Monday, June 11, 2012

10 tips for children of Gay Couples

Posted: June 10th, 2012

All children will likely get teased at some point while growing up, and sadly, there isn’t much that their parents can do about it.  However, when a child has gay parents, it often opens the door to teasing that is much more targeted and intense, and that can prove difficult to manage. Learning how to handle teasing can help boost confidence and empower a child to seek help from a trusted adult.

If you’re a gay parent who is concerned that their child is getting teased, encourage your child to:
  1. Be confident: No matter what the reason is for being teased, it is far less fun for the teasers if the person getting teased is comfortable with themselves and their situation, and doesn’t come across as bothered by the teasing. 
  2. Understand their situation: Urge your child to talk to you about any questions that they might have about your relationship.  The more children understand their family, the more comfortable they can be in their own skin.
  3. Ignore the teasing:  Encourage your child to just ignore the teasing; the teasers are obviously trying to get a rise out of the child using whatever methods it takes.  If they think your child is embarrassed about their parents being gay, then they are going to latch on to that and tease your child to provoke a reaction. 
  4. Be open: Encourage your child not to hide who he is. If having gay parents is not a big secret, the kids will spend less time teasing your child about it.
  5. Be educated: Many children are uneducated about gay couples and may feel like they are the only children with gay parents. Help your child to learn about other gay families and be educated enough to answer common questions that may arise.
  6. Speak to a teacher: There are rules against bullying in schools today. Make your child aware that teasing or bullying him because his parents are gay is a hate crime and one that will not be tolerated in the school.
  7. Encourage education at school: Support your child in speaking to the principle to inquire about having a speaker come in and discuss diversity with the student body.  Make sure that gay parenting is covered as one of the ways that people are diverse.  Education will often open the eyes and hearts of a lot of people.  Kids can be pretty open-minded when they are given the facts.
  8. Lead by example: Make sure that your child knows he should not be discriminating against anyone else.  If you have a diverse set of friends, your child will grow up learning to be accepting of others. 
  9. Find or start a support group: It’s important to have people in your support system that understand what you are going through. Encourage your child to join a support group and if there isn’t one at school, encourage him to start one. This group can be for anyone that has experienced teasing.  Your child can ask the school counselor for help with this task.
  10. Find an online forum: If you are in an area that is not open to gay rights and you feel like you are trapped with small minded people that don’t understand you and don’t want to understand you, encourage your child to reach out and connect with others over the Internet. 
Many children who tease others do so because they are afraid of what they don’t understand, and to cover their lack of knowledge they tease rather than to admit that they are ignorant.  Helping your child learn to deal with teasing can help him to grow stronger and more confident in who he is as an individual.

Source: http://www.becomeananny.com/blog/10-tips-for-children-of-gay-couples-that-get-teased/

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