Heather Frazier from Pivot Parenting Podcast is a good friend of mine and is also a fellow life coach who specializes in coaching parents of teens. In this episode we discuss one of the common things we have parents say to us, which is parents saying they think their child identifying as LGBTQ is just a phase and they are bending to peer pressure.
If you’ve had these thoughts with YOUR child, no matter how old they are, you’ll want to listen to this episode. No matter what your opinions are on the LGBTQ community, you will find value in this episode.
Find out more about me on my website: tinagosney.com and on FB and IG @tinagosneycoaching
You can find Heather at:
Facebook and Instagram: @heatherfraziercoaching
Get Registered for my free Masterclass:
3 Secrets to Begin Repairing Your Relationship with Your Young Adult: Even if it feels impossible right now
Tina Gosney 00:00
You’re listening to Parenting Through the Detour, episode 51 “Is my child identifying as LGBTQ A phase? a discussion with Heather Fraser”
Howard W Hunter said, “Your detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow way back to him.” Well, how are your detours going? Does it feel like everything’s gone wrong, and you don’t know what to do now. I’m Tina Gosney, a life and relationship coach for LDS parents, with adult children. And I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I’m going to help you find your footing again through those detours and disappointments. And when you find your strength, and your courage to navigate your own detours, you’re going to begin helping your family through theirs as well.
I want to welcome you back to parenting through the detour. And if this is your first episode that you’re listening to, that I’m just going to welcome you to the podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here. Now, did you attend my master class last week, I taught a masterclass called it three strategies to begin repairing your relationship with your young adult child. Now, there were so many of you that attended and I got some great feedback on how much you loved it and how much you learned from it. And how you’re already starting to use the tools that I taught you there.
And I’m I was really kind of sad. I only had a few minutes at the very end for Q&A.. And I wanted to answer more questions, but I just ran out of time. So next time, I will be sure that I leave more time for questions, because I know that you guys have a lot. And I’ll be offering this class again twice in June, June 16, and June 30. So if you didn’t get registered in time for the one in May, no worries you can attend in June. So go ahead and check the link in the show notes.
And you can go ahead and get registered for the June 16 or the June 30th. Class. And if you can’t attend live, it’s not a problem. There will be a replay sent out to so you can still get the information.
Okay, so last week I told you was the 50th episode last week, I was so excited. That’s a milestone. There the 50th episode of parenting through the detour and I really want to celebrate want to celebrate that with you by giving you $100 amazon gift card. But he does need you to do one thing for me before you get entered into the drawing to win the gift card. I want you to go on to Apple podcasts and leave me a five star review. This is how you do it because I know it can get kind of tricky sometimes trying to figure out how to leave a review.
So go to Apple podcasts, search parenting through the detour. And on the Show page, the main page for the show, not an episode page, but the main show page, scroll down to the bottom where it says ratings and reviews. There’s a section down there called ratings and reviews. And then you’ll click on write a review. So just submit your review right there.
And then once you do that, I need you to email me a copy of your review to [email protected] before June 7 11:59pm. Pacific time, because on June 8 of 2022.
I will be doing a drawing to see who is the winner of this of this $100 amazon gift card. So make sure you’re getting your five star review in before June 7 2020 to 1159 Pacific time.
I’m looking forward to sharing this episode with you today. June is Pride Month. And I saved this episode for this month especially. I have a very special place in my heart for LGBTQ people. I have a son who’s gay and he has my heart. He always has and he always will. And now his husband owns a part of my heart as well. And I’m so privileged to have these amazing young men in my life and to see them grow through the challenges that they face. And to see them celebrate the successes in their life. I am so fortunate to share the planet with them because they are amazing.
Now if you have a child who has told you that they are LGBTQ or maybe you’re living with a lot of fear that you might someday have one of your children come out to you. This episode is for you. Heather Fraser, and I have this discussion today. She’s a good friend of mine. She’s a fellow life coach. We both have coached parents who are struggling with their child coming out as LGBTQ. And you know what’s a really common thing for parents
To think when that happens is for them to think that this is not really my kid, like, they’re just bending to peer pressure there. This is not who they are. Or this is just a face, I need to help them see that this isn’t real. So whether or not either of those thoughts ever end up being true, it really doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you do, when they tell you that they are LGBTQ. That is the more important thing to think about. Because that will set the course for your relationship with that child going forward. And if you’re like me, and you did not respond very positively, at the beginning, you can start to fix things. Now. You can start to turn things around now.
Please don’t judge yourself. Please don’t beat yourself up. Please be kind to yourself into your child and listen to this episode. And I’ll give you five things to think about if this has happened for you. So listen in with this conversation I had with Heather Fraser, and I’ll see you on the other side.
All right, here we are together. Miss Tina. Hi, Heather. How’s it going?
Tina Gosney 06:16
Great. And we’ve been talking about recording this episode for a while, because some of the people that we coach overlap. And so we’ve been talking about when parents come to us and say, Well, isn’t my child telling me that they’re gay? A trend? Or? Yeah, isn’t it? Like? Are they just being influenced by peer pressure? Or just a face? So we’ve been talking about wanting to do this podcast together?
