“Nicole, John, Sophie, whatever your name is.”
Calling your child by their sibling's name is something we’ve all done and recent study figured out why.
Surveying over 17,000 people the results found, unsurprisingly, the most common form of misnaming was from a parent, usually a mum, calling a sibling by the wrong the name.
Interestingly, the reason has nothing to do with looking alike or having a similar name.
“We store information about a person in a mental semantic network that contains information about other related people, places, and things.
“When we try to remember something, units in our semantic network are activated; when enough units relevant to a concept are activated, the information reaches a threshold, and we remember it.
“Through a process called ‘spreading activation,’ other information related to a concept may also be activated—this may lead to errors if incorrect information reaches a threshold and is remembered, such as the name of a loved one.”
So when call your child by the wrong name, it's most likely going to be the name of another sibling than a friend or co-worker because your kids are closely related in your semantic network.
As the article points out, it means what you already knew: That you love both of your children equally and you associate them closely together.