When you're the parents of a child who has recently announced that they are transgender, your first priority needs to be to support the child in any way possible. Depending on the struggles that your child has faced in coming to this decision, therapy may be valuable. When you feel as though your child has the support that they need, you may wish to think about your own needs. For some parents, it's no big deal to have a child announce that he or she is transgender. For others, this can bring up a lot of difficult feelings that are best to share in a safe and neutral environment. Consider seeing a therapist in this situation, as he or she will be able to offer these valuable messages.
You Didn't Do Anything Wrong
As strange as this concept might be to some parents, there are parents who feel as though their child's decision to come out as transgender is indicative of bad parenting. You might instantly start to be hard on yourself, telling yourself that if you'd been a better parent, your child wouldn't be in this situation. The reality is that a child being transgender has little to do with parenting. Your therapist can help you to understand that you didn't do anything to "cause" this situation.
The Child Isn't Mad At You
Another difficult feeling that you might experience upon your child revealing that they are transgender is the thought that the child is making this announcement to punish you. For example, if the announcement comes on the heels of you going through a challenging time with your teen, you may wonder if this announcement is simply a tactic to upset you. This is highly unlikely to be the case, and some sessions with a therapist can help you to understand that your child isn't likely making this decision out of anger toward you.
The Child Wasn't Abused
You might also wonder if your child was abused by someone, and that this period of abuse has led to the child deciding to be transgender. While there's little doubt that some transgender individuals have endured abuse of various types in the past, it's a big assumption to think that your child is an abuse victim simply because of their decision to be transgender. Your therapist can help you through these feelings so that you can feel better about the situation and thus be able to offer even more support to your child.