Parenting In An LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Community by Adeh Jones
Whenever I am privileged to teach on parenting, I always ask these questions… Why are you parenting? What is the source of your parenting idea or information? These questions have a huge role to play in how you effectively parent your children. Parenting in an LGBT community is an overwhelming topic to come to terms with, especially if you have a religious root. However, one thing is certain, LGBT has come has come to stay, and its ideologies are compelling.
I must admit that because of my faith and my root, this is one of the most challenging articles I am writing about parenting, especially writing to a transcultural audience.
As a coach, I work with parents and Teens who are LGBT, those I have worked with have been vulnerable enough to share their fears, expectations and the reason why they choose their sexual orientation. Irrespective of the community you find yourself, you can only parent effectively to the level of information at your disposal. Effective parenting is the overflow of your cumulative value system.
As a parent, your responsibility Is to guide your child, help your child find and express his/her awesomeness and lastly, prepare the child for relevance in the future. One of the mistakes most parents who live in communities where LGBT is embraced make is that they look at parenting through the lenses of their religious belief. Parenting is not a religious exercise. Our responsibilities as parents is to love our children unconditionally, even when they don’t subscribe to the same ideology or belief about life, politics, religion or sexual orientation. A child deserves unreserved love from his parents, attention and the right values system. This is not optional, but a responsibility!! Every child needs to feel accepted, loved and appreciated by his/her parents. When a child does not feel loved and understood by the parents, any ‘community’ that fills that vacuum will influence the child the most. The illusion responsible for why ‘most’ children buy into LGBT ideology is the lack of emotional connection with the parent.
We live in a revolutionary society where openly talking about sex, sexuality orientation should be a must. Our children should be free to open up to us, seek our guidance or clarity. Today, child sexual abuse, manipulation and perversion is every where. Parents need to be proactive. Parents need to empower themselves with the right skill-set to teach age appropriate sex education. As a parent, go through any related comprehensive sexuality education manual your children will be given to see if it alligns with your values and belief.
I was invited to a class to share on ‘how to parent in an LGBT community’. Before I began, I asked everyone around, what will you do If I tell you I am gay? Almost all of them said they will be irritated, some said they will be disappointed, some even said they will leave. We should open ourselves to information and be less judgemental, I believe we are all humans, before our sexual orientation. People are going through a lot emotionally and mentally, some can’t help it. No straight parent will be glad to hear his child say he/she is LGBT. It is painful. Parents should be intentional about what and how they want to raise their children. Life does not abhor vacuum, if we don’t influence our kids, external influences will.
The formative years of parenting is critical. It is at this stage the child understands and appreciates what you stand for, your beliefs, ideologies and what the family subscribes to. Let the child not just feel like a part of the family, but let him/her feel loved. Be there to debunk wrong messages that conflict with how you want to raise your children and be part of your children’s daily life. Parenting in the 21st century is a huge responsibility, but with the right information, it becomes a worthwhile journey.
I am Adeh Jones,
Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming,
BBM: 557FD18A, Twitter handle – @therapistJONES, Adehjones@gmail.com