paper cutout family of three with paper messagesParenting is an amazing journey that comes with joys and challenges. Children bring to their families their unique personalities the moment they’re born and as parents, it can sometimes be challenging to recognize that what we always imagined our children would be may not be the same as what our kids actually see as a future for themselves. This week a story has been trending on social media about a set of parents who are a great example of how to be supportive of your child, even if they are different than who you imagined they would be. As parents, your child will likely surprise you be being even more amazing than you could have thought!

The trending story can be viewed here. In this video, these parents share how they were excited by the news that they were expecting a daughter. When she turned one, they discovered that she was deaf and proceeded with a cochlear implant. Once their daughter could hear and talk, she immediately began to tell them that she was a boy. Though they may have first thought their daughter was simply a tomboy, she was persistent and adamant that she was, in fact, a boy. These parents then did an amazing thing: they listened to what their child was saying and sought help. They researched what it meant to be transgender and met with a health care professional. After discovering some startling statistics about the suicide rate of transgender people and recognizing their child was likely going to face a tumultuous set of future struggles, they decided to be supportive and embracing. For their child, the home would be a safe place full of love.

Transgender persons are not common (it is estimated that 0.3-1% of the adult population is transgender), but all parents will likely face a situation where their child ends up challenging their own expectations and ideals. We can learn by the example set by this couple. Listen to our kids, support them in who they are, seek help if we’re not sure what to do with the information they tell us, and above all, love them unconditionally.

Check out this post on the importance of 2 supportive parents.

For more information on transgender youth, see our series of 13 posts. Here are the first and last in the series:

Transgender teens Part 1: the basics of sex and gender

Transgender teens Part 13: handling your own discomfort