Yes. And for my listeners of pivot parenting, this is a special treat because I don’t know if you guys know this. Tina’s episode is consistently number two in my feed of all times, second only to the great Jennifer Finlayson Fife.
Tina Gosney 07:07
Thank you for the pivot parenting listeners.
Yes, we talked about plot twists.
Tina Gosney 07:14
Yeah. About a year ago. Yeah. And Heather hasn’t been on mine on my podcast yet. On the parenting through the detour podcast. So I’m gonna Heather, I’m gonna have you introduce yourself so people can get to know you. Yes, thank
you, I coach parents of teens and young adults. Sometimes they come to me as early as having an 11 year old or 20 something year old. And I hear it all from they just don’t want to do their homework to their institutional institutionalized right now. And I totally get it. I have a 21 year old an 18 year old 14 and almost 12. So I’ve run the gamut of how to launch them and what it feels like when they say the things that feel like a sucker punch.
Tina Gosney 08:04
Oh, yeah. Those are fun days.
are so fun. But we all get those shocking statements, even from our good, obedient, happy child, we can still have shocking moments. And so I love helping parents navigate all the ups and downs of their beautiful children.
Tina Gosney 08:28
I love how you said beautiful children. Yes, they all are no matter where they are. They’re all beautiful. Yes, facts.
Heather Frazier 08:35
And for my listeners of pivot parenting, Tina, if they haven’t heard the number two ranking episode of All Time, will you please introduce yourself?
Tina Gosney 08:44
Yes, I will. I am Tina Gosney. And I work with LDS parents that have a child usually 18. And older, young adults are older. And their children are making choices that are taking them away from the church away from the family away from the relationship with their parents. They’re really struggling in those relationships with their kids. You know, I thought that when my kids became young adults, that life was gonna get easier. They couldn’t they weren’t teens anymore. Yeah. And it was a rude awakening that I had. When life got harder. I think it got harder. And so now I try to warn people I’m like, Hey, you that team that you think is so hard? Just wait till they become young adults, and then you’re gonna see you think it’s gonna be easier? It just kind of switches to a different kind
Heather Frazier 09:36
of hard. It does. I think especially in the LDS culture. We are socialized to believe that if we get it right, meaning we check all the boxes, that our child will for sure, make good choices and love us and want to continue to check those boxes, but that is not always the case.
Tina Gosney 09:57
Well, I think we’re believe that there’s been a culture of perpetuating that idea.
Heather Frazier 10:07
You hear over the pulpit all the time. Yeah, it’s, it’s subtle. We just had a recent work conference. And one of the speakers was talking about how they just sat their kid down and had the conversation and made sure that the expectations were there. And then the child changed, and everybody was happy. And I just wanted to jump up and scream. And that’s wonderful for them. And I’m super happy. And by all means, if that’s how you feel, is a good way to parent in those situations and speak up and share your opinions. But that doesn’t mean that they are going to say, Oh, I didn’t think about it like that. You’re right. And then change course, there’s no promise there.
Tina Gosney 10:55
That’s what we think is gonna happen. That’s what we want to have happen. But that’s not usually what happens.
Heather Frazier 11:01
Yeah. But this stories, when it does happen are the ones that are that we live on shared. And so then when it doesn’t happen, for some parents, we blame ourselves. We didn’t do it, right, we’re not as good of a parent or child, like is having a hard time and they need to change. They need to comply. And let me speak a little louder.
Tina Gosney 11:28
Let me do a little more and control you a little bit more. Louder. So you get the message this time
Heather Frazier 11:33
went to Meijer doesn’t love that. So this all started friends, when Tina and I were chatting, and we kept having the same stories to tell I had a couple coming to me at the time. And there, then I think 15 or 16 year old daughter decided that she was by and was having relationships of all variety. And the mom particularly, was really struggling. And she was so sold on the idea that it was not her child speaking. And I’ve heard this consistently through my other This isn’t my child, you didn’t you should have seen them when they were little this was not them. And they are so hung up on the idea that this just isn’t their child that they’re being influenced that it’s a phase that they just want to fit in. And so they’re experimenting in ways that if society were different, would not even cross their mind.
Tina Gosney 12:41
Yeah, have you? Are you familiar with the book by Richard ostler? Listen, learn and love?
