Monday Mind Talks: How parents can best support LGBTQ+ kids mental health this Pride Month

This Pride Month, here are some tips for parents on how to best support the mental health of LGBTQ+ children.

Updated on Jun 08, 2022 01:48 PM IST  |  243.7K
Pride Month
Monday Mind Talks: How parents can best support LGBTQ+ kids mental health this Pride Month
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Throughout childhood, feelings of being "different" come to the fore, even though the meaning of these feelings may be unclear to the child. Before entering their adolescence, children may begin exploring gender and relationships, so "coming out" and sharing these feelings of being different with others can happen at any time. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues among such minority teens and youth are alarmingly high. The ability of parents and guardians to set the stage for better outcomes is frequently overlooked in discussions. However, providing support isn't always easy, especially if you're the parent of a child who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). All children have the right to be loved and supported. LGBTQ+ youth are no different, but they may face additional challenges than other children.

So, in praise of Pride Month, here are four suggestions for how you can best support the mental health of your LGBTQ children.

educate yourself

1. Educate yourself

On the internet, there is an increasing amount of excellent information that connects people with resources and support on these key subjects. Consider what kind of support, facilities, and education your child's school provides, and educate yourself on local, state, and national LGBT laws and policies.

2. Promote dialogue

Discuss your child's LGBT identity with them. When your child tells you or you learn that your child is LGBT, express your love. Learn about their friends and what they enjoy doing. Inquire about their day and whether they learned anything new at school. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, support your child's LGBT identity. You don't have to fully comprehend what a child is going through to show them that you believe them and that their feelings are valid. What matters is that you try to recognise your child's emotion.

allow child to express

3. Allow your child to express themselves

To begin with, if that young person believes they are LGBTQ, they may bring up a related topic to gauge your tolerance and acceptance. They'll feel more safe and secure if they see your willingness to engage in the conversation. While listening to them, be compassionate and empathetic. Your level of comfort and the language you use with a child can strengthen or disperse negative stereotypes about LGBTQ people. 

4. Seek support

It's natural to have concerns and even fears after the coming out of your child. This is a big deal for you as well, and seeking assistance will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to better support your child. There are a variety of online and in-person resources to help you find supportive communities if you find yourself in a non-affirming environment.

All parents and caregivers have a responsibility to affirm, support, and lift up LGBTQIA+ children. Inquiring about a child's individual needs is a clear way to express acceptance of their entire person, not just their identity.

Also Read: 3 Tips on how to come out as LGBT

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