185: How to Talk to your Kids about LGBTQ Topics // Allison Dayton of Lift & Love
We just finished a month-long focus on the podcast for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, and in many ways this episode will be a continuation of that because, as you will hear, LGBTQ children and youth are some of the most at-risk for suicidal ideation and death by suicide. This is why we MUST know how to talk to kids about LGBTQ topics in a way that will anchor and strengthen them because everyone deserves not just tolerance–but also respect, inclusion, and equal rights.
Our guest today is Allison Dayton, a mother of three from Utah who is the founder of the Lift & Love Foundation, which was created to support LGBTQ individuals and family through education, support groups, and free and reduced cost therapy.
In the interview you will hear Allison share about her deep personal connection to the LGBTQ community and why she is so passionate about helping parents and their kids create a more supportive and inclusive world.
Allison understands that talking to kids about LGBTQ topics such as sexual orientation and gender identity may be new to a lot of us, so in this episode she breaks down three simple roles that we can take on as we begin to have more of these discussions with our children: we can be a teacher, a shelter, and a connector.
-3 Takeaways for how to talk to kids about LGBTQ topics-
1) Be a teacher.
Our children are going to hear about and see LGBTQ relationships and people in the world around them starting very young, and it is our responsibility to give them the context they need in order to understand these topics and how to be inclusive. Remember, before we can be teachers, we have to be learners. If you don’t know much about LGBTQ topics, that’s okay...start learning and, most importantly, talk to LGBTQ people about their experiences.
2) Be a shelter.
Studies have shown that feeling accepted by parents makes a tremendous difference in the mental well-being of all children–especially LGBTQ youth. When your children make comments about their own sexuality or that of their friends or peers, respond with openness and curiosity. They may be testing to see how secure the shelter of your love is.
3) Be a connector.
In our ever-divided world, we can be an influence that takes the time to connect with other people and listen to them. And we can teach our children how to do this too!
My challenge for all of us this week, my friends, is to do one thing to talk to our kids about LGBTQ topics. That might mean actually having a simple conversation with them about what it means to be gay, or it might mean doing some learning ourselves first.
>>>Will you try any of these tips abouttalking to kids about LGBTQ? What would you add to her takeaways? Tell us in the comments below!
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