Good News, Moms! You Call Your Kids By the Wrong Name For an Awesome Reason

I only have three kids, but I made the mistake of naming my boys “Joshua” and “Jonah” (no, my daughter’s name does not start with a “J”), which often leads to me calling them by the wrong name. OR — at least that’s what I like to blame name mix-ups on. I mean, I certainly don’t want to blame it on my crappy mom memory, right?

RIGHT! Turns out, it’s totally not my fault, or yours, if you also go through ALL of your kids’ names before you get the right one. Science says moms get their kids’ names confused when they are calling out to one of them for a great reason: love, sweet love.

A recent article on details a study headed up by cognitive scientist Samantha Deffler, who says her own mom used to mix up her and her siblings’ names quite often (and throw the dog’s in there, too!) and she wanted to find out WHY. So, she enlisted some colleagues and interviewed over 1700 men and women who admitting to mixing up loved ones’ names.

The results were published in the journal Memory & Cognition, and conclude that if you’re a name-mixer-upper, you’re not alone.

“It’s a normal cognitive glitch,” Deffler says.

But also? If you’re a MOM? You’re basically going to do this no matter what. Because the award for the group most likely to call a loved one by the wrong name goes to…

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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