I was just reading up on the above article. My son goes by his middle name for many reasons. His first name is Joseph ( it's my husband's MN, his grandfather's FN, my husband's nephew's FN, my brother's FN and countless relatives in my family's FN. The flow is much better and so are the god forbid "teenager n.n. of going by one's initials. We also have an extremely common last name, so coupled with Joseph makes me cringe with 1000's of others ie. Jennifer Jones) my questions are:
1. How do I get my in-laws to not make up their own name for him? Ie. Joey. He has and will never be known by this, especially seeing as it's their older nephew's NN. (history to make you lol, all others kids do not go by their "legal" name but yet by a nn ie. Jennifer= Jennie, Richard= Ritchie . So WTH is it a problem with our son going by his MN vs a made up NN?)
2. On invites, toys, monogram bags etc. I would prefer the MN or his every day name used, is this wrong? I know school, doctors, savings bonds it will always be his legal name or J.___
3. After reading the responses, my question is how does one have legal stuff with their MN's such as a credit card? I assumed this was not possible.
The third question I will have to turn over to others who have had experience with it.
To continue backwards through the list, I think it makes perfect sense to use his everyday (middle) name on invitations and toys and so forth. If I knew an Andrew and he went exclusively by Drew, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see "Drew" embroidered on backpacks or stitched on bean-bag chairs or used to issue invitations. And if everyone knew him only as Drew, and he referred to himself as Drew, this would be only sensible. It would be the same if I knew a Joseph Paul Smith IV who always went by Paul: I would expect to see "Paul" on his lunchbox and on his coat tag and on his birthday party invitations. It would be trickier with monogrammed initials, but I might just not DO monogrammed initials. Usually such things are optional/decorative.
I've saved the first question for last because it is the most difficult. Going by a middle name shouldn't be any stranger than going by a nickname of the first name, but in our culture it just IS. Should your in-laws call your son by the name you've specified? Yes, of course. Can/should you force the issue? Probably not---or rather, only up to a point. I suggest reading Baby Naming Issue: Other People are Using an Unwanted Nickname for fuller coverage of this topic, and also to get commiseration/ideas from the comments section. The short version is that I do think it's possible to say in a kind but firm voice (it should be their son's kind firm voice, I think, for maximum effect and minimum relationship damage) something like "We'd really prefer you call him Paul; that's the name he'll be going by," or to politely/sweetly correct them each time with "It's Paul" or "Oh, we're not using Joey, we're using Paul."
But if they don't change their behavior in response to this, you will have to decide if it's a hill you want to die on---especially considering your son may himself choose to go by Joe or Joey when he's older. In the long run it can be the happier path to roll your eyes and spin it as "their special nickname for him" (and get a little pleasure from saying so in front of them when you correct other people), and let your son tell them "no" later on if he doesn't like it.