Traditional family structures are changing with time. Now there are millions of families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) parents. The American society, broadly speaking, is taking time to adjust to the changing dynamics of family structure. However, psychologists say when it comes to parenting; LGBT parents raise their children with the same values and skills as the kids of heterosexual parents.
Researchers have found out that kids raised by gay parents have similar emotional and psychological growth pattern as the kids of heterosexual couples. Kids of both the couples tend to exhibit the same kind of behavioral patterns during adolescence. Despite the lack of differences, LGBT parents are constantly under a microscope. Teens of LGBT parents are constantly scrutinized, so that any mistake or unlikely behavior of the teens can be pinned to their parents’ sexuality. This is usually carried out by people who lack information and awareness regarding LGBT couples. The common misguided notions in the society regarding children of LGBT parents are:
- As kids reach their adolescence they are most likely to be homosexuals
- They are more vulnerable to pedophiles
- They are confused about their gender identity
- They display confused gender role behavior
These common beliefs have created an air of anxiety among LGBT parents. As compared to kids of heterosexual parents, they have to prepare their children for the challenges and discrimination that lie ahead. This is where the difference in parenting comes in, without compromising on the quality of parenting. Following are some tips, which will be helpful for LGBT parents in teaching their kids how to cope with different pressures in society:
- Prepare your kid about the questions on their family structure, most likely to be asked by their peers
- Have a direct flow of communication with your kid
- Explain to them the dynamics of LGBT relationships, but be sure to take their age and sensitivites into account
- Use examples from movies, books and everyday life to explain to your children how LGBT families work
- It is necessary to teach them about the importance of diversity and need to respect such families and individuals
- Instead of raising kids in isolation, seek out communities where they are more accepted
- Send your kids to schools where diversity is appreciated or less frowned upon
Although there are no differences between behavior of teens of LGBT and heterosexual parents, but the nature of challenges faced by them makes parenting more intense for LGBT parents.