So, You Have a Transgender Kid

April 2, 2024
Written by:
Kristen Berglund

So, You Have a Transgender Kid

Your child has recently come to you (or texted you or left you a note) and said that they are not the gender you thought they were. Maybe they’re the opposite gender, don’t identify with any gender at all, or their gender identity changes over time. You may feel overwhelmed, sad, frightened…or maybe you’ve been expecting this. In any case, what do you do?

As both a psychotherapist working with transgender and nonbinary people and a mother of a transgender son, I’ve got experience thatmay help you on your journey. Here are just a few things that I and my clients have found helpful along the way:

1.        This is still the same kid. Just because their gender identity may not be what you expected, they haven’t changed. They are still the same goofy, nerdy, amazing, shy, outgoing, athletic, video-game-playing…. well, you get the gist. While some grief is normal, remind yourself that they haven’t changed, but you may need to change part of your view of them.

2.        Yes, you must use their new name and pronouns. It may seem impossible at first, but it is INCREDIBLY important that you, as their parent, try your best to adjust. Every time your child hears that birth name or wrong pronoun, it may be like a stab to their heart. When you mess up, just correct yourself and move on.

3.        Learn, learn, learn. Sometimes we’re afraid of things that we don’t understand. Educating yourself by going to trainings, reading books, and talking with other parents and professionals can be instrumental in settling that worry in your chest. Just be aware of the source of your information. There is some misinformation out there, especially on the Web. Do your own careful research.

4.        Practice self-compassion. You haven’t done anything wrong. You are doing the best you can, and you can do better! Allow yourself to have all your feelings; none of them are wrong.

5.        This will feel normal, eventually. At first it feels so strange to call your child by another name and pronoun, but after a while, you won’t even think about it. Give yourself time to adjust.

6.        Ask for help. You don’t have to do this on your own! Join PFLAG ( or another support organization. Get counseling from a gender-educated therapist.Talk to people who have been through what you are going through.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for either you oryour gender-divergent child, call us at 713-364-9317. We are here to help!