A Parenting Skilled Provides eight Methods to Assist Your Trans Youngster

If your child is struggling with their gender identity and identifying as transgender, your role as a parent, including your reaction and reaction, is vital to your child.

I understand this can be a time of confusion and even shock for parents. You might think you did something wrong and you might blame yourself. Please note that this is not something you have done, nor is it something you can change.

The most important thing you can do for your child is to confirm their identity – and it is important that you confirm or accept them. Affirmation means that you assert it as a fact and offer emotional encouragement and support. Acceptance, on the other hand, means to tolerate a difficult or uncomfortable situation. You don’t want to give your child the impression that something is wrong with them and you just accept their “inaccuracy”. Instead, acknowledge and support them.

You want to respect them and their feelings because they have been feeling this way longer than you may know and it takes extreme courage to tell their truth.

Why is that so important? We see the effects of mental health problems in LGBTQ + adolescents, with suicide being one of the leading causes of death in young people. The suicide rate among LGBTQ youth is disproportionately higher among transgender people. Last year, a national survey by the Trevor Project found the following:

• 48% of LGBTQ youth reported harming themselves, including over 60% of transgender and non-binary youth.

• 40 percent of LGBTQ respondents have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months, and more than half of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide.

• 68% of LGBTQ adolescents reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. For transgender and non-binary respondents, it was more than 75%.

According to a report produced for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and Delisle Youth Services, there are clear links between the support trans youths receive from their parents and numerous health outcomes. The key findings show that transsexual adolescents who experience strong parental support for their gender identity and expression have higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, better mental health (including less depression and fewer suicide attempts), and adequate housing compared to those without strong parents indicate support.

I know this is a turbulent time for your child, you, and your family – and there are things you can do to help them. Remember, helping them can save their lives.

1. Confirm your gender identity (even if you disagree – it’s not about you).

2. Use their preferred pronouns (she / she, he / him, she / she).

3. Find out about resources, including:

• The Trevor Project.

• Human rights campaign.


• Scarlet red.

In addition to the above, here are some specific steps you can take as a parent.

Be a safe place for them to get support.

That means listening to them without judgment or criticism. You listen to help your child understand what is making your connection. As human beings, we all want to be heard and understood. If your child wants to talk to you, be there mentally and physically so that you can tune in to their verbal and non-verbal communication. Remember, you are their safe place and don’t have to solve their problems for them. You just have to be there.

Ask them what they need.

Talk to your child about the best way to support them because what you think they need may be wrong. Ask them what you can do to help them make this transition.

Be empathetic and acknowledge emotions.

Imagine how difficult it must be for you – given judgments and sidelong glances. It must be so hard to own and live your truth. Empathy is strong. It means simply putting yourself in the other person’s shoes so that you can see the world through their eyes. Acknowledging your emotions and giving them empathy will help them feel like they are being heard and understood. Knowing that you are “getting” them will help them feel they belong.

Understand that this is an evolution.

Things will change as your child finds their way through their identity. Give them grace to learn and develop through the process of self-discovery (which can take years).

Don’t take this personally.

This is your child’s journey. Yes, it is also a trip for you and your family, but this is not personal. I know you will have feelings for it and you may have to mourn the loss of what you thought the future would be. That’s OK. Feel what you need and remember that you have to be there for your child. If you’re struggling, get professional help to process your feelings.

The information provided here is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should seek advice from a qualified healthcare provider regarding your specific situation.

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