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Educating your Children About the LGBTQ Community

expert
Riya Pathak
a month ago
Society Society
12-14 12-14
Educating your Children About the LGBTQ Community

 

Kids often ask their parents questions that they feel uncomfortable about or unprepared to answer. Children may learn about LGBTQ people through their friends, in the media, or by knowing an LGBT adult in their lives.

 

However, kids still look to their parents for guidance about gender identity and sexual orientation. To talk more on this sensitive issue, Ezyschooling organized a live session with Mom blogger Ms. Mansi @amma_to_ashman,

 

How can we discuss sensitive topics like gender identity, sexuality, and LGBTQ with kids?

 

This can easily be achieved through open communication. To remove prejudice against the LGBTQ community we have to talk about it with our kids. As parents, we need to share our childhood experiences and other examples in our community to involve our kids in these matters.

 

Check out: LGBTQ Parents- Redefining parent-child Relationship

 

At what age does a child identify gender?

 

It's an ongoing process, but usually, by 3 to 5 years they understand that there is a difference between a male and female. This insight is usually gained by their observation as well as the gender role they see themselves and others playing. Like pink for girls and superheroes for boys. However, we must create such a world for our kids where there are no gender stereotypes and biases.

 

How does a child develop gender identity?

 

Well, firstly I want to point out a big flaw our society tends to make by perceiving the gender and sex of a person as one entity. Sex is the biological form we come with, whereas gender is what we select from within. Children usually acquire gender identity through their observation of what a male does (father) and what all roles a female plays (mother). And other societal norms readily available help them identify themselves with a gender.

 

How do I know my child has a gender identity disorder?

 

Usually, when kids are small they sometimes are styled in the form of the opposite sex but it's all out of play and cuteness.  But when such a thing becomes consistent, for example, a boy wanting to be dressed up like a girl, then parents should look for signs and question their kid in the most lovable way possible, so that they can express themselves freely.

 

Should schools set up LGBTQ programs?

 

Yes, after parents, school is the only place where children learn values for life. Programs on sensitive topics like sexuality, LGBTQ requires to be set up in school so that we can normalize these crucial issues among children and all of us.

 

What parents can do to form an open environment where kids can share anything with them?

 

It can only be achieved when parents are their kids' friends. They need to be non-judgmental and open-minded, receiving whatever their kids are sharing. This way the kids would be comfortable enough to express their deepest feelings with their parents.

 

What pop culture medium - Books/movies do you suggest for kids that can introduce them to the LGBTQ community?

 

Books like “Heather has two mommies” that talks about lesbian parenting and "Love is the only family" are some books, that are very colorful as well as informative about how different kinds of family exist where the usual mother-father format is replaced by mother-mother or father- father patterns. These books can teach children a lot about LGBTQ in a fun manner. And I believe for shows, Sex education on Netflix can be a reliable source for your teen.

 

Any final message for parents?

 

Yes, try to normalize these issues by talking as much as possible not just with kids but other adults in society. Because LGBTQ is not a disorder, it's a very normal thing, so stop the prejudice and love everyone.

 

Also read: Accepting your child's sexuality

 

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
TAGS
• LGBTQ
• stigma
• supermoms