Study shows that if you mix your kids' names up, you have a close relationship with them
Hands in the air – how many times have you shouted out all your kids' names before getting to the one you actually meant to call for?
Yep, me too. It's like one of those things all of us parents have in common, probably assuming that our brains are that scrambled that getting the name-thing right the first time when calling out for someone is just asking too much.
Especially if you are calling for someone when you are in a bit of a rush or angry, and it all comes out in a bit of a Henry-Claire-Amanda-No-I-meant-bloody-Sarah kind of a tirade.
The thing is; you shouldn't feel bad if you can never get it right when it comes to your kids' names. Oh no. Because the reason you keep getting them muddled up is – wait for it – because you love them so much.
That's right. According to a review in Memory and Cognition that studied the phenomenon of misnaming, it tends to occur among people that you have an equally close relationship with.
In fact, from the 1,700 participants, most of those who called someone by the wrong name were mums, and their mix-ups typically included all people they love. How. darn. sweet.
"Overall, the misnaming of familiar individuals is driven by the relationship between the misnamer, misnamed, and named," the study states.
To explain, the researchers claim this happens because of how the brain organises information.
Quartz explains it as the mind breaking down information and filing it into related groups before storing it away. What this means, is that this system, known as the semantic network, keeps the names of your most loved people (like all of your kids, obvs) in the same place. Then, when you're trying to quickly grab one of these specific names, you end going through all of them.
It makes sense now, doesn't it?
Which, of course, means that the next time you find yourself rattling through a whole list of names before getting to the one you actually want to call out, you can tell your kids it's not because you have a favourite (or are bordering on Alzheimers), but because you love them all equally.