LGBTQ+: How To Respond When Your Child Is Coming Out To You
Today’s generation of teens is incredibly accepting of each other, and families, parents are more accepting too. Both this and even the pandemic have resulted in kids coming out earlier than even a few years ago.
But what’s the best way to respond when your kid (or your friend’s kid) comes out to you? Chances are big, you’ve never been in that situation before, so it’s perfectly normal you don’t know the best way to respond. Maybe you’re expecting to have this conversation in the (near) future or maybe not at all. Maybe you’ve already had this conversation and you’re not sure whether you’ve handled it right. We think this episode with an overview of do’s and don’ts is an important one for every parent out there to make our kids’ coming-out moments smoother and easier.
“What’s important is laying out a safe space for your kid to explore
and also talk with you more about this.”
DO’S When Your Child Is Coming Out To You
- Listen attentively. Stop what you’re doing and give your child your undivided attention.
- Tell your child you believe them.
- Thank them for including you and trusting you.
- Make sure they are okay BUT not by asking ‘Are you okay?’. This question can be perceived in the wrong way. A better question would be: ‘Do you feel like you have good support around you?’ or ‘Have you shared this with your friends?’
- Crack the door open. Let them know they can come to you if they want to talk more.
DON’TS When Your Child Is Coming Out To You
- Don’t ignore it.
- Don’t invalidate it, for example by saying ‘You’re too young to know that’.
- Try not to shape things for them. Maybe they are still in the phase of exploring. Let them do that.
“The intention is to allow them to feel safe discussing it with you.”
But what to do when I’ve made a mistake during my child’s coming out moment? And how can we prepare for the holidays when the family doesn’t know yet? We answer those and more questions in our episode. Come and have a listen!
More about Virginia Family Therapy
Virginia Family Therapy is a mental health practice serving individuals, families, and our community. VFT is designed to help people at all stages and from all walks of life by offering therapists and physicians with diverse backgrounds and specialties via face-to-face, walk-and-talk, and telemedicine appointments. Throughout, we are committed to developing strengths-based, authentic, and long-lasting relationships with you and your children. We hope to provide you with the support and insight you need to help your family navigate life’s hard times and joys.
Contact us here.
In this episode on LGBTQ+ and how to respond when your child is coming out to you, we cover:
- Why kids are coming out at a younger age;
- Do’s and don’ts when your child is coming out to you;
- What to do when you haven’t responded in the right way when your child came out to you;
- How to prepare for the holidays with extended family after your child has recently come out to you;
- What to do to process your child’s coming out;
- And much more.
Resources and links mentioned in this episode
- Are you or your child struggling with mental health? We have a team of psychologists and psychiatrists who can help you out. Don’t hesitate to contact us here.
- Are you interested in Sarah’s Parent Support Group for parents of children in the LGBTQ+ community? Keep an eye out on our website www.VirginiaFamilyTherapy.com
- Please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback.
- Connect with us on Facebook or Instagram.
- Have you listened to our episode about How to Show Your Kids You’re Truly Listening?
Disclaimer: Please remember we are real live therapists, however this is a podcast and is not considered a therapy session. Not only because there is no co-pay but also because we can’t speak to your individual experiences. We are here to help you keep raising healthy kids. And remember, if you are an imperfect parent, we are right there with you. If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, please call your local crisis hotline or go to your nearest emergency room.