As parents, we are always concerned about our children and we tend to ask ourselves an abundance of questions. For instance: “Is my child doing well in school?” “Why is my child so picky?” “How can I tell if my child’s speech is normal?” These are questions parents can usually answer or seek out resources to obtain answers for. But what answers do parents have when the question is “how do I explain the LGBTQ community to my child?” It can be a challenging process to educate children about LGBTQ individuals , no matter what your beliefs or values may be. The acceptance of the LGBT community can be seen through entertainment, education, marketplace, as well as social media. It shows the tremendous change in our culture and has become extremely effective to educate and highlight LGBTQ awareness.
Here are some friendly tips on how to talk to your children about the LGBTQ community:
Parents have to get involved
Many parents struggle with discussing LGBTQ topic with their children, but it is important to note that you are not alone. Knowing more about the LGBTQ community will help when answering your child’s questions even if you aren’t sure where you stand on this topic. Meet with other parents and encourage acceptance in your children. Reach out to your children school district and inform yourself about the LGBTQ policies. This is beneficial because it can prevent bullying among LGBTQ children.
Relatives or friends who are LGBTQ
You may have a relative or close friend who is LGBTQ. This is a great opportunity for parents to ask questions and have them talk about their life, as well as asking them to talk to your child too. The conversation can be as simple as how they fell in love, chances are their story may be similar to yours.
Sharing your experiences with your children can help break gender expectations. For example, “mom is a girl and she likes to play basketball” or “Dad is a boy and he likes to bake cookies.” This will let your child know that it is normal to engage in these activities, no matter if you are a boy or girl.
Teach through books
Read books that talk about LGBTQ families, this sends a very powerful message to your children about acceptance. Furthermore, these stories will allow room for your child to ask questions or make observations about the LGBTQ community. Here are just of few of the recommended books about LGBTQ: “The Family Book,” “Art of being Normal,” and “In Our Mothers’ House.”
Reply to questions appropriately
If your children have questions about the LGBTQ community, it is important to respond to those questions with a clear and positive answer. An example of a question that may arise is “why do some boys like the color pink?” or “why do some girls like to play with toy trucks?” A simple, short, and positive answer would be: “because that is what he or she likes.” Keep in mind when you are answering questions and going into the legality or illegality of LGBTQ issues, it may confuse or frighten the child. It is best to keep the answer short. If you don’t know the answer, a good response can be “I don’t know, we should do some research on that topic”. Children will look to you as the parent for guidance, but that doesn’t mean you will always have an answer.
As a parent, the quality of life we provide for our children is important. We want our children to be the happiest they can be. That is why it is essential for parents to begin discussing the different lifestyle that exists in the world. Beginning this process early on can be valuable and help create a long-life acceptance in the LGBTQ community.
If you want to continue learning about the LGBTQ community, here are some reputable sources you can follow: Equality Utah, LGBTQ Nation , Gaygull.