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My Tween-age Dream Is a New Name!

I really want to change my name from Chelsea to Trinity. I like Trinity better and it fits my personality. But my parents like Chelsea. How do I get them to let me change my name even though I am a tween?


You're not alone in this. Many girls your age and a little older question the names they were given at birth. As you explore your identity, your little-girl name feels like it just doesn't fit.  This is a positive move—it's all part of growing up!

Still, as a tween, you have lots of growing up to go. Your identity will be developing and changing often as you head into and through your teenage years. That's part of why your parents may reasonably feel that changing your name right now isn't a good idea. (Another part is, of course, that they like Chelsea better because they chose it, with lots of thought and loving intention.)

So instead of jumping into a legal name change right now—a move that, at your age, would require your parents' permission—approach them with another idea. Propose that you try out a "nickname" for a while to see if it suits you. Ask friends and family to call you Trinity. You'll probably find that not everyone will go along with it, but you can still get a sense of how it feels to wear the name.

If you're right about it, and you still feel like a Trinity once you reach the age of majority? Then you'll be free to make the change on your own, with or without your parents' blessing.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

March 23, 2015 10:04 AM
By Linda-->Lisa-->Lauren-->Lila (not verified)

Chelsea IS Trinity, with a decade or two tacked on. If you change to Trinity today, in fifteen years you'll want to change to whatever 2030's version of Chelsea/Trinity is. Don't chase trends, you'll never catch them!

March 23, 2015 4:19 PM
By Brooke (not verified)

Presumably you'll be changing schools soon either to Junior High or High School. That is a good time to switch to a new name. I switched to a nickname at that age and changed back in college. I had no trouble with the switch because most people in a new place didn't know my given name, and teachers were quick to learn the nickname I signed my papers with.

Another thing to think about is that your family doesn't have to call you the same name as the rest of the world. A cousin of mine goes by her middle name with family but her first name at work and with friends. You can be Trinity inside and to most people but go by Chelsea with family. (I didn't realize this during my own name change time and forced my family to call me by the nickname.)

March 25, 2015 9:23 AM
By Heather A. (not verified)

I know three girls who have changed their names in this way (one of them is my sister.) Since they were too young get a legal name change, they asked others to call them by the name they prefer. Even at school they were called by their "new" names, and allowed to submit school work using the names, as well. My sister eventually switched back to her given name. But one of the other girls still uses the name she chose. Not sure if she will change it legally once she's old enough.

March 25, 2015 12:39 PM
By Alli (not verified)

The Name Lady is spot on. Use your new name for a year and then decide if it's worth continuing or not.

March 25, 2015 8:48 PM
By Take it from me (not verified)

The first comment was perfect, but the namelady did a good job explaining it.

I'd like to add...
You are part of the definition of Chelsea! So say you wanted Trinity to make yourself sound more holy and you are avoiding Chelsea because it says holier-than-thou (no offense anyone, I'm just being hypothetical here). If everyone changed their name to reflect their image than that would reinforce their name stereotype, which isn't always an asset, it's good to have a flexible name, and yours still is, and you can help keep it that way in people's minds rather than assuming that people. Maybe you'll grow up to be a famous religious leader and when people think of Chelsea they'll immediately think of someone really benevolent. The babynamewizard book is full of names like that where someone took the name in a new direction.

I also would try to consider your parent's feelings, you wouldn't give a present back that someone gave you--so why say no thanks simply because it wasn't your style? Getting a name change is considered a serious step by most people, like getting a divorce. If your parents said that it sounded nice but it was a last minute choice that they regret, take it as a hint that your parents will probably okay with you changing your name, they just don't want the hassle now. But if they give you a long or sentimental story, they might actually be devastated. They may not act like it now because they probably don't think you're serious, know... who changes their name this early? But they may act really offended if it does happen. Do you really want to deal with their grudges when you're an adult and need their help later on?

March 25, 2015 8:52 PM
By Take it from me (not verified)

"rather than assuming that people will think airhead or whatever you find that you hate about Chelsea".

Sorry I forgot to finish that sentence.

March 25, 2015 8:59 PM
By Take it from me (not verified)

Another thought, have you tried pronouncing Chelsea differently, to maybe make it sound more serene like Trinity? Use a soft tone when presenting it to others Shell-seah, Che-L-sehuh, and maybe they will perceive you more like you want.

March 26, 2015 11:08 AM
By Brooke (not verified)

I had a similar thought. Perhaps a nickname for Chelsea could be Shelly.

Another thought, if you are old enough to have Facebook, you could change your name there. That sends a strong statement on what you want your name to be.

March 27, 2015 11:02 AM
By Take it from me (not verified)

Namelady's going to kick me off for how much I've been commenting, but I couldn't help notice that in all the similar posts that NL's linked to, not a single person has made the suggestion to consider their parent's feelings. On top of that there are a lot of teens who probably feel disconnected to their parents who are reading this and a lot of people who feel not doing what feels right to you is a shame, offensive, morally wrong know you do what you want because you live with it. But I'm a mother, I have a little boy. I bought a name book and worked really hard to find out the perfect name for him, I almost didn't have a name in time, but I have no regrets. I love the sound and meaning of his name. If one day he said I'm changing my name to say Harley because it's more me, I love the motorcycle, so that's that, I would be devastated. It would feel so foreign, like something died, like I lost my little boy and all the memories associated with saying his name. I could understand if a horrible stigma suddenly became attached to his name, but even then losing that name would be hard. So if you must change your name, maybe you can still be Chelsea to your parents? Just a thought.

May 5, 2015 12:59 AM
By Michelle (not verified)

I know this post is a few weeks old already, I thought I'd add in my input anyway, it might help someone else. I changed my name a few years ago when I turned 18 (on the very day in fact, as that's when it's legal to do so in my country.) I will save you the details of why I did it but I will tell you that I needed to be a new person and move on from my past. Out of respect for my family I kept my first and second names as second and third names and simply added Michelle to the front. I then gave my family the option of calling me either name. My immediate family still call me the old name although I now work at the same company as my father so he has started calling me Michelle now too and at home avoids using a name at all, when introducing me to new people, my sister usually says "this is my sister" and then lets me say my name. I hardly have any contact with people from my childhood, the few who are still in my life know me well enough to know the reasons and therefore call me Michelle. Some of my extended family respect my wishes, others don't but it doesn't matter, I know who I am.

May 7, 2015 11:26 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Oh man, i wanted to be Avea at the age of 15.
Try it out for 5+ years and see how it fits.

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