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418

I would strongly suggest some couple therapy before you bring a child into this situation. I worked in a therapy clinic and saw the outcome of overbearing/unreasonable mothering (and fathering). Your wife needs to confront her own issues before she tries re-wiring a child to fit her agenda.


283

Perhaps I have some expertise on this, as someone who has raised one straight and two queer children... You don't get to decide that. She doesn't either. Yes, you can indeed try not to overly gender your kids as you are raising them. But that has little if any impact on who they are. Their personality and identity will assert itself very early. For strong ...


102

Kids like toys. My daughter plays with trucks and shovels and her toy lawn mower. My son will undoubtedly wind up playing with old toys that my daughter used to play with. This link from baby center would indicate that you, as a parent, are simply enabling your child's normal and healthy imagination and that: "playing with Barbies at age 2 or 3 isn't ...


71

Is my wife overreacting or am I wrong here? I don't think you're wrong. It seems reasonable - even admirable - to raise a child encouraging any beneficial interests they have regardless of gender-stereotype. (I say beneficial because some interests are not, e.g. an interest in experimenting with drugs during early adolescence.) If your wife truly wants a ...


67

Playing with "girl" toys at the age of five is indeed completely normal behavior for a little boy. You are correct not to worry and to allow your son to play in the way that he enjoys. It doesn't mean that he is gay, and it certainly won't "make" him gay; his sexual orientation is likely already fixed by the age of five, although he is probably still to ...


61

Your son is doing what he is doing in response to his own internal drives. His actions are nothing but a combination of genetics and life experience. Playing with dolls won't "turn him into a fag." He will eventually develop some level of attraction towards males and females that is determined by his genetics as well as prenatal testosterone exposure from ...


60

How do I express my feelings towards him being gay without actually hurting his feelings? Right now, you don't unless he asks. Even then, I'd equivocate ("Give me time to gather my thoughts. This is new to me. But please know that I love you.") You can express your feelings to your wife, or to your priest, or to your best friend. And read about it. ...


57

There's nothing whatsoever wrong with your son, but there is something very very wrong with his father. The best thing you can do is try to limit your sons exposure to this person. If he has these sorts of attitudes you should be able to argue that he is a danger to your sons emotional well-being and potentially have his level of access limited to only ...


50

You bring up many points that show that your relationship with your kid is not the best at the moment. But I'd like to focus on your kid presumably being trans. It isn't a trend Yes, there are more people openly living trans these days than ten or twenty years before, especially in the younger generation. But this doesn't invalidate these trans identities. ...


43

Oh dear, this is going to end up in tears. First you need understanding, then you can argue. I would suggest to discuss with your wife the mass of documentation (articles, social media posts, surveys, etc.) about how parents have tried (and failed) to force "normal" sexuality on their homosexual offspring. Please understand: I don't intend for you to ...


41

I'm going to take a slightly stronger position than most of the other people here. I'm keeping in mind the policy to be nice and simply objectively describing the seriousness of the situation. There are two enormous red flags that it could be extremely unwise to have a child with this person (at least while she has these desires). You need more info about ...


39

Is the psychological therapy a direct result of only this event? To an outsider without more information, that sounds like more than necessary. For something this critical, don't get advice from anonymous Internet strangers. Talk to the therapist instead! Your daughter's therapy is private but you should take the opportunity to discuss your role with the ...


35

Your son likes picking out his clothes. I can't see that as a gender-defining issue. One of my (now married) sons had such a great eye for arranging flowers in the most interesting and imaginative ways that I would sometimes send him to the garden with a pair of clippers and a free hand (something my other children didn't get (blush)! Playing with a wide ...


31

I think the main messages you need to get over are: Some people are attracted to both men and women. This is called bisexuality. Its perfectly fine and there is nothing wrong with it. Also, bisexuality doesn't have to mean equal attraction to both sexes: someone might find they are mostly attracted to men but also to a few women, or vice versa. Its normal ...


30

I think Warren Dew offers a good answer there, but if I were in your position I'd want to let my kid immediately that I know about it, that I accept it and that it will never change my love for them (since I think this addresses her no.1 fear about sharing the information with you). Now, if you don't want to be overtly blunt, when you two are on your own you ...


