If your little boy came up to you and told you mummy I’m not a boy I’m a girl what would you say?

Tara Hewitt, CWP’s equality champion writes:

“The answer is many of us don’t know what we would say we simply haven’t thought about it or had it cross our minds. From the moment a child is born we ask “is it a boy or a girl?” and from that moment on their gender is set we buy them blue for boys pink for girls and their gender no longer crosses our minds.

In reality if a child did say to their mum “I’m not really a boy”, the response would be more of where did he get this silly idea from or a response of fact “oh dear of course you’re a boy.  You’re  Mummy’s little boy”.

Now it’s true that most trans children won’t be so matter of fact about their gender and come out with a clear statement, but the point remains that very few parents would even consider that their child may be transgender.

Most trans children are often very confused, may become depressed, have social and behavioural issues at school, and be on occasions not fitting into gendered stereotypes. These are the signs that a child may need time to explore themselves and might indeed be transgender.

But how many of these children are being referred onto people who can help them explore themselves, their gender and get the support they need? ”

What can you do as a parent to support your child?

Encourage your child to be themselves.

Support them in their choice of toys/playthings

Accept them, listen to them, and try to understand them

Please do not to judge them.

Seek support from organisations who are there to support trans children and young people and their families such as Mermaids.

Tara reflects, “Only very supportive parents, who are knowledgeable about trans issues, and have a GP or medical team involved who have the same level of knowledge, will get the support they need for their child.  Without the appropriate knowledge base around transgender children, then the likelihood is the child will “drop through the net” and their mental distress will continue.”

CWP CAMHS is there to support children and young people who are experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties.  If you feel your child would benefit from meeting with a CAMHS worker, ask your GP, school nurse or paediatrician to make a referral.

Mymind would like to thank Tara Hewitt for giving permission to use content from her blog in the writing of this post.

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