This mum fears her son will be bullied because of his name

21st April 2017 8:30 AM
Levi Levi

WHEN Athena Maddock was looking through baby name lists, one jumped out at her, and she loved it straight away.

That name was Levi.

She liked it, the baby's father liked it, and even her mum who bluntly told her she hated other names, was fond of it.

She added it to a shortlist, and when her baby boy arrived five months ago, she adorned him with the cute moniker.

But while it's a simple name which has become quite popular - in the top 100  baby names for 2016 it sits at number 42 - it has attracted unwelcome remarks from friends and strangers.

Never thinking 'Levi' could be subject to any easy teasing or bullying, Athena discovered about a month ago that it can attract unwelcome jibes relating to the jeans brand name 'Levi's'.

First Athena got a comment from a friend connecting five-month-old Levi to jeans. And it made her feel uncomfortable, so she asked the friend not to say it again.

But then someone at her workplace continued to say it every time they see little Levi.

"Levi where are your jeans?" or "Why haven't you got your jeans on, Levi".

Athena says it makes her feel awkward and put a fear in her head that she didn't have before, that the name could open her son up to bullying when he's older.

She shared a post in a mother's Facebook group conceding that she might have some regret of her little boy's name because of the comments it had attracted in recent weeks.

"Did anyone start to regret the name they gave their child because of people making smart remarks on it?" she asked in the post.

"My son's name is Levi which was just perfect when he was born… now people keep saying 'oh Levi where are your jeans' 'oh it's a jeans baby' jeans this jeans that.. It's not only annoying but have I just set my son up for bullying in the future?"

Athena says she was stunned at the response with the post getting almost 400 comments.

Many mums made her feel better about her name choice, and she realised any name could be subject to awkward or mean comments.

"I love the name, a few people had said they had got the same comments with Levi, and others said they had never experienced it before. Other people said people will pick on names no matter what you choose," she tells Kidspot.

In hindsight - Athena thinks her choice of the word 'regret' might be a bit strong, but she is definitely disappointed in other people "trying to put their two cents in on his name".

"The name of a child is up to the parent, not up to anyone else to decide. I would say to other parents, don't tell people the chosen name until the baby's born and we have to just teach kids to be resilient."