Out of nowhere, your child just came out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. What do you do?
As a parent, I believe this issue will shake you up, and you will eventually re-examine or question your own beliefs on the subject of homosexuality in the light of this experience. It is normal.
How should you react to this information your kid has told you? In fact, there’s only a way to acknowledge that question: respectfully and in the most cool-headed and non-reactive behavior possible.
If you’ve previously had a blow-up with him – if there’s been yelling, molding or shaming one another – you may want to ask for indulgence and ask the possibility to begin over on a different standing.
To the extent you are able, fix with your kid to refrain from this dangerous and unproductive posturing; it goes nowhere and only leaves the constant gap among both of you. Very little will be achieved unless you bring your smoothest, best self to the discussion table.
Bear in mind that you only measure your choices and responses, not the other individual and that the bulk of your energy should stay focus on yourself, not others.
When this happened, you should first reassure a child “that you have their back and that you love them unconditionally,”
says Elijah C. Nealy, author of the new book Transgender Children and Youth: Cultivating Pride and Joy With Families in Transition.
Homosexuality comes in all shapes and sizes. Little Alex can be swishy and end up straight, and just because little Jane loves softball doesn’t mean she likes other girls.
So now, what should you do?
1. Take a deep breath and STAY CALM
(Good advice when first confronting any problematic situation, right?)
2. Be open-minded.
Especially, those from a religious or conservative background, discovering that your child is LGBT can feel awful or scary. Right? You will eventually start to think about what people are going to say about your kid.
They know nothing about your kid, and they don’t own you too! Love your kid, listen to them first before looking to others. Please.
3. Don’t say “I still love you no matter what.”
“Saying ‘I love you no matter what’ suggests that your kid’s gayness is something to be overlooked in the name of love. It translates to ‘I love you even though you are gay’ as if gayness were an illness or aberration.” As for a suggested alternative?
“How about ‘Thank you for telling me. I love you.'”
4. Know that your first reaction to your kid coming out could have a lasting impact, so please be sensitive.
5. Make sure your kid knows the home will always be a safe place for them.
Let them feel secure whenever they come home because maybe they cannot feel confident in school if you know what I mean.
So please, don’t make them feel like their own family is bullying them.
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