Families come in lots of shapes and sizes – every family is different!

We all grow up in different families: some children have a mum and a dad; some grow up in single parent families, with just their mum or dad.  Other children grow up in extended or step-families when either their mum or dad has begun a new relationship. Some children are brought up by their grandparents, or foster families.  Some children grow up with either two mums or two dads.

Children and young people with gay parents told Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, the reason why they don’t tell others they have gay parents is that they are worried about what may happen if other children know they have gay parents, yet they wish they could tell other people about their families.  Children with gay parents want  to be able talk about different families in schools and stop homophobic bullying, that is being bullied because either you or a relative are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Talking about different families would make children with gay parents feel more able to be themselves in school. 

It is important to be able to be yourself; keeping aspects of your life from other people, including your friends, can often make you feel stressed and anxious and leave you feeling isolated and ‘different’.  However, we are all different from each other, and no family is ever identical.  Talking about our families and how they make us feel can be really important; we learn our values from our family, they are key to how we come to see ourselves.

It is important to grow up in a family where you feel loved and valued.  Being able to share your experiences with your friends is important.  However, feeling different can sometimes create difficult feelings and it can be helpful to speak to someone you trust. This may be your parents, an older brother or sister, teacher, school nurse, GP, school mentor or your CAMHS worker.  Some children find speaking to childline can help on: 08001111

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