Parenting has undoubtedly become a more complicated reality than ever before. One of the more divisive issues in modern parenting is LGBT parenting. Although it is true that gay or lesbian parents may have existed prior to this century, this issue has become more conspicuous in the 21st century. There may be a variety of reasons for this, but whatever the reason, gay or lesbian parents and their families are in the social spot light.
Communication and support
As a couple, it’s important to talk, talk and talk even more! Communication is so important when bringing a child up in any environment. If you have adopted a child who is a bit older, you should be ready, willing and able to discuss any questions that arise. Lend an ear at a moment’s notice. Also, if you have family members close by, let them know about your decision and ask for their support. It often takes a village to raise a child.
Talk to your child openly about the positive things in your family arrangement as well as explaining discrimination.
Answer questions appropriately by Age
All kids are curious about their origins and may have questions about their birth parents if adopted or if one or both aren’t active in their life. Kids may also have questions about your sexuality, their sexuality, or how society perceives your sexual orientation. They may wonder what to say to friends, how a civil union is different than a straight marriage, and much more.
Most experts agree that it is best to answer kids’ questions in a patient, straightforward way that is appropriate for their age and maturity level. Avoid information overload, and ask if you have answered their questions completely. Encourage kids to come back to you whenever they have more questions.
If a child asks a question that makes you uncomfortable, you may consider asking someone else to answer it for them. Kids don’t have to know every detail, and you may or may not feel that what they’re asking invades your privacy. Remind them that everyone has a right to their own privacy, especially when it comes to matters that don’t directly involve or affect the child.
Be the love you want to see
It’s important for a same-sex couple with kids to always make the presence of love and caring evident in their daily lives. This can be done with verbal reassurances from both parents to kids, as well as through social family functions, vacations and weekly outings. Keep in mind both parents must have some alone time to keep their fire burning, as well. Partners sharing some personal time will help their family grow and strengthen.
Consider your child’s Comfort Level
Coming out of the closet was a difficult process for most of us, and we have no desire to run back into hiding, where many of the conservative politicians hang out these days. However, our children are a different story. They are faced with their own set of problems and social structures at school, and being different in school can be cause for ridicule. While I’m not advocating parents rushing back into the closet, I am suggesting we don’t force our kids to be as open about their parents’ sexuality as we are. Did you want to talk about your parents’ sex lives when you were growing up? Gross!
If your child is not comfortable with telling the world that they have two mommies or daddies, don’t take it personally. Your child has to adjust to life and figure out for his/herself how to incorporate the differences of their home life with their classmates. They will figure it out, and they will be fine with it. Just let them do it at a pace that is comfortable for them. Straight Friends – Having straight friends will help your child understand that you have an appreciation for heterosexual relationships and that your straight friends love you as well.”
A world of differences
As a same-sex couple, it’s important to explain to your kids about society and the many types of people that make up this complex nexus. Explain to them they might, at times, be faced with some type of pressure since a lot of people may not understand the genesis of their family. However, assure them they are loved no matter what.
Get involved with groups
Find same-sex parenting support groups and organizations in your area, as well as online. It will be great to be able to ask questions and share experiences with like-minded people on a regular basis. This way, you are facing these challenges head-on with family rearing and understanding both functioning on their highest level.
However lesbian couples decide to have children, the most important emphasis is that children are raised in a safe and loving environment, with responsible parents meeting their needs. Good parenting regardless of sexuality requires consistency and security. Lesbian couples are just as likely as heterosexual parents to raise well adjusted and well rounded children. There is much recent evidence from studies to support this finding, that a child having gay or lesbian parents does not affect their self-esteem and well being.
“Gay parents tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average because they chose to be parents” Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals. That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement.”
If your child sees you accept other cultures and love other races, it will help them become more open-minded.
While society still struggles to accept gay parenting, this hasn’t stopped same-sex parents from moving forward and starting successful families. In fact, research shows that gay parents may in some ways be more successful than straight parents.
In recent years acceptance of non-traditional families has increased, however there are unfortunately still many people who refuse to accept that gay or lesbian parents can offer children proper parenting. Attitudes vary considerably between countries and even within the same country. Typically more urban diverse areas are more likely to be tolerant and accepting of non-traditional families than more rural areas. Studies have shown that children raised in gay or lesbian families are more likely to be empathetic and understanding of others, possibly because they have personal understanding that judging someone is unfair. Lessons in kindness and consideration to others are important within all families and heterosexual parents can help by talking to their children about the struggles that other children or families face.
As homosexuality becomes more widely accepted, more children are born to or openly raised by gay fathers or lesbian mothers. While this issue still remains very controversial for many, millions of children and families are living it day to day. Here’s what experts and recent research have to say about its affect on kids.
A number of smaller studies have been done on children raised by gay or lesbian parents. While most experts in the area agree that more research is necessary to make widespread conclusions, and groups against gay marriage and/or parenting find fault with the studies, several large and prominent organizations have stated that children raised by gay parents are just as likely to be happy and successful as children raised by straight parents—adding that what makes the most difference is a loving home. Additionally, research also supports the position that children raised by gay or lesbian parents are no more likely to become homosexual than children raised by straight parents.
Same-sex couples raise the most open-minded children, a new study has revealed.
According to research, children of gay parents tend to be more open-minded, tolerant and have a better understanding of equitable relationships while showing no significant differences in achievement, social functioning or mental health.
The study also found that the number of same-sex couple parented families in Australia is growing and that children with lesbian parents were better equipped than other children to deal with issues of equality and diversity.