Name the Puppy by Cara Day


In our home, we name children and pets using a certain system that has become a

family tradition. We use baby name books, or, now, the internet, to generate lists of

names each of us likes. Each person gets to submit a list of ten names. If your child is 4

or so, help them generate their list. You can find names together, then ask them which

ones they like, and write their list for them.


Type up and print out each person’s list of preferred names. Put each person’s name on

the top of their list so everyone knows who picked which names. Or, you can use the

forms linked below this article.


If you have more than one child, be sure everyone is kind in regard to each other’s

chosen names. This is an opportunity to create kindness between siblings. If someone

says, “You picked that name? That’s a dumb name!” You can say, “We are all going to

be kind. Each of us gets to choose the names we like. Be your best self and say only

kind things about the names each of us has chosen.”


Post the lists on the refrigerator. Now, let the fun begin. Everyone can look over the lists.

Parents have veto power. This means either parent can veto any name. This usually

starts to happen after a few days. Let the names settle in. See which ones you still like

and which ones become annoying.


Practice saying them, seeing how they feel. Fairly soon, one or two names will start to stand out

as the winners. Or, if you want, you can do a vote. Everyone gets a “secret” ballot and it is submitted

to the judges. The name with the winning votes can be chosen, or it can be used as feedback to the

person(s) making the final decision.