Heather Frazier 12:48
No, but I love his social media content pop off. Yes, Papa Eisler. Yeah,
Tina Gosney 12:55
he’s written this book. And if anyone does, like is having those thoughts, I would suggest picking up that book that he goes through a lot of the myths surrounding LGBTQ. And that’s actually one of them is like is this is just a face? And he talks about that, and, and how it’s that’s not usually the case. Yeah, it’s a
Heather Frazier 13:19
similar myth, in the sense that people are really scared to talk about suicide, and depression. Yes. Because if I asked my child if they’re suicidal, or have ever thought, anything along self harm, that then that plants the idea in their head, and then they may become more prone to suicide or self harm ideation, which the opposite is true, the more that you talk about it, and educate our kids about it, then the more power that they have,
Tina Gosney 13:53
right, right. Yeah, absolutely. You know, I’ve seen some statistics, statistics, word, sometimes statistics about kids leaving the church. And these might, these are a little bit outdated. I think this is from last year, but about a year ago. It was 55% of kids are leaving this church before the LDS church before they reach the age of 18. I would I would bet that that is increasing all the time. And then BYU did an anonymous survey. I think this was from 2019. They did it you know of students anonymously so that they would feel free to share honestly their answers and found that almost 20% of BYU students consider themselves to be somewhere on that LGBTQ spectrum. And so this is A reality that is happening to families who never thought it, like, that’s never going to be us, we’re never going to have to deal with that. Maybe they’ve been looking at somebody else dealing with it and feeling like, man, they dodged a bullet, but now it’s in their house. So they’re feeling, you know, wounded in a couple of different ways. Just it’s important to be educated, it’s important to know what to do, even if it’s not your child, and your child has someone that they know. Because one, one in five youth, now are finding themselves in this situation. And we need to be better prepared as parents on how to help them how to help their child. In fact, there’s when a child does come out as LGBTQ. It’s not just that child who’s affected. The whole family then becomes an LGBTQ family. That’s true. And that child has friends that love them. And if you are a parent that doesn’t keep an open mind about LGBTQ people. And if you go to church, and there’s not an open mindedness there, that child is going to feel even the child that has a friend that identifies that way, is going to feel unheard. Yeah, like they’re not in a safe place around the adults that are in their lives.
Heather Frazier 16:25
Heather Frazier 16:28
role of importance shifts in adolescence. So children, the most important people in their life is their family. But in Western culture that shifts during adolescence to the most important people in their lives are peers. And so if adults who are not as important to them are not supportive of their friends. That’s who they’re loyal to.
Tina Gosney 16:56
Are those friendships? And they will draw closer to those. Yes, it feels loving. They want it this, this generation is about love and acceptance. And they want to draw closer to those. And they will further tell themselves, Oh, my parents don’t just, they just don’t understand me.
Heather Frazier 17:15
Yeah, the irony is that is Christianity at its core. Christ is unconditional love. And he accepts all of us, it doesn’t mean that we get to, you know, go lie, and cheat and steal and do whatever, and not have repercussions of that. But he is always accepting of where we are at. He just wants us to build on that.
Tina Gosney 17:40
He meets us where we are. Yep. And then asks us to be better every day, just a little bit better every day.
Heather Frazier 17:48
Yeah, knowing that we’re for sure gonna mess up. Oh, for sure. And get it wrong. And that’s part of the process. But to support and love as best we can, knowing that we’re gonna get it wrong. And that’s okay. We can forgive ourselves and try better the next day. But the thing that comes to my mind when I’m coaching clients that are hung up on this place of this isn’t my child they’re being in influenced in a way that I dislike. In coaching Tina, you know this, that we zoom in and out constantly, to like minut details, and then we zoom out the overarching picture. And this belief that this isn’t our child is one of a bajillion forms that you can say. I don’t like my reality, I reject it.
Tina Gosney 18:49
And anytime we’re in that space, that’s a problem.
Heather Frazier 18:53
Yes, what we do it in our wheels. Yes, we run ourselves ragged in the little hamster wheel of denial. And we waste a lot of energy and time and we get nowhere.
Tina Gosney 19:07
Right? And we can do a lot of damage to that relationship with that child. If we’re insisting This is not you. This is not who you are. And and an acting from that thought, even if we’re trying to partake portray a different Oh, yeah, persona on the outside, but we’re still from that one. It’s they can detect it. Oh,
Heather Frazier 19:30
they weren’t sure. Can. They first Sure can. And another interesting tidbit about adolescence is that their amygdala, the emotional response is super keyed up. And so they are going to take offense at things that even aren’t offensive. So you have to even spin things in a more favorable kind accepting light, like, go up 20% Just so that they don’t misinterpret because their emotions are so keyed up. For a fight, that you really have to dial it up even a few more clicks,
Tina Gosney 20:05
and be prepared for them to still get offended sometimes. Yeah, you just until apologize. Yeah,
Heather Frazier 20:14
I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. Please explain more to me. I really do want to understand. Yeah. And then there’s like a 5050. They’ll be like, whatever and walk out of the room. Or they might sit down with you. We just don’t know. Right? Well, we can just love them.
Tina Gosney 20:27
Depends on the child depends on the relationship that you have with them so many hungry, they are
Heather Frazier 20:32
so many variables. Yeah.
Heather Frazier 20:36
But yeah, that whole hung up on, this isn’t my child, I am, I am rejecting the reality of the situation that this is what they’re telling me. It really is a paralytic in that you cannot move past that point. Until you make peace with this is what they’re telling me even if it is just a trend. And they do just want to look cool. Still just like Oh, tell me more about that.
