One of the greatest issues that parents face, once having a gender variant child is accepted by them, is to constantly be accountable to others for their child’s behaviour and of his / her choices as a parent. This can also occur within the same family, where it may happen that not all members agree on how to handle the situation.
Even between the mother and the father there might be great differences about how to handle the situation. This creates conflictual situations for both. It is important to try to smooth these misunderstandings and that both parents understand that the well-being of a gender-variant child depends largely on the acceptance and support of those close to him. If necessary, it could be useful to ask for the help of an expert ho could provide some mediation between the parts.
Particular attention should also be paid to the brothers and sisters of gender-variant children who may sometimes experience embarrassment or disapproval toward their sibling. It is important that parents, while respecting their feelings, demand a little effort to try to understand the experience of their gender variant brother or sister and how important it is for everyone to accept it.
Gender variance alone is not a sufficient reason for asking the advice of a specialist. Very often gender-variant children live their gender at ease with themselves and, despite being aware that the rules of society do not agree with their behavior, they are not interested in modifying it.
As parents, however, it is necessary and advisable to continuously watch their behaviour to immediately identify any discomfort and sufferings. In this case, it is advisable to seek the help of a specialist who is not only prepared to deal with children, but also demonstrates that he knows very well what being gender variant means. The search for a professional in this sense is not easy, but it is really worth spending some time. It is important to ensure that the specialist does not consider gender variance the real problem and that his/her main goal is not to change the behaviour of the child, but to help him / her overcome the difficulties that may arise from the lack of social acceptance.
As for the parents, the experience of raising a gender variant child might, especially at the beginning, feels truly devastating: feelings of guilt, fear, anxiety, confusion, anger and pain are the most common. Trying to repress them or not take them into account is not the solution. Instead, it is advisable to contact other parents who are experiencing the same issue. In addition, it may be useful to contact a specialist, able to provide useful information regarding gender variance in childhood and to offer support.