How To Help Support My Transgendered Child

Parenting is a difficult task and most parents get conflicting advice, depending on who they ask. Having your son come to you wanting to wear a dress or your daughter wanting to use the boys bathroom at school can bring up questions and feelings you never expected to have as a parent. The number one thing that a parent can do is be supportive of who their child is as a person. Many parents ask, “Did I make my child transgendered?” Parents feel that if they did something, then they can reverse it. There is nothing a parent can do to make their child be transgendered. In the same respect, there is nothing they can do to reverse it. It is important to remember that this is not a choice being made by your child to make you upset or to challenge you. They often face their own internal challenges of whether to be honest about who they are, but just remember: it is not a choice. The key is open communication with your child; get your own support (through therapy, supportive friends, etc) and communicate with your spouse/partner about your thoughts and feelings. Your transgendered child has every opportunity to grow up to be a happy and healthy individual, but it is much easier for them to do so with your help. If you advocate for them, support them, and talk to them, they will be able to overcome obstacles they have ahead of them. The key for parenting is to get support, education, and be supportive. I have stated this many times for a reason. There are not set guidelines to parenting any child, including a transgendered child, but if your child feels that they are loved unconditionally by the person they care about most in life, they will have a great head start on the rest of their lives.
Things to be aware that when you are seeking advice, consultation, or support from a doctor or therapist: Make sure that they are informed and experienced with other transgendered people. It is not your job to educate them. If you feel any discomfort on their part: find another therapist or doctor. Talk to them about how you feel most comfortable supporting your child at school, with friends at school, with family friends, family members, and strangers. There is no set script; you have to figure out what is right for you and your child.
Lastly, remember that your child is the person they have always been. They still have the same great qualities (they might be athletic, smart, funny, and/or artistic) they have always had. Their gender does not change the core person you love and raised.

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