Table of contents:
- Pause if necessary
- Deal With Your Feelings
- Share your feelings
- Don't ignore what happened
- Don't discount your child's feelings
- Do not try to "fix" the child
- Learn more about LGBT people
- Try to accept the child's choice
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
Be honest, but don't turn your fears and doubts into hatred of your son or daughter. 18+.
It doesn't matter how old a child is 16 or 56, news of their sexual orientation can be shocking to a parent. They react to them in different ways. Some people cut all ties with children. Others choose to ignore the information they receive.
And you can also remember that orientation is only a part of the personality of a person who was a beloved child 10 minutes ago, and try to understand and accept it. How to do this - we figure it out together with a psychologist.
Pause if necessary
You may be torn apart by conflicting feelings, but they do not have to be splashed out on the child: there is a great risk of saying too much. Postpone the conversation so you have time to recover. But it's important to do it right. Share your reasons honestly and make it clear that the conversation will continue, that you do not turn away from the child and still love him.
A parent for a child is a unique and special person who loves him unconditionally, simply because he is. It is this kind of love that allows children to stand on their feet and accept themselves as they are. The fear of rejection is one of the most painful, as it directly affects our basic need to be accepted. Now the child is vulnerable and scared. It is important for him to know that he will be loved and accepted by anyone.
Veronika Tikhomirova psychologist
If you decide to take a break, tell your child about this, do not leave him in painful guesses that the closest people turn away from him. Arrange a time for you to return to the conversation. For example, like this: “You know, I'm so shocked by this news that I don't even know what to say. I need a little time to understand how I feel. Let's sit down tomorrow after work and discuss everything again."
Deal With Your Feelings
Think about how you are feeling and why. Not all emotions will be constructive, but they are already there, which means that you need to work with them. No one will do this for you, so you need to face your fears and understand what and why worries you. This is what you can feel.
The expected response is to find the culprit. Your child himself would not have thought of this, all the damned teachers overlooked, gay propaganda worked, computer games influenced - emphasize the necessary. In fact, a complex of biological causes is responsible for orientation, so no one is to blame. It makes no sense to be angry at someone, and even more so at the child himself. He did not choose what kind of birth he should be: red-haired or blond, blue-eyed or green-eyed, homo or heterosexual.
If there are no external culprits, you can switch to yourself. But self-flagellation will get you nowhere. As we said, there are many reasons for orientation. So you may not have done everything right on your parenting path, but this could not affect the child's choice of a sexual partner. Moreover, if the son or daughter told you about the orientation themselves, it means that you are a good parent and they trust you.
This feeling grows on different grounds. You can seriously worry about the child: is he being persecuted because of his orientation, what difficulties does he face, is it hard for him to live? And this is an occasion to discuss such issues with him.
But with the fear "what Baba Manya from the third entrance will say" it is better to work on your own. A person's happiness should not depend on someone else's opinion, and it's not even a matter of orientation. Society will always find something to condemn. Moreover, it already creates quite difficult conditions for your child: he may face stigmatization, ridicule, threats of violence. Therefore, it is important that someone close to him take his side.
And in the very homosexuality, if you look, there is nothing wrong. Nobody suffers when two people enter into a relationship by mutual agreement.
Parents often, willingly or unwillingly, come up with a life scenario for their children. And then they are very offended when they do not correspond to him. But disappointed expectations are always the problem of the expectant. The birth of a child is a kind of lottery. When he is born, he does not take an oath that he will eat up porridge, learn lessons and sleep only with people of the opposite sex.
Share your feelings
You had time to sort out yourself and calm down. Now you need to return to the conversation and talk about your fears, doubts, thoughts. Be frank and honest.
Strong emotions tend to manifest themselves even from under the monumental facade of equanimity: a smile through clenched teeth, hugs, more like a suffocating reception, gentle words that sound like the worst curse word. Contradictions only increase the uncertainty in your relationship, increase the level of anxiety, and hinder the establishment of contact.
The parent is a living person. It's okay to be scared, angry, and worried. This is how you bring you closer together. Try to use “I-statements” in your conversation, as “you-statements” can be perceived as accusations and provoke conflict and feelings of guilt. There is a big difference between "I'm worried about you" and "You are making me worry." As you conduct a conversation, remember why you are doing this: to help your child overcome the difficulties encountered on his life path, or to prove his case?
Ask your child how he feels, whether he is happy in a relationship, if there is one, when and how he realized that he is homosexual. Perhaps the answers will clarify and reassure you a lot.
Don't ignore what happened
Often parents take the position "neither ours nor yours." It seems that they do not stop communicating with the child, but they completely ignore everything related to his orientation. They are forbidden to mention this, they are not ready to get acquainted even with a permanent partner. Of course, no one can force you to accept this side of life. But it will most likely hurt your child. So at least try to understand his position.
Don't discount your child's feelings
You can not take what was said seriously and think that the child just wants to attract attention. Or confuses love and friendship. Or failed in a relationship with the opposite sex. You never know the reasons!
If a child says that now things are like this, then he definitely knows better. Don't think you know better, and don't discount his feelings for your own comfort. This, too, will shorten the path from denial to acceptance.
Do not try to "fix" the child
History knows different methods of "curing" homosexuality - from corrective rape to lobotomy. They are united by one thing - inefficiency. Attempts to remake a person end in negative consequences for the psyche, increase the risk of depression and suicide, but sexual preferences remain the same. Conversion therapy, that is, attempts to change orientation, is prohibited by law in Canada, Germany (for minors), and some US states. But that's not even the question.
Your child is definitely not broken or defective, it does not need to be taken back to the store or updated to the factory settings. He has not ceased to be that cute boy whom you taught to ride a bike, or the girl with whom you were looking for the most beautiful stones on the beach, a loving son or daughter, a specialist. Your child has made a choice that you did not expect from him. And this is normal, because he builds his life for himself, according to his values and preferences.
Learn more about LGBT people
Even if you are a very tolerant heterosexual, there may be gaps in your knowledge that prevent you from realistically assessing the situation. Simply because you have never seen it from the inside. This primarily concerns stereotypes. For example, HIV is believed to be a disease of homosexuals. Although in Russia only 2.5% of cases of transmission of the virus are associated with same-sex contacts.
Fears are often associated with the unknown. But they can be overcome by diving deeper into the topic.
Try to accept the child's choice
If you have not considered in advance that your child may be homosexual, most likely, you will not be able to come to terms with his orientation overnight. And that's okay. The longer you live with this thought and learn more, the easier it will be for you.
The child's life is his area of responsibility. No matter how much you want to save and protect him, he chooses for himself how to live this life, it is he who is the main character in it. And it’s your power to influence which character you play in his story.