“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”
Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. first lady
Oh, the gift of being a parent. I think I learn the most when dealing with my son. He is now a marine about to be married, but still, I learn. I have learned that honesty connects us and dishonesty places a wedge between us. I know that as a parent it is my job to handle stress in a way that models how he can do it or not… later in his life. My goal is to let him see me work through struggles but yet not be responsible for them as the child.
Telling your children that you are LGBT is not an easy conversation, accepting that will allow you to move pass the fear of doing it wrong. There is no ‘right or wrong’ way. The ‘talk’ can be awkward, uncomfortable, difficult or damaging. So~ PLAN!
* You are the parent, make sure the conversation is age appropriate, using understandable terms and statements.
* Go over the conversation with a counselor or trusted adult friend. These are your children, they are worth the energy of planning a healthy conversation.
* Do not share more than asked~Your children are NOT your best friends. Sharing too much can be damaging, so respect yourself and them!
* Let them know you will be happy to answer appropriate question or let them talk to someone (i.e. counselor) if they want.
* Understand that they have a right to grieve the loss of what they thought to be true and what they now know…respect their space but stay present.
You do not have to be perfect…my son would have fired me years ago if so! You have to be the loving parent you were before the conversation~that is your job! To love them…and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If the conversation did not produce what was needed for your family to work, talk to someone, then try it again.
Melinda Porter MA