Are you confused at how your child wants to identify in terms of their gender, or why?
Are you unsure of how to respond them, or what pronouns to use?
Do you not understand why people identify with genders they weren't assigned at birth?
Do you wonder what implications this has?
Like sexuality, gender identity and expression can be a complex and confusing experience for some individuals. Luckily, in this day and age, there is a lot of available information available to better help you understand what this means, both for you and your child. Gender, like sexuality, is a spectrum — both binary and nonbinary — and it's important that you support your child through this time of questioning, or search for assurance.
Choosing to seek support during this time is understandable. Whether you are struggling to provide the support your child is seeking, or your confused about what this journey means for them, it can be a challenging time for families. Things may feel different, but it's important to recognise that they are still your loved one. The only thing that has changed is that they've decided to share a very important, often vulnerable part of themselves with you.
Gender identities other than cisgender (identifying with the gender assigned at birth) do not need to be "fixed" or "healed", it is a part of who they are, just as it is for cisgender people. There’s no right time or age to discovering gender. It can be challenging to feel you are different to the “norm”. Regardless of what challenges you or your child are facing, this can be a difficult and confusing time.
We want to help support you and your family. Psychologists can help educate about gender identities, support children exploring these issues, and maintain family relationships throughout. This may include family therapy and individual therapies as well as specific, evidence-based options like strength-based approaches, stress management, mindfulness, and acceptance commitment, among others. Regardless of what approach you or your child want to take, we’re here to support you. Remember that your child needs your love, support and validation during this time in their life.