Unfortunately, homophobic bullying is more common than it should be.
Your child might be out and proud, or not out, or entirely straight, and none of these things will make them immune from homophobic bullying.
First and foremost, make sure the home is a safe space: free from homophobic language, such as “that’s so gay”, or derogatory terms aimed at gay people, lesbians, andor transgender people.
You may need to have a chat with other members of the family to make sure they are aware that this type of language is unacceptable.
To address any misconceptions people might be aiming at your child, you should know the real facts about the LGBT Community. There are many places to do this, visit shoutout.ie for a list of terminology. It’s also important to confront any misconceptions you might have had without realising it.
Speak to your child and let them know you are available to discuss this. They might assume you don’t want to hear about homophobic bullying because, it may mean addressing issues about orientation and sexual activity. Make sure they know this is a topic you’re open to speaking about, while respecting their privacy.
Speak to the school, if it’s happening in school or with the other parents if it’s outside school. Let them know this is happening and you’re concerned.
Schools have to address homophobic and transphobic bullying, but might not be aware it’s happening. You could also encourage the school to host a ShoutOut workshop, which tackles homophobic and transphobic bullying.
This is a guest post from Bella Fitzpatrick, Shoutout.ie. The image was taken from their site.
Ah Christmas, the perfect way to bookend the year with lots of family time.
What’s that? It’s a stressful time full of unfulfilled expectations, expense, obligations and here’s really hoping we don’t have a white Christmas as that will mean we could all be stuck indoors with each other.
Well, there’s no doubt about it, Christmas can be stressful and expensive so what can you do to not only minimise the stress but enjoy it?
Include and involve the whole family in the plans and communicate them. A lot of fights with teens or young adults happen over Christmas because they want to spend time with their friends and either can’t, being far away from them and without transport or do end up staying out all the time, when they should be taking part in family events.
If everyone knows and agrees a plan in advance, about time spent with extended family, neighbours and friends then there will be less conflict when it comes to events.
It is a time to catch up with your son or daughter, just the two of you. It’s not all about events over Christmas, make sure to go for a few walks and talk about what is going on in their lives.
Money is always an issue at Christmas, and even if this is known there can still be expectations. The kind of presents teenagers and young adults want are getting more expensive, as the popular ones are ipads, playstations and phones.
Again this is one for now, work out what is reasonable budget together. Involving young people in the decision making process means less upset at having a scaled down Christmas.
Communication beforehand, along with involving your son or daughter in the plans and decisions means the time you do spend together should be enjoyable and stress-free.