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Talking Sexual Identity, Orientation With Teen

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by Rihana, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    It used to be that when parents talked about the birds and the bees with their teen, they covered how babies were made, and how not to get pregnant. Or as it is now more comprehensively called, how to practice safe sex.

    Times we live in are different. There is thankfully more awareness and acceptance of differing sexual identities and orientations. What all should a parent cover in those talks over a child's teen years? How to even get started? Honestly, it would take me something like a one semester college course to really understand all the terms.

    October 11th is National Coming Out Day. Thought it would be a good day to start this thread.

    Please no debate about homosexuality, let's stick to the topic -- how can parents talk about these things with the child. How can a parent let a child know that the parent will always love and support the child when the parent himself does not fully understand all that's involved.

    Share your thoughts, or any good links you come across that help parents navigate these tricky talks that go beyond how babies are made and safe sex.
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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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  2. Metamorphic

    Metamorphic Gold IL'ite

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    No worries there ... coz children now a days are not giving us that chance. They are the ones who will broach the subject.

    The other day, my son aged 8 came home from school and said "amma, our teacher told us that in this country, boys marry boys" and paused for a while with a big question mark on his face. We live in a country where it is legally allowed.

    I had to quickly start my gyan from thereon. :grinning::grinning:

    Considering he is just 8 years, I was cautious not dumping unnecessary information in his little brain and triggering unneeded curiosity. Educated him on just two things: 1. Ours family's take on the subject spiritually and otherwise as well; 2. how people are free to exercise their choice and how we have no business judging them.

    Left it at that for now and luckily he had no further questions. But, it surely is a sign of what's coming. I need to be prepared to be able to deal with this subject maturely. I don't think I have time until his teenage begins. :confused:

    I am super hopeful that this thread will give lot of insight. Thanks Rihana for starting this!
     
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  3. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    Yes. I am looking forward to the answers to this thread.
     
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  4. ashneys

    ashneys Platinum IL'ite

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    I think ‘Modern Family’ series made my son curious when he was about 8. He was confused when he watched Mitch n Cam together.

    I explained that
    ‘they are married jus like your mom n dad, but in their case boy likes boy, girls like girls.’
    He was like ‘yew. That’s weird’
    Me ‘it’s normal for them. We maybe weird for them. We don’t have to like it but don’t disrespect. It’s their life.’
    Later, when he saw a woman hugging a woman, he was like ‘are they gay too ?’
    I was like ‘ ya’
    Now two years later, it doesn’t bother him at all. He understands it’s their choice n their life n he shouldn’t show faces or say mean things.

    Similar topic happened with transgenders too.
    I again explained ‘she was born as a boy but she always felt like a girl due to hormonal differences n became a girl by going to a doctor. N that they are normal human being just like us.’ He behaves very normal n doesn’t freak out. N I have seen adults freak out :facepalm:

    Explaining the right way always helps, we may not have to say everything but say a few things that helps them to understand the ‘concept’ instead of we diverting n they ask their friends who will share half baked infos.
     
  5. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    I don't have answers to your specific question but just wanted to share a thought.

    Many years ago, I had spent many a sleepless nights reading detailed, heart-wrenching accounts of young and older adults and their first person narrations of the physical and emotional trauma they suffered and continue to suffer because their sexual orientation and gender fluidity. And one thing that struck me the most - was that a significant part of the pain comes from within their own homes - with their parents or a significant sibling not understanding them and/or accepting them when they tried to come out. The running away from home, the changing of their last and first names to remove every tie that had to home, etc, the long-drawn therapies they continue to undergo as older adults not being able handle the childhood trauma, the willingness to trust absolute strangers and then be exploited by them, etc, etc. And I told myself - that I will never be that parent. And we will be an accepting household. So I am glad to see this thread and hear what others might have to say.
     
  6. SpringB

    SpringB Platinum IL'ite

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    In MHO, it’s the parents/elders that needs to be educated, should increase awareness and be open-minded to respect individual’s choices and sexual orientation without passing hurtful comments or judgement. Kids can be easily talked to and schools in US these days does a good job of educating these personal preferences and respecting differences. Will watch this space for other valuable input
     
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  7. peartree

    peartree Platinum IL'ite

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    I have a gay co-worker and in talking at home about my co-workers, I casually say X and his husband! My daughter, when she was 7 asked me if 2 boys can marry each other and I just told her 2 adults can marry each other, but they have to be adults and left it at that.

    There was a time when we saw a gender fluid server at a restaurant we went to and my daughter asked if the server was a boy or girl. I only told her I wasn't sure, and that she should just ask them if she wanted to know. Otherwise she can just refer to them as "avaa" (them in Tamil) and she left it at that.

    I think the key is to just be casual about it, and not make it seem like it is something out of the ordinary that requires special explanation.
     
  8. Agathinai

    Agathinai Silver IL'ite

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    I haven’t talked about these with my kids and till now they never questioned me regarding them. But I am sure they will be reading about these as they grow up. If they ask questions, I would be more than willing to discuss such topics with them. But so far I haven’t done any such discussions as they are quite young now.
     
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  9. SinghManisha

    SinghManisha Platinum IL'ite

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    Me too !
     
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  10. hermitcrab

    hermitcrab Platinum IL'ite

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    On this topic, is anyone planning to watch Dream girl, with children?
     
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