Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sharing Your Children's Names On The Internet

When my toddler grows up a bit, he might not appreciate it if I'm still calling him "Squishy" in my blog posts.

In my beginning blogging days, I decided not to use my children's real names in the blogisphere for the sake of their own privacy. And maybe safety? So I've used the nickname "Squishy" for our firstborn, which has actually been his nickname "in real life" since he was a baby.

Do you see where we got the nickname? So SQUISHY.
But rolls of baby fat have been replaced with long toddler arms and legs...and he's starting to outgrow the squishiness. And to date, our second son has yet to have an official nickname.

And so questions about our kids, their names, and this blog have resurfaced in our house recently. A few thoughts:

1) It's difficult to not use a name when you are writing about someone. You can only say "he," "our son," "our toddler," or "the baby" so many times. The sentences don't flow as well. Using initials is my least favorite!

2) Cutesy nicknames are quickly outgrown. And I think when you have more than one child they become confusing to a blog reader. Which child is "Peanut" and which is "Sweetie?" I'm lost...

3) Despite the fact that it is probably ok (safety-wise) to use our children's real names on this blog, something about it still doesn't sit right with my husband and I.

The end decision? I've chosen two alias names for our sweet boys. Are you ready?

Squishy...
IMG_2012 copy

...will now be known as Peter. (A name I've always loved, but one we'd never use in real life because it doesn't mesh well with our last name.)

and Baby E...(goodbye initial!)....

IMG_2005 copy

...will now be known as Edmund. (I'm partial to this name, too, but do not like it shortened to "Ed!" So no Ed, y'all.)

Sound good?

For my long time readers (or those who know my family in real life!), you might be doing double takes on my blog posts for a little bit. But I think we'll all get used to it, and things will flow a better around here. And my children will be less google-able.

For those of you who blog, do you use your children's real names? Why or why not?


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28 comments:

  1. I wish I had done this on my blog. I just had no idea it was a good idea. Now if you google "Asa and Lydia" my blog pops right up.

    At this point, I think it's too little too late!

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  2. I agree with Amanda, it probably would have been better to not use their names but I think it might be too late for me as well. Good for you for doing what you feel comfortable with though!

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  3. I thought about it for a bit when our daughter was born, but decided that since my goal isn't to "go big" with my blog (and I still have just a drop in a bucket of readers compared to most blogs), and since my family and a few close and trusted friends (some IRL, some I've met through blogging) are my main readers/commenters, I decided to use her real name.

    Don't count on "Peter" NOT staying "Squishy" his whole life :) Our 60 y.o., somewhat widely-known pastor is known by his given-at-birth nickname, and no one knows him by his real name. And it's along the same lines as "Squishy" (not like "Chuck" vs. "Charles").

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    1. I *am* careful to not reveal where we live or our last name, though!!! I've even had some commenters email me wanting to snail-mail me something and not knowing who they are I turn them down even though it seems harmless enough.

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    2. Haha, that's pretty funny! I don't think there's much chance of Peter being called Squishy his whole life...or at least not primarily. A few people still go "Squishy!!!" when they see him, but it's starting to be more infrequent. And everyone knows his real name. That would make me laugh, though....

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  4. I'm in the same boat with Amanda and Amy - looking back now I wish I hadn't used names, but what started off as just a family and friends blog grew. I contemplated taking it all down, but Jonathan said he was fine with it, so we've just left all the names up.

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  5. Fans of Narnia, are we? ;)

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    1. Haha, we are...but I didn't choose the names based upon that (though I probably wouldn't like the name Edmund if I hadn't read those books). And I'm not sure I'll stick with the theme with future children's names. :)

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    2. That's exactly what I thought! haha

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    3. Okay, I was thinking the same thing when I read this post.

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  6. I do use my kids real names but they're also older & we've had talk about yucky stuff & how weird the blog world can be. Plus, when I started my blog, I thought maybe my mom & a few friends would be the only ones reading. ;). If we have/adopt more kids I might use an alias for them. But I really dislike nicknames, etc for the same reasons you said above: Mostky, too darn confusing & kinda awkward to read!