Tina Gosney 21:10
What’s your experience? Yeah. And let me just question a little bit of what you just said. Yeah. Because still being in the, in that LGBTQ, LGBTQ rainbow? Is not a, it’s not the cool thing to do. Sure, it’s a it’s still considered to be like, on the fringes, you’re still marginalized? Yeah, like, why would you choose to be there, when that alone is isolating you from people. In fact, I was talking with one of my clients, and she was asking me, she serves in the young woman in her word. And she said, they were having some issues with one of the girls coming out as bi and telling them about some things that she had done. And then the other girls gossiping about her. And she said, I just want to know how I can talk to them about those people. And how do we explain the things that these people do? And she used a lot of language. And I said, Okay, so first of all, let’s just take the word of those people, and them out of your vocabulary. Yes, that is we and us. Those people, are we, those people are us. And if you’re looking at other people like as them, what happens when that becomes you.
Heather Frazier 22:41
It’s true, then you’re on the outskirts,
Tina Gosney 22:43
and you are, all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, you are becoming the other person. Yeah, even in your own mind, you become that marginalized person. And I said, and second of all, could see let’s just look, watch our language, let’s use not them and those of those people, but let’s use we and us. And this is part of us. And I said, and then let’s just think about how hard this child’s life is going to be. Just think about sitting in church and hearing about, you know, the you need to have an be married in the temple and have an eternal marriage and family and knowing that that is not going to happen for you. And what a difficult situation that would be or knowing that you’re not even allowed to pursue having a lifetime partner without having to choose between activity in the church, and being able to find your person in your life. Like that’s a super difficult place to sit as an adult, it’s a difficult place to sit out and being a teenager and having. Yeah,
Heather Frazier 23:54
I think that’s why a lot of parents go for the easy kill, which is rejection, that’s not my child. Because it’s easier upfront, to not have to do that process that you just described. Because then if it’s not actually their child, and they’re just doing it for these silly adolescent reasons in their head, right, that’s what the parent is thinking, then they don’t have to consider what the future looks like they need to get just get their kid to snap out of it. Yeah. And that that does more harm than good, when oftentimes when we go for the easy, upfront answer, rather than the harder answer up front, but that on the back end. It can give us a lot of relief and peace, but we have to do the work up front.
Tina Gosney 24:47
Yeah. Which reminds me of a quote that we both heard at a meeting we were at lately. It was when you do easy things. life gets hard. When you do hard things like it’s easy. Yeah, and I think this is so indicative in coaching, because the things that just come like, naturally as when you’re a parent, and you have a lot of fear for your child, the things that come naturally to you are very, can be really harmful to that relationship. And they’re actually the opposite things that what you should be doing. Yeah, it’s when you get rid of the fear, which is a hard thing to do. And you live from a place of not being afraid. And opening up, which is harder thing to do than just clamping down and thinking I know better because I’m a parent, then things get easier on the other side.
Heather Frazier 25:45
Yeah. And that can look like at first I heard you say, let go the fear or not have the fear. And immediately I was like, but what if you want the fear? What if you are scared? And I think sometimes it’s important to take baby steps we can we’re really multifaceted humans. And we can have more than one emotion at a time. And sometimes fear can be there, along with that desire to be vulnerable and open. And we can act out of that emotion, while the fear still may be present. I don’t know what this child’s future looks like, I don’t know what this means about me and our family. I’m not sure I need to sort it out. And the stronger emotion that I want to behave from and pay attention to, is the desire to love.
Tina Gosney 26:41
Yes. In reality, we don’t know what any of our children’s futures look like. That is facts. That is a fact. Just think, we just think that they’re going to follow this path that we created for them, when they were really young, maybe when they were born, and assumed that that’s what they’re going to follow. And many parents are now finding, our children are not choosing that path.
Heather Frazier 27:04
Well, and even if they do, that is not a guarantee. Let’s say you have a child that checks off all the boxes, they are high school valedictorian, and they do all the accomplishments in high school, and then they go to college and get an amazing degree and find a beautiful spouse. And they have healthy kids. Guess what tragedy still strikes to those families to not that I’m not saying the LGBTQ spectrum is tragedy, but it’s a curveball for sure. It’s a curveball. And it gives us the they all give us the opportunity to experience human emotion, the vulnerability the the stretching of one’s mind and heart. That can be a cancer diagnosis. It can be a car accident, where half the family is gone. It can be somebody leaving the church, it can be a divorce. It can be a natural disaster. It can even be blessings, like twins, that can be a stretch. Right. But I think curveball is probably a better word for it just something that we didn’t expect for something that we did expect. And it was harder than we expected, or came different than we expected.
