I received an excellent question to my article “My Child is Non-Binary and I’m Confused.” Someone wrote in and asked, “I have friends and work colleagues who are transgender. [Sometimes I slip up and misgender them.] Interesting that I am slipping more with my friends. It upsets me when I do it. I immediately apologize and try to validate what I imagine is pain, anger and frustration.
Some of the common responses that I hear when a child, tween, or teen identifies as transgender are: “It’s probably just a phase” or “They’re probably just making a political statement” or “They’re just experimenting.”
I recently got an email from someone who wanted a “female voice” to read at an event. The subject of the email was “Ladies.” I found myself tremendously bothered by the email, but not initially sure why. After reflecting on it for a day or two, I came to some realizations.
I’m going to admit, for better or worse, that when my children (ages 23 and 28 - both of whom are married or partnered) have a problem, it causes me anxiety. Their problem may be with work, or insurance, or with their spouse or partner. It may be with their feelings of sadness or anger or anxiety. It may be with finances or their car. It doesn’t matter, because the moment I hear of it I want to fix it. In fact, I often take on the feelings as if the
I voted for Hillary. Please don’t let that make you stop reading if you made a different choice from me. I’m not writing to tell anyone that their choice was wrong. I am writing to help parents whose children woke up after the election and were afraid. I’m writing to help give them the words to calm their children and move forward.
ACCEPTING YOUR CHILD AS THEY JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
The first in a series of blogs about the importance of accepting our children for who they are.
When my daughter was born, she shattered the myths that I had held dear prior to pregnancy. I dreamed of perfect breast feeding, idyllic middle of the night feedings, cuddling and gazing into each other’s eyes with a love born of her mere existence.
Last night at around 9:30 p.m. my nineteen year old son, who is a new and enthusiastic runner, decided to go out to Central Park for a run. My fingers knitted together and my brow was close behind.
“Running? Now? It’s 9:30.” I said.
My son looked at me with a gently benevolent and only slightly patronizing expression, “Mom, I’m six feet tall, it’ll be fine.”
I’m not complaining. Let me say that right up front. It’s just that I didn’t expect to go from an empty nest to having not one but two college students living with us this summer. I knew that my son would be coming home, of course, and was rejoicing in that news. The unexpected part occurred when one of his best friends from high school asked if she could live with us this summer. (And no, they’re not dating. They really are just friends. No, I don’t have my head in the sand. And no, I’m not giving you a “wink, wink, nod, nod” as I write this.