In these turbulent times of media influences and ever changing societal beliefs, it is tough enough being a child. Throw in the confusion that one feels about their own sexuality and that creates more demanding issues. Growing up can be extremely difficult with all of the challenging feelings that every adolescent experiences, let alone the ones that are feeling something other than the norm. Most children experiment with changing roles within their own gender while they are growing up; boys play house with baby dolls and girls play monster trucks. None of this behavior is indicative of sexual orientation.
For parents, having an adolescent going through this type of sexual confusion, it can be difficult to nurture without some guidance. You will need to absolutely and clearly understand that your child is not abnormal, nor is this some sort of mental disorder. It is simply basic instinct for them to be attracted emotionally and physically to people of the same gender. Most lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals begin to feel these attractions and become aware early in their development. This is an important time to retain their good self image and pride so that they can grow into healthy, happy and productive adults, regardless of their sexual orientation.
A few remaining pieces of advice for parents that are raising self aware children are listed as guidelines. There are several support groups and organizations available for additional resources, if necessary. Don’t make them feel guilty over sexual feelings towards the opposite sex. Allow them to express themselves freely without fear of condemnation. Never let them feel rejected by other family members in your household and make sure that they know they are normal and loved. The bottom line is to raise productive adults that feel proud of themselves and not ashamed of whom they are. Counseling for teens could assist in other areas of development if they feel comfortable in doing so. Acceptance of peers, family and friends is vital to the well being of these future leaders, so we need to support them in any way possible.