I met Nathan, age 9 when he and his dad, Seth, came to my office seeking “is he ruined” counseling.
Nathan greeted me with a huge smile and immediately asked if he could play in the sand play tray sitting on my ottoman. I invited him to choose from the many symbolic items representing real life and fantasy to create his world in the sand tray while dad and I spoke. (learn more about sand play therapy)
I talked to Seth (dad) for a few moments before I stated, “Hey dad, don’t you have some errands to run?” Nathan looked up from the sand tray, “Yeah dad, go do something.” Seth looked at me a little perplexed but suddenly read my body language and realized this was part of my plan. I knew to spend time with Nathan individually was going to benefit dad just as much as it would Nathan. Dad hugged Nathan, looked at me and said, “Thank you, Becky, for being strong enough to kick me out of here.”
This was not my first rodeo nor the first time I have “kicked a parent out “. I learned a long time ago if the child is doing well, the parents’ life suddenly shifts to a much more peaceful, happier place.
Bye dad, see you in an hour…
Nathan sat playing with the sand and figures talking the entire time with his back towards me. He spoke of his school, friends, Fortnite, soccer, and his teacher for a few minutes. “Are you the one I can tell the truth to?” I responded with, “Hmmm…do you want me to be?” He turned around and looked me square in the eyes and smiled. “Well, my dad said we were going somewhere where I can tell the truth and I think it is here.”
Truth on buddy….
Nathan moved to the other side of the ottoman to face me where I had planted myself on the floor. While carefully creating his world with the various figures in the sand, he proceeded to tell me that most people in his life (friends, neighbors, family, and church members) did not know he had two dads. Nathan had chosen two male figures as well as a child figure and surrounded the three in a mountain of sand.
“I don’t know why it is such a big deal because I have two cool dads and nobody else does,” Nathan said. I reached over, handed him the tiny shovel out of the box and said, “Then let’s dig you guys out”. He laughed and continued with, “Yeah, I want my friends to come over so Dad can swim with us and Dad-O can play Fortnite with us and eat ice cream”.
“Why can’t you tell the truth most of the time?” Nathan’s response, “I really don’t know… it’s just what they say.”
I scheduled a session with Dad and Dad-O immediately.
Come on out boys! You have an amazing kid who adores you both and wants to show you off. He is a well-adjusted kid by looking at his involvement and success in school, friendships, relationships, church, and the community. You obviously are doing a lot of things right! Be proud, honest, and be who you are. This sets a solid foundation for raising a healthy successful self-assured child.
I had the pleasure of working with this family and keeping up with them over the years. Nathan is now 18 and is an amazing well-adjusted young man, heading off to college in the fall. Yes, these parents had the typical parenting struggles every parent experiences… they also had the extra junk thrown at them with the social ideals, judgment, questions, and criticism from our society.
When honesty prevails, kids adjust.
Honestly and confidence in who you are as an individual as well as a couple is vitally important in your child’s life. Kids are naturally inquisitive. They want to know their background, where they “came from”, who their family members are, and stories about them. When honesty prevails, kids adjust. They are sponges and mirror their parents’ actions. They learn coping skills, anger management, social interaction, spirituality, family relations, work ethics, couple interaction, community involvement, and money management from their parents. Being from the LGBTQ community doesn’t exclude them from any of these factors. In fact, kids from the LGBTQ community can prove to be more adjusted in the non-judgmental, acceptance, confidence, standing up for what you believe world.
Truthfulness is a trait people should or do value. Honesty is an intricate part of mortality regardless of sexual orientation.
From my experience working in the LGBTQ community, kids raised in a solid loving honest LGBTQ relationship prove to be:
- Accepting- Be more accepting of other people and their differences.
- Self-aware- More adept to communicate feelings.
- Reality Based- Realize life is not perfect, warm and fuzzy all the time.
- Confident- Stand up for what they feel is right
- Empathetic- Realize not everyone is the same.
- Independent- Inclined to experience a new activity they have tried.
- Independent Thinkers- Not going with the flow or following others just because everyone else is.
- Negotiators– Think outside of their environment. Know not every situation is the same nor one way to view situations.
- Intuitive- Read others well and pick up on “gut feelings” in different situations.
- Inviting- Will reach out to others in need to offer a helping hand or listening ear.
- Creative- Not allowing social boundaries to lock them into certain roles, expectations, or typical behaviors.
- Positivity- Looking for the best in people and not the worse. No rose-colored glasses.
- Truthful- Being proud of upbringing, parents, and who they are.
- Reality Based- More than likely has experienced discrimination at an early age. They know it is real. They learn how to deal with this with a parent instead of outside the home.
Interested in more? I would love to meet to you! Email or call anytime to schedule a session. (817) 701-5438 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach
Empowering individuals, families and communities to grow and heal through advanced approaches in Creative Arts Therapy, setting the standard for treatment, practice and training within the field.