Family members might not have been shocked about my husband’s niece who recently came out. However, they were concerned that we told our children.
Although the news may sound like something we shouldn’t discuss with small children, it’s important to address that society has changed. Yes, the world will continue to surprise our children, but I strongly believe in addressing certain topics and asking them about their thoughts.
Tell Them Anyway
Parents might think they’re doing their children good by not bringing up tough discussions. My husband and I believe it’s better for us to explain/teach something to our children now than to have society do it for us. Society might not be as kind.
I grew up in a Catholic household where we didn’t discuss homosexuality. Members of our church would believe the person was confused or uncertain of themselves.
Growing up, my brothers and I were sheltered during our childhood, and we didn’t socialize with certain people. We went to Catholic schools where homosexuality was seen as a sin.
Yes, you would hear stories about lesbians at my all-girl Catholic high school, but no one dared to discuss it.
College Years With LGBQT Members
It wasn’t until I hit college that I met people who would socialize with gays and lesbians. It was fascinating to me, and I remember my cousin telling me she had a gay friend. She embraced him as a normal human being.
I wanted that for myself — to connect with others, and know who they were and what they were about. The people that I grew up knowing as “sinners” were roaming the same halls I was.
I made friends with several, and I keep in touch with them through social media. It’s been fascinating to see my friends fight for equality. Being able to share their struggles with my children is important for me. It’s almost as if I’m giving back to the wonderful friendships I’ve made throughout the years.
Today, we live in a society that (for the most part) accepts the LGBTQ community. You can even see representations of members throughout the media as well.
We’ve seen movies where the same sex is affectionate, and our kids asked questions. As a parent, it’s my job to answer them in the best way possible.
One of our kids’ favorite cousins told me she likes girls. My husband and I made it a point to share the news with our children. Although our oldest was confused at first, it didn’t make him love her any less.
We met her girlfriend this week and it was exciting to see that our boys embraced her as another person. This is one of the reasons why we tell our children about the “tough” topics. So they understand that we are all created equally.
Why Address ‘Tough’ Topics When They’re Young
At this age — three and six — our boys are still developing their perception of the world around them. I wouldn’t want them to raise our children like my brothers and me. We’d take whatever our parents’ beliefs were and roll with it.
I strongly believe children should have a mind of their own. They also need to be educated on what’s going on around them so they can properly form their own opinions.
How To Start The Conversation
Telling your child about a gay/lesbian family member requires patience and time. The worst thing you could do it blur out whatever comes to mind. You’ll want to begin the conversation somewhere.
When we’re going to discuss a tough topic with our children, we turn to TV news. It’s full of interesting topics to share with your family and friends. We use our mornings as a time to discuss life lessons, mainly about the consequences of our actions.
Another way we like to focus on certain topics is to think of everyday scenarios. Much like like going to the grocery store. You’ll meet some interesting people at Walmart. I never hold back on the opportunity to share a life lesson with the kids.