Raising a Gay Child the Right Way
If you are visiting this page after reading the title and thinking of criticizing me for differentiating raising a homosexual child from a heterosexual child, bless you. You likely understand that there is nothing you can do to change your child’s sexual identity, and, furthermore, nothing your child can do about it either. Please feel free to offer your experiences or thoughts in the comment section.
If you are visiting this page after reading the title, and wondering what you or your child can do to change his or her sexual identity, bless you. You likely do not understand that there is nothing you, nor your child, can do to alter who he or she is. If you will read on beyond this paragraph, bless you again. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question in the comment section.
If you do not read beyond this because you want to change your child rather than your own thinking, then goodbye. Leave a comment or don’t. Who cares?
There actually should be differences in the way you raise two children, but that has nothing to do with their sexual orientation or identity. It has more to do with their individual personalities.
My oldest child is heterosexual. She is extroverted, naturally intelligent, highly artistic, and a bit of a slob. She was more likely to be less responsible with liberties granted her, so it was more important for me to recognize that and lay down rules for her.
My youngest child is homosexual. She is introverted, needs to study to understand, highly competitive, and very neat and clean. She was quite responsible with liberties granted her, so I only needed to remind her what lay ahead as duty and she would deal with it without requiring much supervision.
These differences had nothing to do with their sexual identities. The differences were obvious long before either of them had figured out their sexual identities and preferences, and, certainly, long before I had those things figured out!
The differences did, however, require me to treat my children differently for doing similar things. For example, sending them to their rooms was punishment for my oldest daughter, but not so much for my youngest daughter. I needed to be involved in homework for my oldest child mainly to make certain she completed it, and for my youngest daughter more to help her understand it. I had to tell my oldest daughter to clean her room often, and was disappointed almost every time I went into her room. I do not recall ever needing to tell my youngest daughter to clean her room; she kept it clean to please herself.
If I were told one of my daughters skipped school and the other got into a fight, I could guess which had done what with near certainty. I could guess with equal certainty which was most likely to sign up for choir and which was most likely to try out for the basketball team.
Just as punishments for my children needed to be different because of their different personalities, so, too, did rewards, and the reasons for the rewards. My oldest child was much more likely to clean her room if there were a trip to the mall, or the allowance for friends to visit, at the end of the rainbow. My youngest child was much more likely to do her homework, and stay out of fights, because she was allowed to participate in sports by doing those things.
So, what does all this have to do with raising a gay child the right way? Well, both nothing and everything.
The right way to raise a child or children is with unconditional love. They will be their own people. They have genes from both biological parents, but they will not be identical to either parent. They will be who they are, not so much by choice as by nature. You cannot change their sexual identity from homosexual to heterosexual any more so than you can change their sexual identity from heterosexual to homosexual.
What is important to understand as a parent, is neither they nor you can change their sexual identity. The only thing that can be done is for you or your child to repress his or her sexual identity. That is not healthy for your child, and is about the most selfish thing a parent can do to his or her child.
It matters not whether the father is a logger, and his son wants to be a fashion designer. It matters not whether the mother is a seamstress, and her daughter wants to be a welder. None of that, both with the parents or the children, has anything to do with sexual identity or preference. To believe it does is an indication of prejudice.
The right way to raise gay children is the same as the right way to raise all children:
• Give them unconditional love so they are secure about themselves.
• Teach them high principles so they know the difference between right and wrong even when nobody is watching.
• Teach them that their actions have consequences, both positive and negative, so they understand personal responsibility.
• Encourage them to do their best so they take pride in doing things correctly and in jobs well done.
• Set the example for them to treat all people with respect and dignity regardless of what they look like or where they come from so they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity themselves.
Your children will grow up to accept or reject these lessons as adults. They are far more likely to accept the lessons they are allowed to learn through love and acceptance than the lessons forced upon them without reasons given or taught with malice. That is in your control as a parent. Your child’s sexuality is not.
If your child is gay, and you simply cannot accept that, the place you will see the person whose fault that is will be a mirror, and, unlike the child, the person you see has the ability to change his or her thinking about the child’s sexuality.
Some other things I've written about: