Your child’s same-sex attraction or transsexualism has been disclosed to you, the parent, and you are in shock, on edge. You never expected such a thing could happen in your family.
You have no knowledge of the gender subject other than what you see in the news. What are you going to do? How will you respond to your child?
Consider asking yourself these THREE CRITICAL QUESTIONS that will make a difference in your child’s future.
Question #1- ARE YOU CONTROLLING YOUR CHILD?
It is normal for you to start to think, how can I control my child from being with a same-sex partner? How will I protect them from AIDS? What if my friends or church members find out?
These questions arise from a normal fear response most parents experience. It means you care, but check yourself on reacting out of fear. What is at stake is the long-term relationship with your child.
Remember, your child has been struggling with this issue a long time and you are just entering this part of their journey. If you suddenly start controlling, then the message it sends is that you are punishing your child for having SSA/transsexualism. Is that what you want to say?
The way you respond to this question will make a difference in your child’s life. If you control, you will most likely alienate your child. I have seen this occur to such an extreme that the child divorces the parents and has no further contact with them. That is sad and unnecessary.
There is another option, go slow and continue loving your child. Enter their journey by being a listener. Because you have not been part of this journey take time to learn from your child what their experience has been. You will grow in compassion for them and becoming a listener will set the stage for walking together into healing. That is what is at stake, your child’s healing. You determine if you will be part of that by your response to this question.
Question #2-DOES YOUR CHILD WANT TO CHANGE?
Do you assume your child wants their gender identity to change? You have had little time to consider this, but do you know that your child has thought about this for many years?
I have spoken with many same-sex attracted individuals who have reported that when they realized their SSA feelings they cried out to God to take it away. If he didn’t, they began to believe they must live with it and accept their SSA.
As you consider this question it may be a good first step to ask your child if their SSA is something they want, don’t want or have settled for. After you ask the question focus on good listening. This includes clarifying and repeating what your child has said in your own words to ensure you have an accurate understanding of their intent.
Question 3- DO YOU NEED TO FIX THEM?
If your child wants help and wants to live with an identity consistent with their biological sex they may want help.
Many parents take it upon themselves to move this change forward in their child’s life immediately. Of course, you want your child to be what you dreamed they would be, but hold on! It is not your job to fix them.
Because your child wants help, do you need to become an expert in gender issues? You may not need to take this change on yourself as a project with a deadline. At this point, you may want to check in on “fear” in you driving the process hard. This is a good time to turn the journey over to God. He is already working.
You may want to position yourself as a support system and let your child be in control of the process and decisions. Ultimately it is their choice. You have the opportunity to encouragement, support, and empowerment their goals. Let them steer the ship and never get ahead of them. Have you asked, “what kind of change do you want”?
In seeking out help you, and preferably your child, may reach out to ministries that support healthy gender identity such as Restored Hope Network and The Alliance For Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity. Both organizations have referrals to ministries and professional counseling.
If you are not able to find resources in your community you may contact me and I assist you in finding the sometimes hidden resources that will work for you. Contact me using this link. CONTACT ME
I have asked three critical questions focused on CONTROLLING, CHANGING AND FIXING. How did you answer the questions? I am interested in your response and your experience with these issues.
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