Did I. “Mother’s Day Thoughts”

As we move through the days of the weeks in the months of the year that might be the most important year of ‘their’ lives, we stop and ask ourselves; DID I?

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Good Morning Moms,

On this Mother’s Day I wanted to say thank you for helping your children grow up mentally healthy.

Reaching this goal is like climbing a mountain that has moving rocks; you never know what will be the step that causes them to tumble and start over.

They still have to climb it; bumps, cuts and fear will be there, but so will you.

Teaching them how to be mentally healthy is a challenge because we sometimes question ourselves; so how do you pass it on?

DID I: Demonstrate, not just say, that my love is unconditional.

DID I: Teach them how to build or get their own tools/skills needed for life.

DID I: Pass on a skills set, one that enables them to deal with bumps, cuts and fear.

DID I: Provide a map, EVEN IF they never want to look at it, for them to take the least painful path. Regardless of their choice, you redirect continuously as they go on their way.

DID I: Allow them to build their own muscles for survival without dropping the parental role I feel honored, most days, to hold.

DID I: Remember to care for myself as I am the security of their tomorrow.

Does this sound exhausting ? Still, you do it everyday.

Thank you.

 

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Thoughts in a day: Transgender Teens

df7c489bed150386371a0988ac458763Climbing out of her bed to dress, the thoughts of school and friends rush around on top of goals, workouts, chores and clothes. Moments after rising she moves past the mirror and freezes. Her body is not a “her” but a “him.” Her day will not be filled with thoughts of what to get done or how to dress to express who she is. Instead, she looks for the outfit that hides the most; covering all the imperfections that she cannot workout to fix and study harder to change. She cannot dig herself out of her gender as one whom from poverty. Stuck. She sits. Looking in a mirror that keeps changing into what she does understand. Being asked to live a life that does not fit what is under her skin.

A yell comes from down stairs and now a girl who got up before it was time excited about her day, stands as a boy frozen in confusion and fear. The ‘late to school’ conversation that happens everyday starts as HE hits the bottom stair. His head fills with all the things he will have to do today. His conversations with friends that might not be friends ‘if they knew’ about the her that he is not suppose to discuss. He starts to question all his relationships, wondering if any are real. Isolating in his head and fearing to truly care about others he learns that self is the only person to trust and worry about. Moving from one class to another where they ask the boys and girls to separate for seating, restrooms, activities, sports, and/or games. Where does the Transgender teen stand? Where does she/ he fit in?

Transgender teens are being asked to ‘sit at the back of the bus’ and do as you are told. Where does it stop? Conform to societies standards of male/female. If your genitals determine who you are, what do we do with the intersex person? When do they get to move to the front and claim they are worth being respected? I work with teens that smile when for a moment in time they are seen from the inside out. Peace and respect sits with them as they talk and joy fills their face when their correct pronoun is used.

Just one. Condemning. Reaffirming. Little. Big. Powerful. Painful. Joyful. Word. 

He returns home, head down and moving on to homework. Then SHE smiles. In her room, she is real. She fits just fine into the clothes only she ever sees. She studies in the hat that makes her hair look longer. The words, the math is all making sense with room in her head. She draws hearts and a smiley to remember the steps to complete the problems.

In her room she is comfortable and safe for now. She knows the sadness that will come tomorrow when HE must return to the breakfast table and to school.

Parents. Friends. Counselors.

Read and learn about the transgender teen in your life. If you have questions, ask them, together is when family is the most effective.

I work with the LGBTQIA community and would be happy to help with questions or a direction for you to go in.

Melinda C. Porter, LPC

Melinda@mcpcounseling.com

817-733-7206

www.mcpcounseling.com

Bloggin’ About It.

IMG_20150122_113939This blog is designed for information, thoughts or questions that come up about life. Children, teens and adults all work to get through to the next thing; what if we stopped long enough to be present in this moment. How would our worlds line up for us if we were not always spending today dreaming of tomorrow and fearful of yesterday.

By

Melinda C. Porter, LPC

http://www.MCPcounseling.com

817-733-7206

Teens and Media

Parents it is a whole new world out there!

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The digital life that happens on your child’s phone, tablet or computer has a powerful presence. You need to be just as present in their digital world as they are.

I work with many teens that spend most of the time socializing in chat rooms or through apps. The only way to understand how that world works is to dive in. Sign-up and monitor! Sit down with your child and create a list of approved apps or games (which have chat rooms available) and place titles, usernames, and passwords for both parents to check in on.

Some parents / children view this as an invasion of privacy or a sign of not trusting their child / teen. Instead, I challenge you to view it being present.

The example that clicked with myself was that of a school environment. You do not go to their school and follow them around in all their interactions but you do attend parent night, parent-teacher meetings, at pick-up time you interact with other parents and watch how the children interact with your child / teen. You go to games, shows, fundraisers and / or band performances. You are a presence in their school life.

Ask them to show you the chat room or how to make an avatar.
Ask them about their avatar: forms, names, genders, and / or strengths. Many individuals create the person they hope to one day be in their avatar.
If they write on one of the story apps, such as, Wattpad. Go in to read their stories, print them if you think they would feel proud to know you wanted to keep them in the ‘real world’ or just email them letting them know you read it and what you thought. You know your child and how they need to be supported.
If you struggle with what to do to help your child out of the digital world it is okay to ask a therapist or school counselor for suggestions.
It is a new world that our children are growing up in. We have to meet them where they are inside the digital world to make sure they are safe.

Much Respect,

Melinda C. Porter, LPC

Melinda@MCPcounseling.com

Teens/Parents in the LGBT Community…

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Respecting the parent and the teen is possible!

How did we get here? A question you might be asking yourself. I challenge you to flip it!

Here we are…so, let’s do this!

Being a parent of a LGBT teen provides different questions to ask yourself. How can I support my child if I don’t believe that this is really them? I don’t believe in being ‘gay’; how can I still love my child? Or I see that they are who they are…but I’m still the parent and how do I support them safely?

All of these questions are logical at any time during your teens growth; take out the concept of LGBT and you still have valid parenting questions. You are doing your job if you are still asking questions and growing!

LGBT Teens are still teens and need to be raised as such! They still have to follow family rules and complete family chores. You can still not like who they are dating and who their friends are. It is the why that matters! Trust the teen you are raising to make choices you have modeled for them.

Provide safety in the conversations you have with them; not judgmental. The talking, the conversation, is the gift your child brings to you.

* Provide information and learn together. If they are questioning their sexuality, support the child not the concept by finding healthy information about the community and how they can learn about themselves while living in your home.

* You are the parent, monitor their friends. Healthy friends (you and your child can list what that will look like.) YOU WILL NOT LIKE ALL THEIR FRIENDS; that is a fact of parenting. ARE THEY HEALTHY; do they promote well-being in your teen? Remember the gay teen that you dislike your child being around, is someone else’s child and they might be full of the same questions.

* There is a dangerous side to everything in life. The internet is a FABULOUS place to find safe group meetings and activities. Please remember that it also has lots of people that look for children with parents that try to ignore or hate the ‘gay’ fact away…they wait until your teen can’t take another day isolated…then they are there. So find safe together; maybe even together and uncomfortable…but together.

* Your teen loves you. Most do not look at someone of the same sex and say, “Now that would really hurt my family!” Most of the time there is immediate shame and fear of who they are on the inside. They need you.

Here you are! You and that sweet child becoming an adult…Here you can stand together…

“If I have to pick a day I can make a difference in….Today…would be the answer!” 

@MCPorterLPC

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA