Mom calls out daycare for shortening her daughter’s 'beautiful' name because it’s ‘too hard to pronounce’

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By Kim Novak

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A mom called out her daughter's daycare for shortening her name because it's "too hard to pronounce".

Naming a baby can be one of the hardest decisions to make, as a parent has to find the perfect name that suits the child and their personality, that they will take with them through life.

So it's no surprise that they'd then find it pretty frustrating to learn that other people have chosen to use a nickname instead.

Paris Tautu, who lives in New Zealand, revealed that she had to call out her daughter's daycare after they shortened the five-year-old's "beautiful" name.

The mom was upset to find her daughter's name was being shortened. Credit: Gary S Chapman/Getty Images

She was outraged to learn that her five-year-old daughter was being called "Rangi" rather than "Mahinarangi", a name with deep ties to the family's Māori heritage.

"My ancestors changed their original name from Perepe-Perana to Phillips because of colonization," Tautu told the New Zealand Herald. "I will not let something similar happen with my daughter."

Tautu and her family are Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand. The name Mahinarangi - which literally translated means "moon in the sky" - has been passed down through Tautu's ancestors.

Not only does shortening the name take away from its meaning, but in Māori culture, it can also be a sign of disrespect.

"It's important for our kids to be confident in their names, regardless of their ethnicity," she said. "Your name is your identity. Your parents give you your name for a reason."


She also revealed that the fact daycare staff mispronounced Mahinarangi's name led to other children doing the same, with some even mocking her for it, and Tautu was saddened to learn that her daughter was often too embarrassed to correct them.

"Can you imagine your child being too embarrassed to say their name because people won't make a decent effort to pronounce it properly?” Tautu wrote in a community Facebook group.

"I am sad that in 2021, in Aotearoa [New Zealand], a 5-year-old girl has lost the pride that comes with her beautiful name," she added.

Tautu has been teaching her daughter to sound out the syllables and educate those who can't pronounce her name. She also wants to remind other parents about the cultural importance of names, and why we should correct mispronunciation.

She confronted daycare staff about pronouncing the name wrong. Credit: Maskot/Getty Images

Tautu admitted that she had received a lot of hate on social media for standing up for what she believes in, but there have also been people leaving positive comments and agreeing with her.

"Mahinarangi is a beautiful name and if broken down, not that hard to pronounce," wrote one Twitter user. "In 21st century NZ this young girl should be proud of her name."

"It is in the Teacher Code of Conduct to call kids by their preferred and proper name. It's a basic tool for building relationships," added another.

Featured image credit: Lourdes Balduque/Getty Images


Mom calls out daycare for shortening her daughter’s 'beautiful' name because it’s ‘too hard to pronounce’

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

A mom called out her daughter's daycare for shortening her name because it's "too hard to pronounce".

Naming a baby can be one of the hardest decisions to make, as a parent has to find the perfect name that suits the child and their personality, that they will take with them through life.

So it's no surprise that they'd then find it pretty frustrating to learn that other people have chosen to use a nickname instead.

Paris Tautu, who lives in New Zealand, revealed that she had to call out her daughter's daycare after they shortened the five-year-old's "beautiful" name.

The mom was upset to find her daughter's name was being shortened. Credit: Gary S Chapman/Getty Images

She was outraged to learn that her five-year-old daughter was being called "Rangi" rather than "Mahinarangi", a name with deep ties to the family's Māori heritage.

"My ancestors changed their original name from Perepe-Perana to Phillips because of colonization," Tautu told the New Zealand Herald. "I will not let something similar happen with my daughter."

Tautu and her family are Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand. The name Mahinarangi - which literally translated means "moon in the sky" - has been passed down through Tautu's ancestors.

Not only does shortening the name take away from its meaning, but in Māori culture, it can also be a sign of disrespect.

"It's important for our kids to be confident in their names, regardless of their ethnicity," she said. "Your name is your identity. Your parents give you your name for a reason."


She also revealed that the fact daycare staff mispronounced Mahinarangi's name led to other children doing the same, with some even mocking her for it, and Tautu was saddened to learn that her daughter was often too embarrassed to correct them.

"Can you imagine your child being too embarrassed to say their name because people won't make a decent effort to pronounce it properly?” Tautu wrote in a community Facebook group.

"I am sad that in 2021, in Aotearoa [New Zealand], a 5-year-old girl has lost the pride that comes with her beautiful name," she added.

Tautu has been teaching her daughter to sound out the syllables and educate those who can't pronounce her name. She also wants to remind other parents about the cultural importance of names, and why we should correct mispronunciation.

She confronted daycare staff about pronouncing the name wrong. Credit: Maskot/Getty Images

Tautu admitted that she had received a lot of hate on social media for standing up for what she believes in, but there have also been people leaving positive comments and agreeing with her.

"Mahinarangi is a beautiful name and if broken down, not that hard to pronounce," wrote one Twitter user. "In 21st century NZ this young girl should be proud of her name."

"It is in the Teacher Code of Conduct to call kids by their preferred and proper name. It's a basic tool for building relationships," added another.

Featured image credit: Lourdes Balduque/Getty Images