How To Talk To Your Kids About Their Sexuality
One of the toughest conversations to tackle with your child is about their sexual identity. Even though literally everyone goes through this stage and has to figure it out for themselves, it can be super uncomfortable for many people to talk about.
As conscious parents, we just want our children to be safe, happy, healthy, aware and supported, but often are unsure of how to best do this.
The scary thing is, studies show us that many start to question their gender and sexual identity as early as 5 years old, only two years after our memories form. When this happens, the child may begin to feel like they are not normal and feel the need to hide themselves and isolate. This puts these kids at a higher risk of suicide, depression, mental health issues, substance abuse and risky sexual behaviors.
We also see these youths being victims of violence at a much higher rate than their peers.
This is why having support at home is so vital to their growth. Kids with supportive families have a much greater sense of self and a safety net to fall back on.
The support from home makes them so much more resilient. Keep reading for my top tips on how to talk to kids about their sexuality.
7 Tips on How To Talk To Your Kids About Their Sexuality
- Learn the key terms currently being used.
- LGBTQIA – Lesbian (women sexually interested in women), Gay (men sexually interested in men), Bisexual (person sexually interested in both men and women), Transgender (person who changes their given at birth gender assignment – male/female) , Questioning (person not sure what their feelings are yet, they are exploring and discovering), Intersexual (hermaphrodites, persons with both sex parts), Asexual (person with little to no sexual attraction to other people).
- Cis-gender – person who’s gender identity matches their gender assignment at birth.
- Understand the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation
- Gender identity refers to if you were born with a female body, yet identify and feel so deeply as a male, or vice versa, or you feel deeply as the gender you were assigned at birth is gender identity.
- Sexual orientation refers to the type of person you are sexually attracted too.
- One can be born a female, identify as a male, be in love with a woman and call himself straight. Make sense?
- Create a safe space for your child to talk. This can be the hardest, most awkward thing to do because it can be so foreign to you. But you must encourage your child to be open, that there will be no judgement just exploration and understanding together. The reality is no one wants be born into the wrong body, the transition is a very tough road to go. So instead of judging or threatening, put your fears and opinions aside and LISTEN to them.
- Honor your child’s unique experience. Be aware that there are some things that your child will be going through that you will not understand. Neither will they, imagine how scary that can be?! Ask questions, listen, and do your best to be patient and understanding – it will pay out in the long run.
- Remember – it is NOT about you. I know this is a tough one for us parents to hear, but you must set aside your fears, dreams, wishes and focus on what your child can and will become.
- Find support. A trusted friend, a group, a therapist, one of them or all of them. You need community and a LOT of people go through this. Hearing and sharing stories makes all the difference, truly. And be sure to be loving and kind with yourself. Give yourself time to adjust, to understand, to empathize, treat yourself well.
- Don’t talk about it with anyone else without your child’s permission. We all know how rumors spread and how mean people can be. Allow your child to come out and figure it out at their own pace.
- Be an advocate!! As conscious parents we are naturally our children’s biggest advocate, with something like this, let’s take it to the next level. Stand up for your child. Don’t allow the foolish ‘jokes’.
It’s all about supporting our children as the learn and grow. Join our conversation here on Conscious Straight Talk With Katie & Lindsey. Be sure to like and subscribe and let us know your tips in the comments!
Malibu Mama Loves Xx