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  7. We just talked about this at Blissdom. I hate to use their names because when they are older you will be able to trace it all back. So right now I use their initials, but we actually do call them B and C in real life.. so I figured it was appropriate. :)

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  8. I call my kiddos thing 1 and thing 2 in blogworld, but agree that it's really hard to stick to it - especially when posting a pic of their birthday cake w/ their name, etc. I know their names are in my posts a few times, and I've even written them in the text a few times - but, I try to leave them out for the most part. Like you, I'm not exactly sure why I gave them other names, but it just seems better than using their given names all the time. Interesting topic :)

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  9. I use nicknames on my blog too. Boo-Boo and Sissy (are actually what we call the kids at home) and the oldest was known as Wooley when he was little, so it just sticks well on the blog. I'm a little freaked out by the whole stalker thing anyway, so that's why I do it. Even in public places I don't say their names because there are too many weirdos in this world. Although Sissy has asked me (almost 6 yo) to stop calling her Sissy IRL, but she'll always be Sissy to BooBoo and Wooley :)

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  10. Although I'm just getting into the blogging world, I've also decided to use nicknames for my kiddos. I'm having trouble coming up with one for our 9 month old daughter though, so I'm calling her baby girl for now. :)

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  11. We use nicknames because it is what my makes my husband comfortable. I also don't show pictures of my kids. I often wish I could "show them off" on my blog but I also am honoring my husband's comfort level with out lives being so public. But the name thing nicely lets me use the names I loved but didn't make the cut when it came to naming :)

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  12. We use Archer's name and we will use baby bean's too, I just don't think my blog will ever get too big. However, I should be more careful about giving info about where we live and our last name. I used to be really paranoid about that kind of thing but have really loosened up so thank you for the safety reminder. I like the pseudonames!

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  13. I am new to your blog and I really think this is a smart and safe decision. I have no idea if I will ever use our kids (when we HAVE them that is) names..... I don't even really use my husband's....I just refer to him as "the husband" but not necessarily on purpose. Hmm.. I like your alias names though! It's like your kids get another name and that is pretty cool! Cute blog!

    xo,
    ashley
    Adventures of Newlyweds

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  14. So if you have girls, will they be known as Susan and Lucy?? Sorry, I LOVE the Chronicles of Narnia, and that's the first thing I thought.

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    1. Haha! Probably not. I do love the name Lucy though!

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  15. My choice was not to reveal our daughter's name or picture. I would be okay with revealing a picture of myself but my hubby says otherwise ;). So I'm a bit of an anonymous blogger but enjoy it nonetheless and also see why others don't reveal the real names of their children.

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  16. I think it's wise to be protective of your family's identity. I live a fairly public life for work purposes and while I talk about my child I am very cautious and protective of his picture/identity. I try to keep many details of our family private. Some people think I go overboard but my family's security is my main concern and of utmost importance.

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  17. I always like to hear what other bloggers do with regards to talking about their kids on their blogs. I have used my kids names from the beginning. Their names all start with "J" so I couldn't use their initials. Plus, I get confused enough and often call them by the wrong names at home, I can't imagine trying to remember who was who if I gave them different names on my blog. :) I am not a "big" blogger, though. However, I don't use my last name or reveal where I live in the hopes that those measures are protective enough for now.

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  18. I'm a nicknamer, too. Chubs is one of her many real life nicknames, too.

    I was also thinking Narnia, you'd better have two girls for Susan and Lucy now :)

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  19. Uncle Peter thinks Peter goes just fine with the last name! Good to know you disagree.

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  20. I use my child's real first name, but I rarely mention our last names and never post photos of us. I might have used an alias if he had an unusual first name, but it's in the top 20 for boys his age.

    He is 7 now and just recently became really aware that I write on the Web and some of what I write is about him--and, luckily, he's excited and wants me to read my articles aloud to him! He hasn't yet objected to anything I said about him. Whew.

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  21. I just googled if I should use my child's real name in a blog and got your blog for an answer! I'm new to the blogging scene but since I'm really bad at keeping up with my daughter's baby book I figured I would blog about her instead. I use her real name. We have a very generic last name too. There are 7,680,000 results for my daughter's name and my husband has the most with 26,600,000. If anyone REALLY wants to try to find us they wouldn't have an extremely easy time. I just try not to post my address.

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  22. I love the idea of using different names instead of nicknames. I just can't find one that fits and I love all the nicknames we use at home because they are so personal. Even more so then her actual name. Now to think of a new names for the whole family!!!

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