJ. He is your child. Don't let someone else tell you what his name should be.

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly, I will give you the advice that several mothers gave me. My son went by his first and middle name: David Allen. Everybody called him that, including both my husband and me. The first daycare that I looked at insisted dropping his middle name and instead wanted to use his first and last name. I was told by several other parents that it was my husband's and my decision on whether we wanted to change how we referred to him or not. We chose to find a different daycare (ironically, it was the one next door to the original one). The entire set up was different and much more parent-child friendly. I was even encouraged and welcome to come help out and read stories before nap time and help with trips, parties and other fun things that went on. I was incredibly thankful for my decision even though it did add about a week of research on my end. (It was a small family opportated day care. No, not run out of the home. But, the older mother worked there as well as two of the sisters.)

1 mom found this helpful

No, I don't think so. My daughter was named after family and goes by her middle name. Her preschool told us they needed to know what she goes by so they can help her start learning to write her name as she knows it.
She started understanding about 3 or 4 years old she goes by her middle name. But she didn't react to her first name till a year or so ago. (she is 6)
And what if there are 2 Christians in the school??? I would insist on CJ

1 mom found this helpful

HI T.,

it may be time for a new pre-k. My son is now 13 and we have always called him by his middle name. I made this quite clear to his teachers when he started school and there didn't seem to be much of a problem with it. I did have to pitch a fit about the art teacher who refused to use anything but a child's legal name. My child wasn't the only one affected and after I made it quite clear the name that I wanted used, it was followed. This is your child's name. it is who he is and defines who he is. He should be called whatever your wish (within reason). My son has always been aware of what his first name is and will answer to it when it is called during attendance (with a sub, for example), so he won't be marked absent. We've always taught him to be respectful and inform the teacher that he goes by "Alex" not Joseph and we've never ahd a problem. When he was in pre-k there was another Alex. Our son was "Alex T" and his friend was "Alex L". They even insisted on being in first grade together when if they had been separated they would have been the only Alex in the class. I would definitely talk to the administrator. Good Luck! L.

1 mom found this helpful

I would have the school use CJ. It's the name he knows. Just have them use his last name on his cubby and other stuff. If that is the name he has always gone by it's important to use that name. Don't let the preschool make you feel like you have to change it. He's your child. Insist on them using CJ. He's going to be going through enough changes starting school he doesn't need to have his named changed.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

It sounds to me like the teacher is doing it to convenience herself (since there is another CJ in the class). If you call him CJ, I would insist that she do the same or ask if he can be moved to another class. Why don't they call the other little boy by his given name as well, if they are going to do it to one, they should do it to all. I'd meet with the teacher and discuss my feelings on the situation (and when my son showed up, they'd be calling him CJ)!!

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

T.,

I went through that at one of my daughters schools. We moved close to the end of the year and it was preschool so I didn't start her in her new school until the following year which was kindergarden. The teachers there tried to get me to call her Elizabeth instead of Beth but I stuck to my guns and insisted that she be called Beth. We are now in Chattanooga for the last 2 years and at a wonderful school that didn't even question the use of the name Beth. Formally in the school records, she is Elizabeth, but on all paperwork otherwise and even in the school directory she is Beth. They are following my wishes. Stick to your guns. This will cause confusion in a child so young.

E.

1 mom found this helpful

It is good for him to know how to recognize, spell and write his "legal"name. I remember having a teacher who insisted on calling all students by not only given first names but middle and last names as well. It really is not all that different for a Robert to be called Bobby. See how your son reacts to being called Christian.

1 mom found this helpful

i would just tell her the CJ is his "real" name, christian is just what's on the birth certificate. that's what he has always gone by and that's what he knows. sounds to me she's wanting to do it to make things easier on herself since there is another cj already there. you need to ask her too why the other boy doesn't have to go by his birth certificate name? in my family...my grandpa's name is bill, my dad is bill but goes by bill, my uncle is william but goes by bill, and my nephew is is william the 3rd(luckily he goes by trey) so you can imagine the confusion at the holidays when some holler out Bill! and 3 poeple answer. my son is named after his daddy...johanthan david II, but he call him david since daddy goes by Johanthan to limit the confusion. if the teacher still tries to insist, then go over her head and speak to the head master of the preschool. there is nothing wrong with teaching your son that his formal name is chrisitan, but if all his life he's gone by cj then she needs to call him that too.

