So what about gender identity and young children? The wonderful organization Gender Spectrum suggests using 'insistence, consistence and persistence to help determine if a child is truly gender-expansive or transgender':
'If a boy likes to play with dolls or likes the color pink, this doesn’t mean they will grow up to be transgender. If a girl wants to be called “John” for a couple of weeks, this doesn’t mean she will always feel like a boy. The longer and more insistently that a child has identified as the opposite gender, a combination of genders, or neither gender, the easier it becomes for a parent to know.'
Gender Spectrum encourages parents to adopt Affirming Parenting Practices, and this includes allowing your child 'to choose, without pressure or unspoken messages, the clothes they wish to wear, how and with whom they play, their favorite toys, the accessories they favor, the manner in which they wear their hair, and the decorations and images with which they surround themselves'.
You also need to help your child to 'prepare for any negative reactions they may encounter outside the home by practicing their responses with them and making sure, when appropriate, that there is a safe adult for them to turn to in case they need assistance'. It also means 'discussing any negative or conflicting feelings you are struggling with over their gender with other adults, not with your child'.
No matter what, the most important point is that the 'self-esteem, mental well-being, and overall health of a child relies heavily on receiving love, support and compassion from their parents no matter where they are on their gender path.'
Read more here https://www.genderspectrum.org/explore-topics/parenting-and-family/?fbclid=IwAR1BGGmBZcem7SxSQ60ch7yHyJO8eCfQdXI6c9W1IhDD9-yhfqt1s2ru5Bo#more-340
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, (Licensed Professional Counselor), Ridgewood NJ 07450
www.exploretransform.com 201-779-6917 firstname.lastname@example.org
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