Gender identity is an individual’s internal, deeply-held sense of their gender. People who are transgender or gender nonconforming are a diverse group of individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The most common condition associated with transgenderism is known as gender dysphoria, which refers to the distress that occurs when someone’s physical sex and the way they identify don’t match. Gender dysphoria can manifest in many different ways. Here are some tips for parents who want to help their children through this difficult time.
What is gender dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is an uncomfortable sense of incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and the gender with which they identify. This sense of incongruence can happen for a variety of reasons, including discomfort with the way that their body physically looks and/or being misgendered by others.
The importance of understanding your loved one’s experience
Although it can be difficult to understand, you must consider your loved one’s experience. Their gender identity is not a choice or a preference; it’s who they are and how they identify. Your child may feel that he or she is living in the wrong body, but this is their reality. Some things will be easier than others, but understanding your child’s perspective and perspective of the world will help you help them through this time.
Understand what dysphoria means
The term “dysphoria” comes from the Greek meaning “bad feeling.” This is because transitioning often brings feelings of sadness, shame, anger, frustration, emptiness and hopelessness. These emotions are normal and should be acknowledged as part of your loved one’s experience.
Be prepared for some unintended consequences
While transitioning can have many positive outcomes, there may be some unforeseen situations that arise. Sometimes the transition process involves changes in relationships with other people, such as family members or friends. They may also have to change their schedule at work or school which might cause some disruption on their life. This can make for an emotional rollercoaster that you may not want to go through with them but know that it’s important for them to do so as part of their healing process.
Be open to changes in your relationship
Gender dysphoria can be difficult to process, especially for children and parents. For example, a parent may be expecting their child to come out as heterosexual or cisgender. Gender nonconforming behavior may confuse them. In order to help your loved one through this time, you have to be open to changes in your relationship. If your child is transgender, they might start identifying with a different gender than the sex they were assigned at birth. You need to allow them that space and be supportive of any changes they make in their life. Also, don’t assume that your child will end up being “just like you.” They might not follow in your footsteps and choose a different path entirely.
One of the worst things that a parent can do for their child is to panic. It’s important to remember that you have nothing to fix and no one to blame for your child’s gender dysphoria. Remember that it’s normal for children to explore new ideas, and you should trust them to explore these ideas on their own time. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with your child, focus on enjoying the good times with them.
Talk about the transition process
It’s important to talk about the transition process because it can be a difficult and long journey. Make sure your child knows that it will take time for them to feel better about themselves. It might not happen overnight, so try not to get frustrated when your child seems anxious or worried about the future. Remember to also reassure your child that there is nothing wrong with them; this is just part of their identity.
Express your feelings With them
Remember that this is a difficult time for your child. They are not going to feel like talking about their feelings or sharing them with you. So, you need to be patient and understanding when they ask for help. It’s important not to try and force your child to talk about what’s going on in their life. Let them know that you care and are there for them, but let them take the lead when it comes to expressing their feelings.
Treat transgender individuals as you would want to be treated
Treating transgender individuals with love, compassion, and respect is imperative. If a loved one has come to you with the news that they are transgender, it’s important to listen and show support in a non-judgmental way. Transgender people can be hesitant about coming out as trans due to fear of rejection from family or friends.
So how do you help? Listen without judgment and offer unconditional love and support. Despite what your religious beliefs may be, it’s important to approach this moment with understanding and empathy for your loved one. Remember that what matters most is the well-being of your loved one. You don’t have to agree with their decision to transition (if they decide) but you should always respect them for who they are as an individual.
Talk with friends & Family members about this issue
It is important to talk with your family members and friends about this issue. Talking with people that are close to you will help you have a better understanding of what’s going on for your loved one. If you have questions about how to support them, it’s best to ask them directly.
You might not be able to fully understand what it means to live in the body of someone who is transgender, but by talking with your loved ones, they’ll be more comfortable talking with you and get the support they need.
Exercise & Healthy Activities
One of the most important things for parents to do is to encourage their children to engage in healthy activities. Encouraging kids to exercise and eat well can help them feel better about themselves and make it easier for them to be accepted in society. By taking care of yourself, you will be able to be there for your child when they need you.