4 Tips for Talking With Your Child About a Gender Identity Issue
Is your child having a gender identity issue? If your child is struggling with gender roles or seems to prefer the opposite gender, you may become worried and wonder how best to approach the situation.
The best thing you can do is stay calm and allow your child to explore the different gender roles. That way, you’ll be able to see the severity of your child’s preferences.
Here are a few tips on talking about identity with your child.
- Don’t Make It More Than It Is
Many toddlers and young children enjoy exploring different gender roles. Boys may walk around cradling dolls and girls may want to dress up as construction workers. It’s very common for things like this to happen but it doesn’t mean there will be a lasting effect on gender identity.
It’s important to take your time and talk to your child about their likes and dislikes over an extended period of time. You may find that these change as your child grows.
- Get Informed
You can only address the issue properly when you’re as informed as possible. If you think there’s a problem, it could be time to do your homework. Talk to your pediatrician, read other parents’ accounts of going through a similar thing and learn the key signs.
Taking a look at the gender spectrum is often a good place to start. If anything rings true with you and your child, you can begin to look at different ways of supporting your child through the issue.
- Finding the Root
Not all gender issues are exactly as they appear. Children tend to think in a more imaginative way than adults and that can mean we sometimes misunderstand their needs. For example, a girl may want to be a fireman because she thinks she’ll get a service dog.
Similarly, a boy may want to be a princess because he thinks he’ll get everything he wants. The only way to truly know where the root of the problem lies is to spend quality time playing with your child and asking questions.
For some parents, it can be difficult to watch their child switch gender roles. Some parents make the mistake of trying to limit playing with toys of the opposite gender and encourage more of the same gender.
However, if your child is happier playing the opposite gender role, this can make them miserable. It’s important to be able to accept your child’s preferences before you try to deal with any issue.
If you’re having difficulty doing this, you can ask your doctor to refer you to counselors or therapists that may be able to help.
Your Child’s Identity Issue
Whether your child is going through a phase or something more permanent, the best way you can help your child with an identity issue is to be their constant security. In a world of confusion, you are your child’s only constant.
Providing the love and support they need will help everyone to understand what’s going on and how to move forward. For more help with life’s tougher issues, browse the rest of this site.