New name transition
General question about transitioning a child to a new name.

We are adopting a 6 years old girl from India. We will be changing her first name from Akriti to Johanna. She is alright with that change but it will still be difficult since she is used to being called Akriti.

Any advice as to how to proceed with the transition?

Many thanks...
Sometimes with older kids, they want to be called their new name immediately. Like they want to walk away from the past and never look back. Some prefer to be called their given name.

I would ask her what she prefers to be called if you intend to give her a choice. If no choice is intended, sometimes people combine the two names and then drop the original name after a time.

Example: given name: Joe new name: James. The child might be called Joe James for a while and then slowly drop the Joe part.

Our son was younger (17 months), so we called him his Chinese name the first few days and then switched over to his new name. A few weeks home, I called him his Chinese name and he looked at me and very decided shaked his head NO! He apparently no longer wanted us to use his Chinese name. Period.
its really important for the child to feel they have a say in their name. I would think this is even more true for international adoption. They've lost everything that is familar to them.

please let her feel she's a parto f the decision to change her name and has a say in what that name will be.

you can explain about her 'american name' and why this particular name is important to you. but at 6 years old, they have a sense of self and an opinion into how that self is represented (i adopted at that age).
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