Parents not accepting a transgender child

Watch Diane Ehrensaft, PhD's video on parents not accepting a transgender child to gain helpful tips on what to do in this situation.
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Parents not accepting a transgender child

What if you are feeling okay about your child being Gender Non-Conforming, but your partner does not feel okay at all? And might even say, "Not in my house." That is not an uncommon phenomenon. I might add that it's often dads that often have a harder time than moms. But whoever the parent is, I would say that's a very important time to get some mental health supports, so the two of you can talk about it together. In the meantime, you will probably need to come up with some compromises that both of you are comfortable with, in terms of your child's gender expressions. The most important thing to do in whatever your compromises are, is to communicate to your child that there is nothing wrong with you. If they are not allowed, for example, to wear their dress out in the world and only at home; they should know because it is an unfair world out there that isn't ready to accept boys in dresses. Not because there is anything wrong with a boy wearing a dress. Even if a parent feels that way, it would be good at that point, to keep it to yourself until you get some help in working with a mental health professional.

Watch Diane Ehrensaft, PhD's video on parents not accepting a transgender child to gain helpful tips on what to do in this situation.


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Diane Ehrensaft, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD is a developmental and clinical psychologist in Oakland, California. She is a parenting expert and also specializes in gender studies and psychotherapy and consultation with gender nonconforming children and their families. She is the author of Gender Born, Gender Made:  Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children; Mommies Daddies, Donors, Surrogates, Building a Home Within (co-edited with Toni Heineman), Spoiling Childhood, and Parenting Together. Dr. Ehrensaft has made many media appearances, most recently the Anderson Cooper Day show, and has presented and published both nationally and internationally on the subjects of parenting, child development, assisted reproductive technology, and children’s gender development and gender nonconformity.

Dr. Ehrensaft is the Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center, a University of California San Francisco-community partnership offering interdisciplinary services to gender conforming children and youth and their families, as well as the psychologist at the UCSF Gender Clinic.

She serves on the faculty of The University of California and is a founding member of A Home Within, a national non-profit organization serving the mental health needs of children and youth in foster care.

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