Tina Gosney 28:28
Yeah. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about on your podcast, but I do have a son that’s gay. And he came out to us when he was 20. And less than two years later, he was married to a man. So we got like, Let’s just drink from the fire hose and everything all at one time. And I went through and my husband went through a lot of different phases in that I think actually was like 2020 months, 21 months, from the time that he was told that we found out until he was married. But we went through a lot of that fear denial. Oh, just a lot of like, trying to figure this out. And a lot of grief at the same time. Yeah, this was our reality. And it was something that we had never expected ourselves to be in. And a place that we felt like we got thrown in without an option without a choice. Um, but I will tell you now, and there’s still things that we’re working out right. I think that our entire lives are a process of working things out. This is just one of the visions for sure that we are learning how to do better all the time. But I would say now that I think that that was one of the biggest blessings of my life was to have the sun in my house in my home. My family and his husband we love dearly and are so glad that he’s a part of our family. And it’s, I don’t know that I would have been, I would be in the place that I am right now. If I didn’t have that opportunity to end the privilege of being his mother. Yeah.
Heather Frazier 30:19
I think these unexpected blessings in whatever form they come in, in our lives.
Heather Frazier 30:27
They are an invitation
Heather Frazier 30:31
to either be a blessing or a curse. Right, and we get to decide what that is. I have a similar. I don’t know what the word is story. But yeah, my daughter leaving. And the growth that that expanded for me for her not affiliating with religion, super painful, and also super connecting for the two of us because I allowed space for that.
Heather Frazier 31:01
Tina Gosney 31:06
we get to experience a lot of pain.
Heather Frazier 31:10
But I think that the pendulum can swing both ways, in the amount of pain that we can have, when we can work through it and refine ourselves and become better. On the other side of that I think we get the equal measure of joy and fullness.
Tina Gosney 31:29
I agree. Yeah. Why don’t you know, I don’t know. I look at this plan that Heavenly Father has on the earth for us to be parents. And, you know, I was 23, when I had my first child, say, I was so unprepared. And I think kind of I was supposed to be perfect at this. And there was no way that heavenly father would have allowed me to be a kind of a parent at 23. Yeah. And I’ve made so many mistakes. But I know that the mistakes that I make, there’s, there’s compensation made by him on the other side for those, and it’s for my growth, I feel like there’s been so much more growth for me through being a parent, then there could have been any other way. Because think about like these little babies that come to your home, and you get to just take care of them and love them so dearly. And just feel such overwhelming love and connection with them. Yeah, and to have them do things that you just that break your heart. Yeah, how we have that experience to kind of have a similar, just a little glimpse into what heavenly father deals with us.
Heather Frazier 32:44
Yeah, on a micro level, I have a client who has a trans child. And she also had a very similar, this isn’t my child. They’re just being influenced. And she made such amazing progress. One of her biggest hang ups. Besides this isn’t my child, though, was I don’t want to be the mom with the big flag in the yard and is always posting on Facebook and getting into fights about, you know, defending her child online. And I think that it’s easy when parents and you can speak to this better than I can. But when parents are handed a situation where their child discloses something maybe that they suspect it or not. And they look around to how other parents are handling the situation and advocating and loving and supporting. And, of course, the most visual are the most loud, extroverted parents out there. This client was an introvert. And she did not want to have these conversations because she didn’t like conversations generally. And I think it’s really easy to say, well, then I failing my child, because I don’t like look like this parent over here, even though she was super loving and supportive, and making sure that all the needs were met and supporting them through the transition. And
Heather Frazier 34:23
what are your thoughts on that?
Tina Gosney 34:26
I think that is indicative of what we do in general, as parents all the time. I think we’re always questioning ourselves, like, Am I doing the right thing for my kid and we’re looking around comparing ourselves to other people thinking that if I don’t look like that person over there, then I must be doing it wrong. And I think there’s a lot of value in looking inward and saying what feels like the most loving to me and the most authentic and genuine to me and to this relationship that I have with this child. And if that is not Flying a pride flag. If that is not like posting things online, if that is just keeping it in your home. And that’s okay. Yeah, that’s loving to you and to your child. You don’t have to be like the other people that you see, you don’t have to compare yourself to them.
Heather Frazier 35:17
Yeah, that’s where we eventually landed. And it’s interesting because this habit surfaced in a lot of other areas, the comparison and looking around, and
Heather Frazier 35:29
it’s, we are such creatures of habit.
Tina Gosney 35:33
And how we do one thing is how we do just about everything else. That’s true, you’re gonna find these things carry over into different parts of our life. Yeah, well, I jotted down six or five things that I wanted to talk about when your child tells you that they’re LGBT TQ, or your, they tells you they tell you that they’re questioning, and just five things to remember. And maybe to check yourself.
Heather Frazier 36:03
I love it.
Tina Gosney 36:05
And the first one is to create safety for your child.
