So one of your kids came out, and your other kid is freaking out? How do you help your child accept a gay sibling?
If your child isn’t responding well to the news of a gay sibling, there could be a lot of different things happening. Just to name a few:
- This news may have rocked their world! They may be saying to themselves “I don’t know who my brother/sister is any more,” and it might feel really uncomfortable to them.
- They may be worried about how friends and others will respond, and have anxiety about others teasing them, etc.
- Your kid may be struggling with similar issues themself about their own sexuality, and he or she may not really know how they feel. When a sibling comes out, it may feel to this child that now they have been thrust in front of a mirror, and they’re not mature enough to cope with it yet.
There are a million different possible explanations behind a kid’s reaction to their sibling coming out. Regardless of the reason, you have to allow them to have a safe place to express themselves. You may disagree with how he or she is reacting, but their feelings are their feelings. If you start judging feelings, you’re not going to get anywhere.
Create A Safe Space
Helping your kid to feel like you accept their feelings and allowing them freedom to express themselves may help him or her to feel the empathy necessary to sympathize with their gay sibling. The more you allow your kid to have a safe place to talk and share his/her feelings the more he/she can understand where those feelings are coming from and process them.
Here’s this week’s Tips on Teens question:
“My 19 year old daughter just came out to the family as gay recently. It was kind of a shock for all of us, we didn’t see it coming. My younger son is 14 and is having a really hard time accepting it. He’s been kind of short tempered around the house, passive aggressive, spending a lot of time in his room. I thought I raised him to be open and tolerant, but I guess he wasn’t ready for this yet. What can I do to create some harmony?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.