The Talk: Age-By-Age, Same Sex Relationships
A Timely Discussion
By Laura Betts, LICSW, MSW
Relationships are complicated enough for adults to discuss let alone with our children. Not to worry we will help you through it!
So you may be discussing same sex relationships with your child for a number of reasons. You or your child may know someone in a same-sex relationship or you may be in one. You may also need to discuss your teenager’s sexual orientation or just have an open discussion about what’s relevant in today’s news. Whatever the reason, or whatever your beliefs or family’s experiences, it’s good to have a broad place to begin these conversations. Remember, this isjust a starting point and should be the first of many conversations throughout your child’s development. By talking about these issues, you set a tone with your child that says “It's okay to talk about whatever you want to talk about.”
If you haven’t done so, first sort out your feelings about same sex relationships. Use other parents as a sounding board. Plan how you will open up the conversation. Work with what you know. If you are in a same sex relationship or have a family friend who is, open the topic with a conversation around him or her. This helps to make things less abstract. Find age-appropriate books but make sure to review them first. It’s important that your child understand the issues around same sex marriage, what discrimination is and how it can hurt people, and why it’s important to celebrate diversity.
Know your child, family, and values best, so this article is intended to be used as a starting point and offer general guidelines. If you are concerned about your child/teen consult your pediatrician about mental health professionals in your area to get extra support for your child.
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