Raising a transgender child

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD's list some simple tips for parents raising a transgender or gender non-conforming child. Hear what she suggests parents do to help support their child.
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Raising a transgender child

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If you have a child who you think may be Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming, and you are somewhat stumped about what to do about it. Here is what you do. The first thing is love your child. It's as easy as that. Make sure you love your child for who your child is telling you he or she is. The second is to seek out supports. Those could be from close friends. It could be from your church or synagogue. It could be from a mental health professional. It could be from community support groups from which there are plenty. Don't try to do it alone. It's a very long road. It's a difficult road, and it's one where you get support you can feel strong and clear about how to help your child and give your child all the support that they need. It's like in the airplane, when they say, "Parents, do the oxygen mask first, so you can administer to your child." It's the same thing. Get some supports for you. It's not always an easy road. In the beginning, you may have uncomfortable feelings about it and you may need help with those too. I really suggest going for help with those.

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD's list some simple tips for parents raising a transgender or gender non-conforming child. Hear what she suggests parents do to help support their child.

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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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