Parenting & Evolving with Your Transgender Child with Paria Hassouri
For many parents, accepting a child with a different gender identity that stray from the heteronormative is challenging. You might feel scared and in denial at first, but your love will trump your doubts and fears. The most important thing to do is to be supportive of your child and keep your heart and mind open for them.
In this episode, listen to Dr. Paria Hassouri and her daughter’s story of transition. From denial, anger, and grief to reaching acceptance, Paria shares how to see your child’s authentic self. By sharing their journey, she hopes more families and communities will radically love their transgender members.
Tune in to learn how you can enrich the way you parent your transgender child.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Be inspired by Dr. Paria’s story of how she embraced being a mother to a daughter who discovered her true self.
- Learn ways to become a radically loving parent, family member, and community to transgender people, especially children.
- Find out how and what Pariah radically loves.
Inspiration for the Book
- Paria felt the need to write a book that would have been the story she needed when her daughter came out in 2017.
- She felt utterly blindsided when her 13 ½-year-old child came out as transgender.
- She admits to having made many mistakes but discovered numerous lessons she hopes to share with parents experiencing the same through the book.
Changing Beliefs & Letting Go
- Parents of trans children should come to terms with the fact that they didn’t know something fundamental about their children.
- They should let go of the power identity struggle within themselves because the bottom line is that it is about their child—not them.
- Once they let go of the power struggle, their relationship with their child can be better and stronger.
- Once they allow your children to live their authentic selves, their lives and relationship will be better than they ever were.
What Should Parents Do Differently
- The first thing a parent should do is to pause and listen instead of automatically denying their child.
- Parents should get into a support group for parents of trans children as soon as possible.
- Hassouri recommends that a trans child's parent should not underestimate their capacity to evolve with their child.
On Parent’s Protective Instincts
- Paria advises parents to be mindful not to treat their trans children differently.
- Sometimes, parents project their fears onto their children and link that fear to their child's gender identity.
- Parents should not assume that every one of their child’s problems is related to their child being transgender.
Spreading Transgender Awareness
- According to Paria, 80% of Americans haven’t encountered a trans person or a family with a trans person.
- People fear what they don’t know and don’t see, so the transgender community should spread awareness.
- Families with trans children are no different from any other family.
- Trans people tend to have negative portrayals in the media. That needs to change, and people need to see trans people as normal, too, not strange or unusual.
Is There a Right Age to Come Out?
- For Paria, it is not the age but about listening to the child.
- There is no harm in allowing a child to express themselves the way they want.
- Exploring ways to express their gender is different from being transgender.
- Parents should take their children’s lead, especially if their children are happy and not in distress.
- Parents should use the words and expressions a child uses as a guide on how to move forward.
How to Support Your Trans Child
- Listen and be optimistic about them.
- Live in the present.
- Parent out of love instead of fear.
Being Radically Loved
- Paria Hassouri feels radically loved when she is genuinely seen and heard.
- Radical love for her is when she can validate people, their feelings, and their identities.
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5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
[16:27] “Once her child is allowed to be their authentic self and is living their authentic life, their relationship is going to be better than it ever was.”
[23:07] “[Do] not underestimate your capacity to evolve with your child.”
[28:53] “My family with a trans child is no different than any other family that doesn't have a trans child. I have the same hopes, dreams, aspirations for my kid than anybody else has for theirs.”
[32:28] “Instead of parenting with fear, parent out of love.”
[40:32] “Part of what creates a great parent is somebody who's constantly and continues to work on themselves and continues to be open.”
Among her many roles, Paria Hassouri is proudest of being a mother of three.
Being a transgender rights activist is something very near and dear to her because of their transgender daughter.
She is also a pediatrician and writer. Her personal stories were published in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, and Huffington Post.
Follow and interact with her on her Instagram. You can also visit her website to read a compilation of her writings.
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To feeling radically loved,