Sexual identity can be a tricky topic to bring up with your child. It’s too often that parents ignore signs that a child might be struggling with their sexual identity. While things are getting better for the LGBT community, there is still plenty of work to do. There are many mixed messages that children get while growing up. By the time that they become teenagers and start exploring their sexuality, it can be hard to connect. There is a line that many parents draw. It’s important not to be overbearing or judgmental when it comes to sexuality, but it is important to teach any young adult about safe sexual behaviors.
In order to help children through this challenging time, it is best to be open and honest with them. If your child indicates that she or he is gay or bisexual, it is best to not judge. For all parents this can come as a major shock, but it is important to reserve judgment. The world still defines sexuality as a set standard, so it is hard to separate personal feelings. It may take some time before you and your child are comfortable with their choices. That is fine as well. The important thing is to show your child that you love them regardless of what their sexual identity is.
It is also important to note that sometimes conclusions about sexuality are drawn prematurely. In fact, most people are typically on a scale between 100% heterosexual and 100% homosexual. There are times when young people believe that they are homosexual, only to find later that this may perhaps not be the case. This is not to say that it is choice. The point is to indicate that people fall on different parts of the scale. As well, this can change throughout the course of one’s life. Do not make the judgment that anything an adolescent says about their sexual identity is necessarily final.
Lastly, it is important to keep an open mind. The adolescent years are very confusing for many people, which is why you need to show support for your children. Their sexual identity does not define who they are as people. It is important to make them feel welcome, no matter what they are feeling about their sexual identity. Luckily, the world is becoming more accepting of all kinds of sexual relationships, but that doesn’t mean that a gay or bisexual teen will not face any hardships. Empathizing with your child during this time period is of the utmost importance.
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