Being a teenager is HARD. Some might argue being the parent of an adolescent is even harder. One thing is for sure: teenagers have always fought to understand themselves and the world around them better.
If your child is a transgender youth, they face even more challenges. Fitting in and feeling comfortable in your own skin can seem impossible. These youths face additional stigma and discrimination.
As a parent, you want your child to feel happy and comfortable being themselves. After all, you are their most prominent ally. Creating safe and supportive environments where they are free to be themselves can help them thrive. Read on to find out how you can help create a kinder and more accepting world for the transgender youth in your life.
Educate and Advocate for Transgender Youth
A tremendous support you can provide your transgender child is to learn more. Your first instinct may be to rely on your child to fill you in on everything transgender. But this can be daunting and intimidating for them. Instead, do your best to educate yourself and ask them questions for clarity. Continued education is one of the best ways to help understand your child’s growth and development and how you can support their mental health.
Here are some points to focus on when doing your part in supporting transgender youth:
- Understand the difference between sex and gender. Sex is the physiological assignment given at birth, consisting of genes, chromosomes, hormones, and anatomy. Gender is the roles defined by society, including the behaviors, expressions, and identities of women, men, boys, and girls.
- Gain respectful knowledge of expressions of pronouns. The Trevor Project has a downloadable guide with explanations and examples of how to honor specific pronouns.
- Listen to and follow the lead of your transgender youth. They will know what language best describes their persona. Find out how comfortable they are with openly communicating with family, friends, and their school community.
- Advocate for your child by contacting their school, sports programs, and extracurricular activities they participate in. You can help the professionals in your child’s life ensure that they fully accept and celebrate your child. Model effective school policy by offering your knowledge and supplying the administration with appropriate guidelines.
- Find proven care to help your transgender teen with their transition. At Dayrise in Lombard, we offer transgender counseling to teenagers and young adults. Counseling can help your child unpack any troubles or anxieties as they navigate their gender identity.
As with anything, your learning should be ongoing. As the transgender youth in your life evolves, you can adjust your teaching and learning strategies.
Supporting Transgender Youth: Become an Ally
As your child’s caregiver, it’s essential to show them your love and support. Gender identity is central to how any person identifies with the world. Transgender youth’s acceptance and happiness begin in the home. Let’s look at how you can accept your transgender child and take action in the cause for equality.
- Speak out in support of transgender youth. You can politely correct individuals if they use the wrong pronoun or name for your child. Become visible and outspoken when supporting transgender youth. Anti-transgender remarks or conversations can be stopped by speaking out against those individuals. You can help change ignorant minds by sharing with them the incredible truths of who your child is. Encourage other allies to speak out and rally for equality and acceptance.
- Find out about laws and policies in your area that affect transgender youth. Are there laws in Lombard or your area that protect transgender people? Are schools and other places within the community inclusive of transgender youth and open to gaining more understanding? Find out if bathrooms and locker rooms are accessible and safe for your child. Encourage schools and organizations to host transgender speakers and get the community more involved.
- Understand the challenges and formulate goals for transgender equality. As a parent, you’ll likely go to the ends of the earth for your child. You may want to protest and push back against harmful policies or unsupportive legislature toward transgender individuals. Chances are your child is not anxious or suffering because of who they are. If they feel this way, it’s most likely due to how they are being treated and whether or not they feel accepted in society.
- Remember that no two transgender person’s journeys are the same. Your transgender youth may want to change their appearance, but not all will. Your child may wish to medically transition, while other transgender individuals will decide not to. It’s important to keep in mind that your child’s identity does not depend on what they have done or not in their transition. Giving them time and space and reminding them there is no rush while discovering their transition path goes a long way when supporting transgender youth.
- Support them in finding a mental health provider. Navigating life as a transgender youth, especially in the younger years, can be overwhelming. And if they don’t feel supported by family members, peers, and others in society, their mental health could suffer. While you can try your best to support them and their mental health, they can still benefit greatly in speaking to a professional. And at Dayrise Wellness, our client base is entirely made up of teens and young adults. So we’ll definitely be able to help!
The National Center for Transgender Equality has several resources for how to be a continued ally and advocate for the transgender youth in your life.
Counseling for Transgender Youth in Lombard
As mentioned earlier, all adolescents have a unique journey to self-discovery. It can be difficult for young transgender people to navigate the uncertainty of their situation. It’s crucial your child develops a strong sense of self. Transgender youth often experience stigma and discrimination. This puts them more at risk for suicide or mental health issues. Teen and young adult therapy in Lombard is the answer to ensure a safe community for them to thrive.
At Dayrise, we have a holistic, individualized approach to mental health and wellness. We take teen and young adult therapy in Lombard very seriously. Our individualized approach will meet your child where they are in their transitioning journey. We won’t prescribe them a mental health plan that’s one size fits all. Rest assured, they’ll get the help they need, tailored specifically to them.
We pride ourselves on helping adolescents achieve their full potential and become confident young adults. Give your child the gift of allyship and self-advocacy. Contact us today to kickstart their growth, grace, and belonging journey through counseling for transgender youth in Lombard.