Gender identity and expression are key elements to the way a child or teen perceives themselves and the world around them. For transgender children and teens, acceptance and support from family is essential.
Research has shown that support from family can reduce the risk of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse in trans children and teens. Furthermore, family support can prevent suicide and self-injurious behaviors. Familial support can help reduce the impact of bullying that a transgender child or teen may experience socially.
What is Gender Dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is not considered a mental illness. Gender dysphoria means that a person identifies as a gender that is not the same as the gender they were assigned at birth. Transgender teens and adults often experience a feeling of disconnect between their assigned gender and how they identify themselves. This gender dysphoria can cause emotional pain. This is especially true when their feelings are not understood or validated by others.
5 Ways to Support your Transgender Child or Teen
1. Express unconditional love and support to your child.
2. Advocate for your child to promote a safe and secure environment at home and at school.
3. Encourage your child to advocate for themselves.
4. Educate yourself about supporting your transgender child. Explore resources and support groups.
5. Use the preferred gender pronouns and names for your child (ask them!)
The Trevor Project provides multiple resources to support LGBTQ youth.
PFLAG supports the families, friends and allies of LGBTQ people and provides information on support groups around the country.
The Human Rights Campaign provides a transgender children and youth page.
For additional support, consider seeking therapy services for yourself, your family, or your child. For information about therapy services, please contact Specialized Therapy Services Intake department at (201)-488-6678 or contact us online at Specialized Therapy Associates.