How to Support a Teen with ADHD Who Is Questioning Their Gender

When a child or teen reveals that they are questioning their gender identity, it’s a big deal for both of you. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly.

5/15/2021 2:00:00 AM

When a child or teen reveals that they are questioning their gender identity, it’s a big deal for both of you. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly.

How can parents support an adolescdent with ADHD who is questioning their gender? Does ADHD play a role? Read on for helpful parenting strategies and resources for families parenting gender-diverse children.

SaveQ: “My 15-year-old daughter, who has ADHD, told me the other day that she doesn’t want to live as a girl anymore. She wants to explore living as a boy. She has been struggling in school lately, and she attributes it to her identity questions. How can I help her with this discovery?”

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When a child or teen reveals that they are questioning their gender identity, it’s a big deal for both of you. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It took courage for your daughter to share this with you, and, if she’s like other kids I know who are questioning their gender, it’s something she’s been contemplating for a while. (I’m using “she/her” since you do, too. If your teen asks you switch to male pronouns, I encourage you to do so.)

If you meet her where she is, keep the lines of communication open, and give her a wide field to explore gender without expectations for consistency, she will look back and realize how lucky she is to feel the love you have for her.How to Support a Teen Questioning Gender headtopics.com

1. Consider Your Response CarefullyThe first order of business is to think deeply about your response, because this will set the tone for your whole family’s response. Once parents learn they are expecting, they wonder whether their child will be a girl or a boy, what they will look like, and how they will act. These early fantasies form what’s called “gender normative expectations,” and these are both conscious and unconscious.

When a child questions their gender identity, there is often a major shift in parental compassion, based on how these gender ideas are now upset. It’s critical that you examine your feelings about this major shift apart from her, preferably with an experienced therapist.

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