Heather Frazier 36:12
What does that look like in real time? Like if I said, Mom, I think I might be by
Heather Frazier 36:19
what is creating safety respond as
Tina Gosney 36:22
safety looks like being open and listening and being curious and asking questions, and reassuring that child that no matter what they do, they’re going to be stay a member of your family? And you’re always going to love them. Yeah, that you’ve got their back. And that you’re gonna give them space to figure it out. And if you they need your help, then you’re always there to help them. Yeah. And if this has already happened, and that was not your response? It’s okay. It was not my response. I’ll tell you that. Yeah,
Heather Frazier 37:01
it to go back. And to say, I’m sorry, I’ve not been managing this in a way that was providing safety for you as my child. Yeah,
Tina Gosney 37:11
I belong to several Facebook groups of parents that have LGBT kids. And there’s a local one that I belong to there’s there’s a mama dragons, like a general page, and then there’s local chapters. And so I belong to my local chapter. And I think I’ve been a member for it’s been over a year now. But I know several times in the last year, someone has posted something like, Hey, there’s a kid that just got kicked out of their house. Can anyone take them in? Yeah, they just told their parents that they’re gay, or a lesbian, and they got kicked out of their home. That’s heartbreaking. Yeah, that we would kick a member of our family out of our home, for telling us something that’s happening for them.
Heather Frazier 38:02
Yeah. are getting signals that they’re safe.
Heather Frazier 38:06
Yeah, already just being on the spectrum. They correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding, they are more at risk for harmful behavior. Oh,
Tina Gosney 38:17
exponentially more at risk so
Heather Frazier 38:19
that our babies, you
Tina Gosney 38:22
know, if they even have one adult that believes them, and that is there and loving and supportive of them. That risk goes down, also exponentially.
Heather Frazier 38:33
So that’s awesome. Yeah. Okay, what’s number two is
Tina Gosney 38:37
to stay curious. To stay like ask questions like, okay, so why are you thinking that this is a reality for you? Or why are you thinking that you’re feeling this way? Or just being open and curious about what’s happening for your child? And you’re probably going to have some fear. Yeah, it’s in some of that might be coming from fear. But they don’t need to see your fear. That’s something that you can deal with on your own. You don’t need to share with them and show them. But to be open and curious. And I think this goes along with the safety because it by you being open and being curious, it really allows them the safety to then explore. Is this true for me? Is this something that’s going to be part of my future? Is this a phase am I am I just, you know, do I have a friend and so that questioning or like where were, you know, I’ve been exploring this for myself. So Stay curious. And curiosity is something we usually use so often in our coaching, so this is not a surprise that this is on my list. Now we’re good
Heather Frazier 39:47
question. askers. What do you mean by that? define that for me? What does that mean to you? Yeah, all the variety of questions. It doesn’t Sometimes our kids might feel like we’re being a little bit aggressive. And we’re like, Well, why? Why? What does that look like? What do you mean? But we can we can ask broader questions that are maybe that’s really interesting. Will you tell me more? Yeah. And then they get the volunteer? What kind of information? Can you tell me more about that? I’m super curious.
Tina Gosney 40:25
Yeah. Yeah. And make sure they’re open ended, as much as possible, open ended questions.
Heather Frazier 40:33
I think a lot of parents too. Well, humans, actually, we don’t like silence. And so will speak to fill the gap. But if we can actually sit in the silence after we’ve said, Tell me more about that I want to understand. And then we just wait and let them fill the void. Because sometimes, if it’s something that they’ve never articulated to anybody, I know, for me, when I’m sharing something really vulnerable to someone close to me, can take me a few minutes to cough the words up.
Tina Gosney 41:06
Sometimes just stick in your throat and you can’t Yeah,
Heather Frazier 41:10
oh, I’ve only ever thought it like three times. And it’s really scary. Can I say it? Can I say it?
Tina Gosney 41:17
Maybe by actually saying it? It puts it out into the world and makes it real? And sometimes that’s a scary thing to do. Yeah. Yeah. So stay curious and open. And that ties directly into the safety that your child will feel it with you. So super important. And the next one is just to be Have patience. And lots of times, we just want things to work themselves out really quickly. And we want people to figure things out really quickly. And it doesn’t usually happen that way.
Heather Frazier 41:47
Yeah, when we push for resolution, we want resolution, because then our brain is like, Okay, check that off the list done, and move on to the next. But sometimes the resolution that we get when we push it, is them climbing up and not talking to us or something that we wouldn’t necessarily want as much as the discomfort of it unfolding in its own time.
Tina Gosney 42:16
Yes, I talked to a woman just a few months ago, who was in her 40s and told me that she just escaped discovered that she was pansexual. And I was like, how did you just figure that out? You’re in your 40s. And she said, it’s just been a process of me, figuring this out over time and paying attention to different things about myself in different relationships. And I’m like, That is fascinating. So it took her 40 something years to figure it out. But I think that we want things to work themselves out quickly, because we are so like, if you’re in this space with your child, if you’re thinking that it’s just a phase for them, you want them to get through it quickly. And you’re so full of fear and worry for them. You can’t imagine having to hold on to that for a day longer than you have to. And so that for them to just figure it out and just in our minds, they’re gonna figure it out that this is just a phase, right? I don’t have to be worried and be afraid anymore.
