Episode 96 – My middle schooler identifies as tri-gender.
Question of the Day:
“I’m wondering if you know of resources (books, podcasts, sites, etc) about gender identity? My middle schooler revealed last week that she identifies as trigender… which I hadn’t even heard of! She explains it as not connecting with any one gender – female, male or non—binary. Yesterday she said that she’d like to be called Alex instead of Allie. Lots to take in and process!”
“I’m feeling… not anxious about it, which I’m thrilled about (pretty sure old me would have gone straight to anxiety). I want to support and love her. My main concern (for me) is that I ‘do this right’, in terms of parenting. And I do have concerns for her, mainly around potential of being bullied. Lots to take in and process! Very interested in any resources you know of.”
Parent Educator Answer:
When I received this email, I was preparing to teach some gender education to my Time for The Talk class. Time for the Talk is a sex education class for 9-12 year old kids to take with their parents designed to open up communication on difficult subjects like sex, gender identity, sexual harassment, puberty, consent, etc. If you have a 9-12 year old, go to www.timeforthetalk.com to sign up for the spring class starting April 15th.
My knowledge and experience is limited on the subject of gender identity so I invited Bridget Sampson to the podcast to lend her expertise on the subject.
Bridget is the Founder and CEO of Sampson Coaching & Consulting where she offers leadership and communication training and coaching programs for Fortune 500 companies. As a TEDx Speaker and an Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge, Bridget has shared her expertise on public speaking, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and intercultural communication for over 25 years. Bridget is a professional coach and she and her daughter, Jackie, co-founded Transgender School in 2020 to educate people about diverse transgender identities and experiences. Bridget is co-host of The Right Questions Podcast and The Transgender School Podcast.
Life Coaching Answer:
What gets in our way from being this open, accepting, loving, inquisitive mom? Our ego and our emotions. When your child reveals that they identify as a different gender, they are essentially saying that you have been wrong all these years. We don’t like to be wrong, especially about something we think we are experts in, OUR CHILDREN!
I imagine there are A LOT of emotions to process when your child reveals the truth of their gender identity! Grief, sadness, anger, disappointment, fear, you name it! If we don’t process these emotions separately and find our own emotional support, it’s going to be really hard to be the parent your kid needs you to be.
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