Parenthood is one of the most rewarding things we can do in our lives and it is also very scary, especially for new parents. There are lots of books to prepare yourself for that bundle of joy and everyone has lots of advice. With all the information available to you as a parent, you have got to be prepared for absolutely anything, right? There may be one situation you are absolutely not prepared for. Do you know what to do if your child tells you they are in the wrong body? Are you prepared to deal with the possibility that your child could be transgender?
We once believed that a transgender birth happened fairly rarely with an incidence of 1:30,000 meaning one transgender birth in every thirty thousand births. This figure has been proven to be very inaccurate and the common belief now is that it is 1:1000, some even suggest it may be as high as 1:500. Even so, with one birth in a thousand being transgender, there is pretty decent odds that you or someone you know may very well have a transgender child. That takes us back to are you prepared if it is you?
If your child is transgender, the signs will often present very early in life. They will have a tendency to play with toys of the opposite gender and will often insist on wearing the clothing of that gender as well. It should be noted that some transgender children do not necessarily display the cross dressing or cross playing attributes. It is certainly easier to identify these children when they do. Of course, critics will almost instantly raise the fact that non transgender kids can also engage in cross gender role-play. They are absolutely correct which is why there is a very good system in place to make sure the child is actually transgender.
One of the key factors to determining if your child is transgender is to look at how persistent their insistence that they are the other gender is. A transgender child will have been the opposite gender yesterday, today, and of course tomorrow. It is not something where they feel like the opposite gender every so often. It is generally unfaltering and quite constant. Once you suspect that your child is transgender the first step is to look at getting some counseling. There are many counselors who specialize in gender identity and some even cater to children.
A good therapy will thouroughly test your child to ensure that it is not a passing phase and even all of the initial aspects of transitioning are completely reversable. Transitioning your child to align with their gender is hugely important. For one, it will make them very happy which will make your life a lot easier. It is also an opportunity for them to try it out and make sure it is something they want. Depending on their initial age, you have years before puberty and some of the really big decisions.
The real life component for a transgender child consists of changing their name and going to school as the gender they identify as. It consists of using the correct pronouns and policing anyone who is not respecting their preferred pronouns. Most importantly it consists of constant love and support for the child. Be there for them and help them as their life will be a little bit more difficult that their siblings. Reassure tham about puberty and that hormone blockers are going to be considered. Quite honestly, hormone blockers will make the difference between having them grow into an easily passable presentation of their gender or someone who has to struggle a lot more. They will also save a lot of expenses down the road such as facial feminization surgery, or top surgery.
Hormone blockers are completely reversible and even quite far into that aspect of the transition things can still be undone. Cross sex hormones will not begin until 16 at the earliest and it is at that point that permanent changes will take place. There have been a few exceptions to this rule. One Male to Female was started on estrogen early because the growth regions between their bones indicated they would be well over 6 feet tall. Estrogen closes these grown regions somewhat and the individual in question only grew to be 5 foot 9 due to an earlier introduction of estrogen.
In conclusion, it is okay if your child is transgender and they can be some of the most loving children who want nothing more than to be themselves. Let them discover who they are and if it turns out to be the opposite gender then realize it is not a phase and provide them the support the previous generations never had. Be proud of who they are inside and be proud of yourself for having such an awesome child.