29

Simple answer - these feelings are normal and not necessarily an indication of her sexuality, just a child's confusion and anxiety over physical intimacy. There is nothing to be concerned about, nothing special you or your daughter needs to do. Just let time reveal her sexuality. When it happens, she'll know it and if she believes that there's nothing ...


27

Well, how do you feel about your son? I suspect, whatever your feeling are about homosexuality, in general, or in this specific case, you love your son very much, and want him to be happy. THAT is what you should express. If you have feelings one way or the other about him being gay, realize that that is not in your realm to control, and expressing opinions ...


26

I think this is a very horrible idea. Even set of ideas. Gender-less/Post Gender This is just silly. Now I'm not saying that everyone has to be confined by the stereotypes that exist, BUT, they are stereotypes for a reason. Boys and Girls are different. You can't force them into a generic one size fits all mold. You shouldn't forge them in to any mold. ...


24

I highly doubt there is a correlation between sexual orientation and the kind of toy one plays with at five years old. I can't imagine what would cause that, anyway; 'boy toys' and 'girl toys' are social constructs mostly unrelated to biology or sexuality, but to the expected role those children will play as adults.* There is probably a correlation, however,...


24

I find myself crying at times worried for her and the difficulties that she may encounter. She's probably doing the same, worried about whether her parents will accept it or reject her. That is probably the biggest difficulty she may encounter in her whole life related to being gay (assuming you live in a Western country). It sounds like you have a strong ...


23

Am I really wrong ??? The situation you're in is truly heartbreaking. No one but you can decide for yourself if you're right or wrong. However, other people can share their experiences and beliefs. One question that comes to mind is, would you feel the same exact way if the other person were a male? In other words, if she didn't come out as gay and flaunt ...


23

Ask her why she is afraid of turning out to be lesbian, and address that.


23

I would suggest going carefully – the worst thing you could do is hurt your child or your relationship with them. Make sure that whatever you do is something that makes them feel loved and listened to. Next, I would realize that children at that age are going through a lot, both mentally, emotionally, physically and in interpersonal relationships. If it ...


21

I'm not surprised that being exposed to LGBT+ culture for the first time would be the starting point of this "phase". I know plenty of people (myself included) who settled for trying their best to perform their assigned gender before discovering they didn't have to. The pattern you're describing is not necessarily one of imitation or fitting in, but of ...


20

She needs your support (and the therapist's) while going through a difficult enough stage of life with the added complication of (possibly) being gay. It sounds like her peers are (like most kids) not open and supportive of her, which may quite possibly reflect the general society where you live. If she's hurting herself because of anti-gay taunting, that's ...


20

You could start by making it clear that you're fine with gays and recognize that it's not something that people can change, any more than they can change their eye color, even if you don't specifically mention your daughter's specific situation at first. The more she feels you will still value her and will not try to change her, the better. If you think ...


20

I think your daughter is essentially coming out to you already. If she has this big of a secret, and didn't want you to know, she would not have loaned you her iPad, or at least would have made sure that any "incriminating" evidence was secured. She would not leave photos and text messages available for you to be able to see unless she wanted you to see ...


20

Depending on where you live, this might sound controversial, but children don't need protection from their parents as long as they don't engage in violent, sexual or otherwise unhealthy behavior in front of / with the children. Painting your nails, dying your hair or even dressing in feminine clothes is not sexual or unhealthy behavior, it's you living your ...


19

My comment was a little harsh, here is how I feel about this situation: Your daughter is an adult. You have absolutely no right to tell her who she can and cannot befriend. I don't know what this girl has or has not done, but I do know parents almost always hold a bias. I remember growing up, my parents wouldn't let me hang out with certain friends ...


19

I am not a parent going through this, but I've been that child, so I have a few suggestions. The most important thing is to take her seriously. You can express this in various ways. The first is to really try to understand her situation. She's not gay, she's having trouble with her psychological gender idendity vs her physical sex. Do some research on the ...


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