Regardless of where your kid goes with all of this, your understanding will help.
Accurate information is absolutely necessary on this journey. Your kid has likely done a ton of research, which may be spot on or totally inaccurate. More than likely it is somewhere in between. It is important that you understand what this is all about so you can help them and also gain some clarity on what next steps, if any, might look like.
What is that process of understanding gender? Well, it’s a process of unlearning what you learned earlier in life and through your culture, family, and everywhere else and relearning what gender is really all about based on current scientific knowledge and clinical experience, because there’s a lot of misinformation out there.
It starts with understanding the basic construct of gender as it actually exists in the world and then applying what you learn to your own family. It starts with being able to answer some basic questions:
- What is gender?
- What is sex?
- What does the science say?
- What can kids know and not know?
- What is gender dysphoria/incongruence?
- What age can kids make decisions around this?
- What role do I play in this as a parent?
- What are the best ways to help if my kid is struggling with gender?
- How do I know this is real?
- Where do I find accurate information?
After you can answer these questions, you’ll want to explore your own experiences and beliefs around gender. But that’s another course…stay tuned if you’re interested in that. Before you can unpack your own gender, you need to understand the basics outlined in this Gender Basics course.