Sometimes raising a child in LGBT families is more taxing and more of a struggle than if you are a traditional heterosexual family. Of course, whatever the case, there is no manual to follow when it comes to parenting. But when it comes to LGBT parents, it is sometimes difficult to know what to do, especially if you live in a smaller community where other LGBT families are not prevalent. So here we have prepared a number of tips that you need to take into account as a LGBT parent.
1. Talk to your child regularly.
If you want to break the wall of prejudices, you need to talk to your children on a regular basis. A good way to start with toddlers and preschool children is to read LGBT positive books to them. Numerous of these beautifully illustrated stories can teach your child a lot about acceptance, different families, and lifestyles.
2. Provide a safe and supportive environment.
It is up to you, as a parent, to establish a safe environment for your child. It may sound difficult, but you need to work proactively to make school welcoming and safe for all children and families.To make this easier, you may want to consider working with other parents, teachers, and guardians. Make some propositions about creating a more tolerant school which represents family diversity.
3. Teach by example.
Children learn tolerance and respect by watching their parents. Teach your children about the importance of diversity and treating everyone with respect. Don’t just say it, but behave towards others honestly to send your child a proper message. As an LGBT parent, you may have a unique opportunity to encourage people in your close community to learn by talking openly about your family.
4. Answer questions age-appropriately.
Adopted children usually have lots of questions about their birth family, identity, and sexuality, as well as your sexuality. It would be best to answer in a calm and straightforward way appropriated to their age and maturity level. Don’t overload your child with information, rather answer only what they ask you at a level they can understand.
5. Respect their feelings.
This LGBT parenting tip is particularly important since children raised by gay or lesbian couples differ in their feelings about the situation. Some children just think they are different than other kids and it is completely normal to feel this way since society has a great impact on a child’s emotional development. Respect that and teach them to express their feelings as much as they can, especially with you.
6. Introduce them to other kids with LGBT parents.
It is going to be easier for your child to fully understand the beauty of LGBT parenting if you introduce them to other kids with LGBT guardians or parents. When children know they are a part of a community, it is much easier for them to boost their self-confidence, and it allows them to be whoever they want to be.
With these few tips, you will be able to make your parenting experience a bit easier and more fulfilling. Just remember that communication is key. Sometimes it is hard for LGBT families to cope with all the issues that arise, but if you take it one step at a time, you will see that your family will be a happy and healthy one!