Monday, June 6, 2011

How do you raise GREAT men?

"Little boys dont cry!", "Man up!", "Be a big boy!"... STRIKE these shaming messages from your vocabulary! Why would we want to raise emotionally damaged or stunted men? Give your boys a healthy balance and teach them to tap into thier emotions. Their future partners will thank you for a a lover who has a rich range of expression and a deep capacity for communicaiton.

On this morning's Today Show, they offered Five Tips on HOW to raise boys to become GREAT men:

  1. How are you feeling? We are more apt to ask girls how they are feeling. Get in the habit of asking boys the same to help them explore their emotion. Giving boys a toolbox of emotions beyond 'anger' is an important parenting task.
  2. Expand Empathy. Encourage your boys to read fiction and ask them to report on what happens to the charater. Research shows that tracking this develops empathy. Also, playing the "What IF game" helps. To play the game, note a person like a ball player under stress and ask your boy, "How would that preasure make you feel?"
  3. Strengthen Sense of Self. Dont use the label, "Boys will be boys", because it gives boys a negative label and sets expectations low for boys to use as an excuse for bad behavior. Furthermore, praise EFFORTS not just talents. Let boys know that you are proud of thier time spent studying and practicing, not just for winning!
  4. Model Respect: Boys will pattern their respect of others after parents demonstration. Show them 'real world' examples of respect for others. Remember to 'walk the walk'!
  5. Show Affection: Recognize that as youth age they may pull away from the 'mom smooches', but timing is important. So dont remove all they affection, but just learn 'when' and 'how much' to shower on your lil' man.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Parents Coming Out to Their Kids

Parents who come after having kids often need additional support. Here are few resources:
Parents 'coming out' to thier kids may be challenging for some.

"The first thing to note is that it is really terrific that you are taking time to consider how to sensitively approach coming out to your kids.* Here at COLAGE we have found that as children, we really want to know the truth about our parents’ sexual orientation, and usually we have some idea before you even tell us! But just because we want to know doesn’t mean that we always are thrilled about the situation, especially initially. It can signify a big change in the family, especially when accompanied with all the transitions that come with a divorce or break-up. Here are some tips to keep in mind that might help:
It’s never too early to come out to your child/ren. Kids understand love. What they don’t understand is deception or hiding. And it’s never too late to come out to your child. COLAGE has met folks in their forties whose parents are just now coming out to them. A lot of mysteries are being solved, and missing puzzle pieces falling into place for these families. Often knowing the truth will be a relief for kids of all ages.

1. Tell your child/ren in a private space where the conversation can’t be overheard and will be completely confidential. Telling them at your regular Saturday night dinner at your favorite restaurant will be overwhelming."

C. List of Books for Kids of Gay Parents
For Children Of A Gay Parent.
*Coping When A Parent Is Gay. Deborah A Miller, Ph D
*There's Something I've been Meaning To Tell You. Laralee Pike.

D. Other Helpful Books
Gay Help Books For Parents, Friends And Families Of Gay,
Lesbian And Bisexual Children
* Family Secrets: Gay Sons – A Mother’s Story Jean M Baker. Haworth Press, 1997
*How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home and at School Jean Baker. Harrington Park Press, 2002
*Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together
Robert A Bernstein, Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1995
*Straight Parents, Gay Children: Inspiring Families to Live Honestly and with Pride Robert Bernstein, Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003
*Family Outing Chastity Bono. Little, Brown and Company, 1999
*Adolescence: A Guide For Parents Michael Carr-Gregg and Erin Shale. Shale Finch Publishing, 2002
*Loving Someone Gay D Clark. Celestial Arts, 1997
*Our Daughter Martha: A Family Struggles with Coming Out Marcy Clements Henrickson. Pilgrim Press, 2001
*A Mother Looks at the Gay Child Jesse Davis. New Falcon Publications, 1997
*Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey Betty Degeneres. Quill, 2000
*Now That You Know Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward. Harvest Books, 1998
*Not Like Other Boys: Growing Up Gay – A Mother and Son Look Back Marlene Fanta Shyer and Christopher Shyer. Alyson Books, 1997
*Coming Out, Coming Home Joan Golding and Peter Wood. Spectrum, 1998
*Out of the Twilight: Father’s of Gay Men Speak Andrew Gottlieb. Haworth Press, 2000
*Beyond Acceptance: Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk About Their Experiences Griffen et al. St Martin’s Press, 1997
*Is it a Choice? Eric Marcus. Harper San Francisco, 1999
*What if Someone I Know Is Gay? Eric Marcus. Price Stern Sloan Publications, 2000
*My Child is Gay Bryce McDougall (ed). Independent Publishers Group, 1998
*Different Daughters: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians Louise Rafkin (ED). Cleis Press, 2001
*Out of the Closet, Into Our Hearts: Celebrating Our Gay/Lesbian Family Members
Laura Siegel and Nancy Lamkin Olson. Leyland Publications, 2001
*Coming Out As Parents: You and Your Homosexual Child David K Switzer. Westminster John Knox Press, 1997
*Friends and Family: True Stories of Gay America’s Straight Allies Dan Woog. Alyson Books, 1999