I think my teenager might be transgender. They haven’t told me and have no idea how to support them and I’m so scared of saying the wrong thing. I’m scared of pushing them away. What should I do?
Thank you for getting in touch with Ask Robyn and reaching out for support with what is going on for you.
You have said you think your teenager is transgender and you’re scared of pushing them away. A lot of feelings can come up for parents as their teenager grows up and finds their identity. Similar with many other parts of growing up as a teen, parents may feel more distant and find it hard to balance supporting their child to be independent and also wanted to be involved to support them as they grow.
It is positive that you are thinking about this and how best to support your child. It sounds like they haven’t opened up to you about this yet and that you are hoping that they will, would that be correct? It is important to let your teenager come to you, they are learning about their own identity themselves and it may be sensitive for them and it sounds like you may not be sure what stage they are at. You can support and encourage positive relationships with your teen by being there for them in so many ways. Ensuring that your teen knows that you have that unconditional love for them is so important.
Allow time together where you can talk and enjoy each other’s company, this can include watching tv together, going for walks or drives together, checking in on how things are in school or anything else that may be going on for them.
Transgender and gender identity can mean so many different things for young people and adults. You have mentioned feeling worried about saying the wrong thing, this is okay and there are so many resources that can help you with this. We have an article on our website that you may find helpful: www.ispcc.ie/what-to-do-if-your-child-tells-you-they-are-transgender/
We hope you have found this helpful. If you would like to talk more about this, you can contact ISPCC’s Support Line which can be contacted by email to [email protected] or by phone from Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm on 01 522 4300
Ask us a question
You can ask us about anything you want, there’s nothing too big or small.