9 Reasons Why You Muddle Up Your Children’s Names

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Being a parent is not an easy job. It’s a journey of never-ending responsibilities. No doubt that you are stressed to the moon. Do you remember when your parents used to call you by your sister’s name? Or muddled up your sister’s name with the dog’s?

Now, this mix-up is happening with your children. You are guilty of doing the same things that your parents did. But don’t you worry. This is a very common thing for adults.

We have compiled a total of nine reasons why you mix up your children’s names.

1.  Similar Names

You always want to give a unique name to your kid. It is an unspoken rule that your second born gets a similar name to the elder one. For example, Gatlin is one of the many popular native American boy names. There is no doubt that you will name your second-born daughter Kaytlin.

It’s not wrong to give them similar names. But our brain works very differently. Sometimes it takes time to bring out the exact thing from our memory cells. It’s a situation where the information got lost in transition.

Don’t worry if you are mixing them up. It is fun. It helps to create sweeter memories with your children.

2.  Too Much Stress

Too much stress is one of the reasons for the mix-up. Firstly, full-time parenting is considered to be equivalent to 2.5 jobs. Maybe you are doing two jobs to support your family. Or going through a jam-packed schedule with the business. Certain struggling circumstances can also increase your stress level.

As a parent, you can reduce this stress in any way. It just becomes part of your life. If you can’t provide for your family, no one will. Maybe one day your kids will understand why you mixed up their names. Like you understand your parents now.

Don’t stress over this thing also. You are already clogged with too many things.

3.  Lack of Sleep

Parenting in other words is sleep deprivation for eternity. There are so many things that can keep you busy throughout the day. You would be lucky to get a six-hour sleep during parenthood. When our bodies become sleep-deprived, many things can happen.

Mixing-up children’s name is one of those things. Rest as much as possible. Be it during bedtime or a power nap in the evening. Remember, you won’t just mix up your kid’s name because of lack of sleep. You may mix up other important things also.

There are many ways you can ensure sound sleep. And don’t drink coffee too much. Coffee helps during the active hours but can take away your good-night sleep as well.

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Credit: The Biltmore Hotel

4.  It’s the Science, Not You

There is a good study that suggests that it’s not your fault. A University in the United States has conducted research on this subject.

Our brains categorize names in two meaningful manners in our heads. We store names of our closed ones in one section and other names in another. There is a combination of different chemicals where we store names.

That’s why you never mix up your kid’s name with your friend’s. Your friend’s name is in another category. You may mix up your colleague’s name with your friends though.

Blame the science. That’s how brains were designed.

5.  Lack of Mindfulness

Maybe you have become unmindful with all the stress and lack of sleep. Your head is busy with too many things. There is a popular term “Auto-mode” which also applies to the human body.

When you are multi-tasking, your brain can sometimes do some things for no good reason. Muddling up the name is one of those things. Your brain uses muscle memory and makes your mouth say that name.

It is a cognitive process where your brain felt like it’s important to say a name. Your logical section is busy, and you ended up calling your daughter “Max”.

6.  Not Spending Time with Them

Easy to say but difficult to do with all those crushing responsibilities. You will be surprised how easy it is to spend some more time with your kids. You can always bring your kids to your workplace once or twice a week.

Eat lunch with them. Maybe do some cooking with them or can go fishing on your weekends.

Spending time with them sharpens your memory. You can also give your two cents about life and its value to them. A good family time will create solid memories and bonds.

It will reduce your stress by half. Maybe it’s time for a good family lunch.

7.  Dog’s name

Always try to name your dog with “something”, not “someone”. Your brain registers your dog’s name as a person. You can always name your dog “Toaster” or “Blueberry”. Even though the dog is part of your family. Calling out your kid with your dog’s name is embarrassing.

It’s even more embarrassing if it happens during a family gathering. You don’t want your kid crying the bucket out of barbecue sauce in front of everyone.

8.  Overwhelmed by Emotion

Sometimes too much emotion can overwhelm your brain. Be that anger, happiness, or sadness. Our brains start focusing on that certain emotion that got triggered.

So don’t overstress if you have called the wrong name. Emotion can put a lot of pressure on your logical process. It’s very common.

9. Underlying Issues

Calling up with the wrong name is not uncommon. But if it is happening every now and then, consult with a professional. You should never ignore small and simple things.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are growing in numbers. There are about five million and eight hundred thousand registered Alzheimer’s patients in the United States alone.

If doctors can’t find anything, great news. But if they do find something, you should go under proper treatment as early as possible.


Certain situations can make us muddle up names. You and your children cannot help but have to survive through it. Just like your parents did with you and your sibling. The next time you mix up names, don’t stress over it.

In fact, we suggest you make an inside joke about it to lighten up the situation. Good luck!

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