How to support your transgender kid. Ten tips for a smooth relationship with your transgender child.
As a parent, it can be difficult to know how to support your transgender child. Transgender children face unique challenges as they navigate their gender identity, and it's essential to provide them with love, acceptance, and support throughout their journey. Here are ten tips to help you build a strong and supportive relationship with your transgender child:
Educate yourself. Take the time to learn about transgender identity and the challenges that transgender individuals may face. This can help you better understand your child's experiences and support them more effectively.
Listen to your child. Take the time to listen to your child and validate their experiences. Let them know that you support them and that you're there to help them in any way you can.
Use your child's preferred name and pronouns. Using your child's preferred name and pronouns is a simple yet powerful way to show them that you accept and respect their gender identity.
Advocate for your child. Speak up for your child's rights and needs, whether that means advocating for them in school, healthcare, or other settings.
Connect with other families. Joining a support group or connecting with other families of transgender children can provide a valuable source of support and understanding.
Respect your child's privacy. Your child may not be ready to come out to everyone, and it's essential to respect their privacy and autonomy.
Celebrate your child's milestones. Celebrate your child's transition milestones, such as starting hormone therapy or undergoing gender-affirming surgery. These milestones can be a significant step in your child's journey, and it's important to show your support and encouragement.
Seek out therapy. Therapy can be a valuable resource for both your child and your family. A therapist can provide support and guidance as you navigate your child's gender identity and help your family build stronger communication and coping skills.
Research has shown that transgender youth are at a higher risk of attempting suicide than their cisgender peers. According to a 2019 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, nearly 43% of transgender youth surveyed reported having attempted suicide at least once in their lifetime. This is compared to 14% of cisgender youth in the same study.
There are many factors that contribute to this increased risk of suicide among transgender youth, including discrimination, lack of social support, and the stress of navigating gender identity in a society that may not understand or accept it. It's important to note that while these statistics are alarming, they do not mean that all
transgender youth will attempt suicide or experience poor mental health outcomes.
It's crucial to provide support and resources to transgender youth to help reduce their risk of suicide and promote positive mental health outcomes. This includes providing access to gender-affirming healthcare, connecting them with support groups or LGBTQIA+ organizations, and working to reduce discrimination and stigma around transgender identities. Therapy can also be a valuable resource for
transgender youth and their families to help them manage the challenges they may face and build resilience and coping skills.