Heather Frazier 43:20
You dodged that one? No, not necessarily. We got to just yeah, let our kids figure it out. Yeah.
Tina Gosney 43:29
And along with that trust that they’re going to figure it out. That’s number four, is to trust them.
Heather Frazier 43:36
Yeah. And like you said that 40 year old these things can be fluid, everything in our life is fluid, what we really are the convictions that we have as a child versus young adult versus mid life versus elderly, those convictions can change. Absolutely, and who we are as a person can change. And so I don’t really think anything, in our human experience is so set in stone.
Heather Frazier 44:06
We’re all everything’s kind of fluid.
Tina Gosney 44:08
I think so. And I think back to when I was like in my 20s or teens, how little I knew about myself. Now I’m decades past that, and feel like I’m still learning about myself all the time. Yeah, like the more life experience that I have, and the more I pay attention to who I am. And the things that I like and the things that I want and the things that I don’t want, the more I learned about myself. So and those are probably different than they were as an adolescent. Completely. Yeah. But having patience and trusting your child while you give them safety, and stay really open and curious. Those that can have a huge impact on their ability to figure it out. out, are there even their their willingness to stay open for themselves? Yeah. And to question like, maybe I need to just stay open and question like, is this something that really is true for me, maybe i will change as I get older, maybe this isn’t, or maybe it is, and just giving them the space to figure it
Heather Frazier 45:21
Heather Frazier 45:24
couldn’t agree more. I think that when you approach the situation with fear, as your driver, that’s really scary, because fear just wants to shut it down and stomp it out. And just know, let’s conform, let’s conform. I don’t know what this means about me as a parent, or you as my child, and what kind of life This puts in your future. And so we are fear based. And we, we, if this sounds super scary what Tina is describing to you, then you are most likely approaching it from fear. Which, if you’re one of my listeners, I often talk about the environment that we create for our child, while we cannot dictate how they use their agency, we can create environments that invite certain behaviors that we would like, right, as a parent, we can do that with our child, we can create certain environments that if we’re providing safety and curiosity that invites them to share with us, doesn’t mean that they will. But it’s an invitation that’s much more appealing than not. And creating that environment can feel scary when we are fearing their outcome.
Tina Gosney 46:51
But when we attach to them having a certain
Heather Frazier 46:55
outcome, yes, thank you for articulating that better. But when we can set just unconditional love, and knowing that we’re going to support our child throughout their path of life, regardless of what that looks like, then this process can feel really warm and inviting. So that’s a big tale to know, kind of, if you find yourself in the situation, or any other situation where your child, maybe they aren’t disclosing this, but maybe like, My son just decided he’s not going to college.
Heather Frazier 47:29
And that’s a curveball. Yeah, he’s super smart. Like he
Heather Frazier 47:32
could do it just fine. He got lots of scholarships, but he doesn’t like the academic setting, for how he learns. And so when I approached that, or anything else, that our child tells us, right, plug in whatever you’re struggling with, wrapping your head around, but when we can approach it, with the unconditional love, I’m gonna support my kid, everything’s fine. Like this is how life shakes out. We every day is a new surprise that we get to unwrap who knows what’s going to be inside. And when we can come to it, that can feel very comforting the process that you’ve just outlined. But when we’re super scared for our child’s future, or for how it reflects on us, then that feels very scary.
Tina Gosney 48:19
Yeah, and let me just speak a little bit about fear in parenting. Because when we get afraid, as parents, what we do is we revert back to a very basic way that we were parented. And if you’re like, most people of our generation, you were parented in a very command and control style. Yeah. That was the predominant parenting style, when our generation was growing up is command and control. So you start getting very demanding, you start thinking I’m right, you start trying to control you do
Heather Frazier 48:58
things apparently, wait. Yep, yeah, I know what’s best.
Tina Gosney 49:02
And what happens when you do that is we have such an inner as a people, as humans, we have such an inner desire to control our own destiny, and then make our own choices, that when we get confronted with that type of parenting, it can actually have the opposite effect of what you want it to have happen. So it’s very common for that child withdraw or to go do what you don’t want them to do, just because you told them to do something different facts.
Heather Frazier 49:35
Yeah, and then lie straight to your face about it. Or not, we just don’t know or talk to you with it, or write all the things. But then it becomes I’m doing this
Tina Gosney 49:45
in their mind if you if they don’t realize that that’s what they’re doing. Well, I’m doing this because you told me not to do it.
