All parents want to see their kids happy and to provide what’s best for them. However, ensuring they have the necessary support to get them through life. If you’re the parent of an LGBTQ child, providing the support your child needs is even harder.
LGBTQ youth face unique challenges from their peers that their parents are usually not prepared to handle. In the past not many adolescents “came out” to their friends or families. They only waited until they were much older to speak about their identity due to the fear of negative reactions and rejection.
Luckily, nowadays, there are lots of resources for parents with LGBTQ children to learn how to support their loved ones. Here are a few tips that’ll help you support your child.
1. Show Them They’re Loved
For LGBTQ youth, one of the fears they face is coming out to their parents. However, even with this fear, there is the hope that their parents will stand solidly behind them once they have gathered the courage to speak about their identity. As the parent of an LGBTQ child, you should know that your child will be much happier and healthier once you accept them and give them the support they need.
To provide the support your child needs, you don’t have to be an expert in LGBTQ issues. All your child needs from you is to show them that you care. Even if you don’t know what to say about what they tell you, just assure them that they’ve got your support and that you love them.
2. Make Space For Dialogue
It isn’t easy getting any child to open up about the issues they’re going through. But, it isn’t impossible. The best way of getting to open up the path of dialogue with your child is to build their trust in you. Learn about their friends, activities they do in school and how their day went.
Once you start connecting with your child about the smaller issues, they’ll find it much easier to talk about more serious issues such as their sexual identity. Keep in constant communication with your child and they’ll be comfortable around you.
3. Learn The Facts
There are lots of misconceptions and myths surrounding sexual orientation and gender. Therefore, it’s vital that parents of LGBTQ children empower themselves with the right information. For instance, you should know that being LGBTQ isn’t a phase that they’ll get over after a cure. Don’t blame your child for what they are. Instead, celebrate them.
4. Ensure Your Child Has Healthy Relationships
Once kids hit the teenage years, they will develop interest in other children of their age. Even though it’s an essential part of development, dating is especially daunting for parents with LGBTQ youth. To ensure your child has healthy relationships, ensure you stay connected by being as involved as possible.
Encourage them to date in an age-appropriate way. This way, you will assure them that having LGBTQ relationships is a normal thing and they shouldn’t be ashamed of being themselves.
As a straight parent with an LGBTQ child, you might find yourself unintentionally invalidating their feelings. Remember, your child is already going through a lot of invalidation from the world. Stand up for your child even when they aren’t there. This will make a huge difference in their lives knowing that their parents have their back.