If you feel caught off guard that gender seems to be an issue for your kid, you should know that many parents feel the same way, so you’re definitely not alone.
Maybe your kid is showing some signs of not feeling comfortable with their assigned sex at birth. Perhaps they openly expressed their desire to explore other gender possibilities, or possibly you noticed it from their behavior…
…And as a parent, some of your worry bells logically went off!
It’s possible your kid is experiencing something known as Gender Dysphoria, but don’t worry! Clinical name aside, this is not a disease or mental illness, and even if your kid is struggling with this, there’s nothing wrong with your kid.
What’s happening with your kid is no different from what you experienced when you discovered your own sense of self as a gendered being, which normally happens at a very young age and usually outside of your awareness if your body matches your internal sense of self.
Your kid’s inner sense of self is urging them to express themselves in different ways from social expectations based on their assigned sex, which may or may not be accompanied by discomfort with their body. This could be causing them a significant amount of distress, especially if they’re facing resistance from family and social circles.
WHY GENDER DYSPHORIA SHOULD BE ADDRESSED
A responsible, loving approach starts by first listening to your kid and mirroring them, even if you don’t get it. Second, you’ll want to start educating yourself with accurate and reliable information from professional sources, and getting professional step-by-step guidance from experts in gender health who can assist you in the process of supporting your kid in the best ways possible.
You’d be surprised how much science has advanced in understanding gender, compared to only a couple of decades ago. It all starts by dispelling some myths and expectations and gaining a deeper understanding of the situation that will help you to take solid steps to support your kid.
In our many years of experience as gender affirming providers, we know that parents need help in dealing with the feelings that this situation generates, so we’ve put together a series of resources to assist you based on what we’ve found to be the most effective for parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive youth.
Click here to learn more about our support network and resource hub, created especially for parents, to meet your needs so you can move from confusion and fear to clarity and confidence raising a well-adjusted, healthy gender diverse kid!