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“Mom and Dad, can we talk?”
With this seemingly ordinary request, your 14-year-old son goes on to reveal that he identifies as a girl. He tells you he’s been quietly uncomfortable in his male body for years. Recently, he’s connected with transgender teens at school and online, and the similarity of their feelings and experiences has confirmed to him that he is transgender. He asks you to start referring to him as your daughter.
Parent - Teen - **** - Something - Someone
Perhaps you’re a parent of a teen or **** who has told you something similar. Or you know someone going through this experience. According to a 2018 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are approximately 500,000 trans children in the United States, or 0.7 percent of the population.
If they haven’t already, many Christians will face the resulting jumble of questions: Will I harm my child if I don’t embrace their trans identity? What should I say in response to their confusion? How can I help my child?
Parents - Child - Desires - Responsibility - Child
While Christian parents can’t affirm their child’s misplaced desires, they have a God-given responsibility to lovingly help their child through a real struggle with gender identity. Rather than being bewildered into ineffectiveness, parents can proactively care for their child in at least three basic ways.
It’s true that transgender youth have higher rates of depression and other mental illnesses than others in their peer group. Whether or not this is a direct consequence of discrimination and victimization isn’t easy to discern. But the fact remains that trans students are more at risk for depression, self-harming behaviors, and suicidal ideation than their non-trans peers are.
Possibility - Children - Words - Tender - Hearts
Don’t let the possibility that gender-questioning, gender-dysphoric, or trans children will respond unfavorably to your words prevent you from speaking with them. Instead, acknowledge the particularly tender and broken hearts and spirits of children and teens who struggle...
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