How to talk to your young child about the LGBTQIA+ community is a timely and essential question. As a parent or caregiver, it can be difficult to know the right thing to say when kids question what we deem to be adult topics. Broaching topics of sexuality can be awkward for both parents and kids alike. Yet, it is a necessary conversation to have.
When it comes to talking about homosexuality and transgender individuals, children should be given age-appropriate information. This will help them better understand and empathize with others. Regardless of whether or not your child is LGBTQIA+, having a conversation about LGBTQIA+ issues will help reduce prejudice. In addition, parents will be reinforcing family values of compassion and empathy.
When to Talk to Your Young Child about the LGBTQIA+ Community:
It’s never too late to start a conversation on issues of sexuality with your children. While there may be initial discomfort and reluctance from preadolescent and older children, having these discussions with your children will ultimately help them develop a sense of safety and security with you, while teaching inclusion and acceptance.
For young children, the age of 5 is a good time to begin discussing these topics by sharing some basic information with them.
What to Say about the LGBTQIA+ Community:
For young children, keep the conversation simple and focus on basic concepts. When talking about homosexuality, you can explain to your child that just as a man and a woman can fall in love, so can a man with a man, and a woman with a woman. When talking about transgender individuals, you can explain that how a person looks on the outside isn’t always how they feel on the inside. You can refer to the familiar adage about “not judging a book by its cover.”
Children should understand the basic concept that even though people may look different than us, they are people just like we are and equally deserving of love, acceptance, and respect.
Your child may have questions that you can’t answer. It’s okay to admit to your child when you don’t know the right answer. This could be a discussion point for later after you’ve done some research, or it could be a good opportunity for you to learn from your child.
If you would like some support talking to your children about difficult conversations, then give me a call (626) 755-4059. I offer a FREE, 20-minute phone consultation. Let’s co-create a plan of healing for you or your family.