Pens. Notebooks. 3-Ring Binders. Back-to-school time is in full swing for some students. Other students are a couple weeks away from seeing their summer vacation come to a grinding halt. These kids are preparing to hit the books after Labor Day. While all parents have some concerns about their kids going back to school, gay parents may have a different set of concerns. Read on to find out how LGBT parents can prepare their children and themselves for issues that may arise in school.
Bullying policies. Most schools have some type of bullying policy in place. Check into your child’s school policy. Kids of gay parents are sometimes ridiculed and bullied due to their parents’ sexual orientation. In spite of the United States having legalized same-sex marriage, not every citizen agrees with that decision. Being gay is still regarded by some individuals as an abomination and an abnormal way of life. Bullying and taunting kids for having a gay, bisexual, or transgender parent still occurs. Look into how your child’s school handles perpetrators of bullying. Does the school resolve problems immediately and do in-services on bullying? If not, talk to the schools district’s principal and superintendent about educating students on what constitutes bullying and how kids and educators can take actions to prevent it.
Open houses. Open houses for an elementary, middle school, or high school student can often create some discomfort for gay parents. Sitting in a classroom where you are the only LGBT couple can feel awkward. To make things easier, speak to your son or daughter’s teacher in advance. Explain that you are two moms, two dads, or a transgender mom and dad and that you are both interested in making sure that your child succeeds academically and socially. Single parents can do the same. Express any personal concerns that you may have about your child’s upcoming school year.
Discuss possible questions in advance. Kids like to ask questions. More than likely, your child will be asked some questions about what it like to have a gay, transgendered, or bisexual parent. Talk to your kids about how they will answer difficult questions. Perhaps, your child prefers to not discuss the issue at length with other students. If your child does want to give a more detailed response, talk about possible options. Rehearsing and being prepared will ease your child’s anxieties and not catch them off guard when hard questions are posed to them.
If your child is gay. Being a gay youth can be tough. Discrimination, harassment, and being isolated by other peers for one’s sexual orientation is emotionally and mentally distressing for kids who do not identify as heterosexual. High school students often experience more bullying, the high school years a time when adolescents start dating, establishing friendships, and develop one’s unique identity. Establishing open lines of communication with your child is important. Let your child know that they can come to you and discuss any problems, feelings, and struggles. Being available to your child for emotional support and providing a stable foundation goes a long way.
Are you a gay parent preparing for your child’s upcoming school year? Please list any concerns or comments on my page.