Heather Frazier 49:52
Yeah. Then it becomes a power struggle. Yeah. And you don’t want it a power
Tina Gosney 49:56
struggle. If you release it, and you really use for their choice to to be anything according to your plan, then it allows them to own that choice. Absolutely. Then they can go inward more inward and say, Okay, what do I want for my life? What feels true and authentic to who I want to be? It allows them to not have to be reacting to your parenting. And it allows them to be more authentic in their own lives. Yeah. Okay. So we have safety, curious. Patients trust. The last one is my favorite one to talk about, oh, talk about it all the time. And that’s having love. Because when and all the things I think that we’ve been talking about today, play into the way that we try to get our kids to control something. They try to we try to make their behavior mean something about us. Yeah, in fact, when I had my, when I had Jennifer Finlayson five on my podcast, she and we talked about parenting, and she said something, I’m going to paraphrase because I don’t remember exactly how she said it. So I’m sure she said it more eloquently, eloquently than I can. But she said something like, we use them to prove we use them to prove our own sufficiency. Yeah. And that is not love that is controlling behavior. And when we the sooner we can untangle our sufficiency is apparent from what that child is doing, or the choices that they’re making, or the life that they choose to live. The more like love that begins to look like and the sooner we can have peace and love in our own lives.
Heather Frazier 51:45
Yeah. And if we are attempting to create safety and curiosity and all of those things without love. It’s harder hollow, just as harder. Yeah, it’s less effective. And yeah, our kids aren’t going to respond as much. And the love is the best antidote for when we get it wrong. Because we will, yeah, for
Tina Gosney 52:13
sure. We’re going to do things wrong. But if a child knows that you love them, yeah, they give their few giving. Yeah, we forgive people. And we give people a break that we know truly love us. Yep. But I have found that most parents don’t actually know what unconditional love looks like, because they don’t have a good enough sense of who they are, without having that child to prove their own sufficiency. Yeah. Yeah, sooner we can untangle that. And Heather, and I can help you do that. We absolutely can
Heather Frazier 52:49
do most of the time with my clients. We kind of put out the fires initially, and then it oftentimes boils down to the mother’s own view of herself. Yes. And that’s where the work is. Yeah. Because when she can love and accept herself. That’s the hardest thing, then loving any and everybody else piece of cake.
Tina Gosney 53:11
So many things work themselves out. When we get good with who we are. We love ourselves, we can give ourselves are the things that we need. And we don’t look to other people outside of us to provide that for us. Yeah, that’s when problems start to make. They just make sense. Like the solutions to problems start to make sense. You don’t have to search for them so hard because they come naturally to you. And
Heather Frazier 53:37
our house parents, yeah. It just can take all those curveballs and run with it and just love show up.
Tina Gosney 53:46
That you are right. There’s at first when you work with somebody, there’s a lot of K, let’s put out some fires. Let’s feel some feelings. Let’s deal with these emotions that are taking over and running the show.
Heather Frazier 53:58
Yeah, and then we look for the root and oh, there it is. There it is. I’m a terrible mother. An awful human. Yes. Okay. Tina, what do you have to offer my listeners as we wrap up?
Tina Gosney 54:18
If your child is telling you that they’re LGBTQ. Remember, safety, curiosity, patience, trust and love. And it’s okay. If you don’t get it right the first time. Yeah, who does? Hold love as the number one thing? Yep. And let the other ones come as you hold that feeling of love. That emotion of love steady for your child. Yeah. And for yourself to have patience and all these things for yourself as well. You are not the only your child is not the only one going through something. You are going through many They have the same stages that they are.
Heather Frazier 55:02
Yeah, I’m sure it’s just a shocking to them. Yeah.
Tina Gosney 55:08
Heather, what do you have to offer my listeners today?
Heather Frazier 55:11
Oh, goodness, teenagers. And as parents, we are all just doing our best and just to apply a lot of grace with love, that we’re gonna get it wrong. And that actually is part of the learning process. We don’t need to beat ourselves up about it. And if you find if this has really resonated, please don’t feel bad. Just know that you’re not alone. Reach out to Tina and I, we got you. And I’m just hanging on. It’s not the end of the world promise.
Tina Gosney 55:45
Don’t add judgment of finding yourself in this podcast on top of what you’re already feeling. Yeah, you know, keep you even more stuck where you are find out, just reach out and get some help. Yeah,
Heather Frazier 55:56
we have straight love for our clients. So yes, it’s possible. I think so
Tina Gosney 56:03
there, I’m gonna put a link to how to contact you in the show notes. But is there anything else that you would like to share
Heather Frazier 56:11
that you referenced in the notes to Oh, yeah, well,
Tina Gosney 56:16
okay, Richard. Thanks, Heather. Bye.
This episode has definitely been an important one to share. It’s one of the longer episodes in the parenting through the detour podcast. But the discussion that Heather and I had was a really important one, you right now might become the parent of an LGBTQ child. Even if you don’t realize it right now. That might be you someday. And if it’s not your child, it might be a grandchild. There are many more kids coming out than ever before.
So remember the five things that I shared with you, and just try to hold those in your heart. As you look at these kids who are struggling, who just need a lot of love in their lives.
Don’t forget to go leave me a five star review on Apple podcasts June 7 at 1159. Pacific Time is the deadline, then email me a copy of your review. If you don’t email me a copy, you will not be entered into the drawing. Thank you for being here with me today through this extra long episode.
And I want you to remember that your detours and disappointments do not define you and they do not define your family. Have a great day and I’ll see you next week.