Parenting Trans Teens: How To Provide The Love And Support They Need

Written by | The Lens

What do you do when your teenager identifies as trans? Whether you’re part of the LGBT community or not, you understand the amount of courage it took for your child to share their truth. You also know that their lives will be forever changed. As a parent, you want nothing more than for your teen to lead a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life, but your awareness of the harshness of modern society causes you concern. 

Your teenager needs you more than you know. They need your acceptance, love, and support so they can step into their identity and navigate everyday life confidently. How can you provide what your trans teen needs? Consider the advice below. 

Get Educated

Getting educated is important, no matter what you believe about the transgender community and its many struggles. As more experiences, therapies, and treatments are shared, you want to ensure that you’re guiding your teen with current data. 

While talking to your teen can provide some insight, they, too, are inexperienced and may need help understanding what they’re feeling. Ultimately, gathering information from reputable sources, including therapists and LGBT-friendly organizations and platforms, is best. 

Check Your Emotions And Biases

You cannot give your teen the support they need if you harbor negative emotions and biases. Whether you’re feeling guilty, angry, scared, anxious, or disappointed or grew up in a strict religion or culture, you need to take the steps to overcome those emotions and biases. Talk with a therapist or join parenting support groups to help you with this task. 

As you work through your emotions, don’t put on a front for your teen, as they can often see right through you. If you give them the impression that their sexual identity is causing you emotional overwhelm or frustration, it could cause them to stop sharing. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you’re feeling confused or need time to think things through while reinforcing your love for your teen. 

Recommend Therapy for Trans Teens

Your teenager is dealing with an array of emotions. Although overwhelming feelings are common, failure to identify, manage, and properly cope can cause problems in your teen’s developmental, educational, relational, and social life. While you should never force therapy on anyone, recommending teens trans mental health services is ideal. 

These facilities offer a safe haven for teens to get the help they need to navigate this challenging time in their lives. With residential and outpatient options, your teen will receive individual and group counseling among other therapies, to guide them along their journey. They’ll be surrounded by mental health experts and a community of trans teens who can provide comfort, advice, and education in the areas they need most. 

Support Their Methods of Expression

One of trans teens’ biggest fears is not being accepted by those closest to them. You can show your child support by allowing them to express themselves. Whether it means calling them by their identified gender, taking them to buy new clothes, or participating in LGBT events to voice their opinions, it shows your teen you accept them wholeheartedly. 

Get To Know Your Teen

Some parents find it difficult to let go of what they believed or expected of their teens. They often remember the days when things were “simple” and reminisce about who their “sons” and “daughters” used to be. Unfortunately, this does nothing to help your family. Although you’ll always have those memories to cherish, you should get to know your teen for who they are now. 

Ask questions, plan dates, spend quality time together, and discover the amazing person they’re becoming. As you embark on this experience, you’ll come to learn that while your teen identifies as another gender, they’re still the same loving person you raised. 

Learning that your teenager is transgender is an overwhelming experience for everyone. While these feelings are natural and expected, it’s important that you don’t allow them to drive a wedge between you and your teen. They need your acceptance, love, and support as they prepare to enter adulthood and face society. The above advice will equip you with everything you need to get yourself and your teen on to brighter days.

Last modified: October 29, 2022