Friday, July 19, 2024

10 ways parents can emotionally support a LGBTQ+ child

New Delhi, June 22 (IANSlife) The relationship between parents and children is one of the most endearing that we have ever witnessed in our lives. With different life events, you ride an emotional roller coaster. And it can be tough to understand your children at times, just as it can be difficult for them to understand their parents.

Parents always want the best for their children, but in this rapidly changing world, it can be tough to keep up. It becomes harder for parents to provide the emotional support that their children require. Especially if they are the parents of a child who is homosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).

As a parent to understand and approach LGBTQ youth confront a variety of problems that their parents may find difficult to comprehend and address, Archana Singhal, Counselor and Family Therapist, Founder of Mindwell Counsel, and Member of – the Counsellors Council of India and WICCI NPWC; suggest some ways parents can emotionally support their LGBTQ+ Child.

Be mindful of the language you use when talking about LGBTQ+ Community: The child always observes the way their parents react towards the LGBTQ community and this determines whether they would open up to their parents about their identity or not. Openly showing your support towards queer identity would help the child in feeling accepted.

Support them no matter what label they use: there are times when kids change their label more than once after coming out as LGBTQ+. You should support that because changing labels doesn’t mean that you would dismiss their identity or orientation. You should support them irrespective of their identity or orientation

Look out for Bullies: In school, LGBTQ+ youth are often targeted for being different. Therefore, look out for your kids, and if you feel like they are being bullied take action and reach out to their teachers or counsellor. You might start noticing declining grades, sudden shifts in nature, and unexplained absences from school.

Give them space: Give them space to express themselves. Let them dress, however, they want to. Let them express themselves as they desire. Be mindful of what terminologies, pronouns, and names you are using.

Ask them what they want: As a parent, it might become difficult to figure out what they want. Therefore, talk to them. Ask them what they are feeling, how they’re doing, and what would make them feel supported.

Show them that you love them: Sometimes for LGBTQ+ Youth coming out to their parents is the scariest part for them. Henceforth, show them that you love them and you care about them.

Try to learn the facts: Try to clear out the misconceptions and learn the facts. It will show them that you are trying to understand them.

Encourage Healthy Relations: Dating is something kids feel awkward talking to their parents about. Therefore, try to be open with them. Let them know what healthy relationships are and encourage them. As unhealthy relationships can be misleading.

Seek Support: It’s understandable if you are feeling confused and helpless, but remember that your child is having more difficulty than you. Therefore try to seek help! Talk to a counsellor or someone who has gone through the same thing as you.

Try to Understand what you yourself are feeling: When a child comes out to their parents, it’s understandable that you feel a rush of conflicting emotions. You might feel scared for your child because of the potential discrimination that they might go through. This all can cause you a lot of stress. Therefore, take help mentally.

This Pride Month, be the supporting parent and be glad that your child felt safe “coming out” to you as an LGBTQ+ person. Be a community ally and assist your child in every way you can. This will be difficult for both you and your child. However, this will bring you closer to your child and make them feel accepted.

Many LGBTQ+ youth believe that if they have their parents on their side, they can overcome any obstacle!

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

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