1 mom found this helpful

I would tell them to shove it...you are his mom, you get to pick what he is called. I think they are out of line and should use whatever name you tell them.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, you know, you are his mom and if you say CJ, then they should honor that! I taught school and directed a preschool and would have never thought about making a child be called something contrary to what his parents desired.

1 mom found this helpful

So is the other childs name CJ or does he have another name? Is is because that child was there first that they get to use the name? My daughters name is Jessica and she always has at least one other Jessica in her classes. They just either use their last name when they are talking to one of them, or they will call them "Jessica B. or Jessica W.".

1 mom found this helpful

Mom, this is actually a good thing, when he starts kindergarten, he will need to write his name Christian anyway. So when he starts school he won't be so confused when the teacher tells him to write his full name Christian .... There is no reason you still can't call him CJ!And Christian is a Great name!!

1 mom found this helpful

What the heck? This is your child, they have no right to dictate what "they" are going to call him. If you want them to call him CJ because that's what he goes by then put your foot down and say, we call him CJ and that is what you will call him. Who cares if there is already another CJ there. How many times are there more than one Mike, John, Joe, Bobby, etc in a class? Is the teacher going to call them Michael, Jonathan, Joseph & Robert? NO, that's not what they go by! That has got to be the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard and if they can't abide by your wishes then that is not a school you need to have your child in. I'll put my soapbox away now, lol.

1 mom found this helpful

No I don't think you are crazy at all!! If there was another David in the class and his name was also David, then would they all of the sudden start calling him by his middle name. My son's nickname also happens to be CJ, but if he were around another CJ then he would know who he was by his last name also. I would take your concern to the teacher, you are his parent after all, and if that doesn't work then go to the Director. This is a fundamental thing that your preschool should respect your parenting and work with you, not the other way around. If that fails, then I recommend looking for another preschool.

1 mom found this helpful

You are the parent. She is the teacher. It is the parent's responsibility to give their child their name. You are going to have to set boundaries with this teacher because she just ran all over you. Send a typed letter to the teacher. Tell her that you appreciate that she was trying to make it easier in her classroom by not having two children with the same name. But, his name is C.J. and you are requesting that he be called by his name. Give her your email address and telephone numbers at the end of the letter and tell her to contact you to schedule a meeting between you, the teacher, and the principal if she does not want to honor your request. Then copy the letter to the principal.

My 16 year old had the same problem with a teacher. Every day he told her that his name was Mike. She insisted on calling him by his first name, which was Raymond. I had to send her a letter and tell her that Raymond was his grandfather and his name is Mike. She started calling him Mike after that. It made my son mad every single day to not be called his name. He was mad in her classroom and spent the first three months of school not learning anything in English because she made him mad every day.

Hello:) I am just wondering why you named your son such a beautiful name and do not want him to be called that???
Our youngest son is Emmanuel, at home and friends call him Mayo(thanks to his brother:)) but at church in his class they call him Emmanuel..... he responds to both just fine.

I know this is late, but in the state of Tennessee as long as you make "your mark" it is legal. My daughter's bio dad signed his name in another language (instead of his legal name) on all of her birth documents and it's still a legally binding document. So the idea that he needs to learn his legal name is a stretch. I think you let the child decide what to be called. If a child wanted to be called Jelly bean I'd write that on each document. I feel the same way about race, if a bi-racial child wanted to mark "blue" on an ethnicity question there's no way I'd change it or comment on it.

We interview a preschool and didn't send my son because the head of the program met us and constantly called my son a "she". He did have a little shag haircut (not a mullet!) but I thought if she couldn't get his sex correct I wouldn't trust their program to teach tolerance. I'd feel the same if they made us call him another name.

I know this is probably both late and unpopular, but I think if they insist on using his given name that is acceptable. I wonder why you have such strong feelings against using his real name when you chose it for him? He may be a little confused at first, but at 4 years old he is very well developed mentally and can definitely quickly adapt to being called christian in school and cj at home.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.