Title: How do I support my possibly non binary son?
00:00:00 Speaker 1
It your teenage son just let you know that they are nonbinary. What does that mean? What are you
going to do? Well, let's talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a
licensed marriage and telling therapist excuse me? And I specialize in helping kids, teens,
and families live happier lives. I lead two organizations teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit
501 c three organization, child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California.
Everyone's date at noon and jump onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's
jump into today's. My son is a junior in high school, and he told me this past weekend that he thinks
he may be nonbinary. I've done some reading and I'm still not sure I even know what this means.
I feel like it's the hot new trend for kids to explore their sexuality and gender identities.
I wonder how long this is going to last for my son or if it's a passing thing. In the meantime, though,
what do I do to support him through
00:01:04 Speaker 1
this and how seriously should I take it? Thank you for your question. It's a totally understandable
question. These things can be really scary and off putting for parents because it's not something
that many of us who are Generation X really went through or in the mainstream that we understood,
and it's okay. I think the most important thing is to be accepting of your child and explore with
your son what it means for them to be non binary and what is non binary. And everyone experiences
non binary a little differently. But generally speaking, if we have a binary system, male and
female, your child doesn't really seem like that they fit into either one of those categories.
Either they kind of vacillate between the two or they totally don't identify with either one.
But again, these are just some examples. So it's really important that you talk to your teenager
about how they experience this so you can understand it. Now, it's not that you have to totally
understand exactly how it feels to
00:02:05 Speaker 1
be nonbinary. You may never understand that, and that's fine. I think the important thing is
just to make sure that your child gets that you accept them, that you accept them, that this is
their experience and that you accept them no matter what. Trying to influence your child in
this way or that way is just going to make things confusing, put more pressure, and it's going
to make things worse. Your child is going to choose to see themselves how they see themselves,
regardless of any pressure you put on them. And the more pressure you put on them, it may delay
them really deciding or not deciding, but embracing who they are and having that sense of self
and understanding who that is. So in the meantime,
00:02:51 Speaker 1
keep talking about what pronouns they prefer to use. If that's important. If there's a name
change, they need to change. They may not. They may be much more comfortable with this than you
are. Again, kids who are millennials who are coming up or teenagers right now, this is much more
part of their culture, and they're used to it more than someone who's in their forty s, fifty
s or 60s, which was not as much part of the culture. It was still around, it was just more underground.
And now it's more on the surface, which allows more people to be who they want to be be. So whoever
your child is attracted to, wants to date wherever that is, you really have no impact on that.
So the more you embrace it and accept it, even if you don't understand it, the more you'll all
get through this. And you'll make sure that you maintain a strong, healthy relationship for
your kid, especially if they get confused, if they get overwhelmed, if they're over their head,
if they get hurt. They want to have that
00:03:44 Speaker 1
safe relation with you no matter what happens. That is totally accepting and non judgmental,
so they have that safe place. Anyways, that's our question for today. If you'd like me to answer
your question on Tips on Teens, email us at tips on Teens@teentherapycenter.com or direct
message us right here on Facebook or Instagram. We love those too. Thank you so much. My name
is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center and child and Teen Counseling. And I'll see you all
next Wednesday at noon on Facebook Live. Bye.
How do I support my non-binary teen?
What does it mean when your child tells you they’re non-binary? Generally speaking it means that your kid doesn’t feel like they fit into one of the traditional categories of “male” or “female.” The definition of non-binary can be a little diffeent for everyone.
Parents don’t have to understand to be supportive
The good news is that parents don’t have to totally understand how it feels to be non-binary to support their non-binary kid. As a parent, the best thing you can do is to explore specifically what it means to your child to be non-binary. As always, the most important thing is to make your child feel like you accept them. Your kid will choose to see themselves how they want. Trying to influence them in one direction will add pressure, make things worse and ultimately delay them embracing who they are.
There’s more to say, and we talk about in this Tips on Teens:
“My son is a junior in high school and he told me this past weekend that he thinks he may be ‘non-binary.’ I’ve done some reading, and I’m still not sure I even know what this means. I feel like it’s the hot new trend for kids to explore their sexuality and gender identities. I wonder how long this is going to last for my son or if it’s a passing thing. In the meantime though, what do I do to support him through this, and how seriously should I take it?”
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.