These questions may help you better understand your transgender child and why they feel the way they do.
- How long have you been feeling this way?
- What started you thinking about it? Did something happen?
- What made you tell me now? Did something change?
- Have you been talking to anyone else about these feelings?
- How did you learn about transgender people?
- Are you thinking of changing your name and/or the pronouns people use to refer to you?
- Where do you see yourself on the gender spectrum?
- What do you want to change now to express your preferred gender? What would you like to change in the future?
- What do you think I need to get more information about?
- How can I help you in this process?
I don’t suggest you ask all these questions at once. Be sure to carefully listen to the answers provided. This will demonstrate to your child that you are genuinely interested in what they think, how they see themselves and what they are experiencing. This will also assure them that you are there for them.
Take plenty of time to think about the answers you receive to these questions. As you absorb the information, you may realize you need more clarification. Write these questions down and ask them at your next opportunity. As you continue to ask follow-up questions, you may notice that you are beginning to better understand your child and why they feel the way they do.
Over time, this open communication will also help you evaluate your child’s level of stress or distress, and determine whether they may need additional outside support or intervention.
If there are any other questions you wanted to ask your child, or if you want to share other information they offered, please leave a note in the comments.