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Ways parents can support their teen daughter exploring their own gender identity

Today’s guest is Dara Hoffman-Fox who is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), gender therapist, speaker and author of “You and Your Gender Identity: a Guide to Discovery”. Her private practice is located in Colorado Springs CO. Dara works with transgender, gender variant, and gender questioning individuals.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What is a gender therapist
  • What is transgender and non-binary
  • How parents can support their child or teen
  • Fears parents have voiced

How parents can support their teen in discovering their gender identity

  • What does it mean to be transgender?
    • We are assigned gender at birth based on our genitals
    • Teen doesn’t feel aligned with gender
  • Ask teenager what their discomfort level is from scale of 1 to 10
    • Example of boy wanting to express more femininity and supported at home to do so would have less discomfort vs being told no boys don’t do that behavior
  • Listen for comments where child or teen begins to wonder or challenge why that have to do specific gender based behaviors when they feel differently
    • The more they question can indicate higher level of discomfort or distress
  • Having dialog about gender identity and if family needs more support go to a gender therapist
  • Share your support with your teenager
  • Create a safe space for them to be able to share their feelings and normalize this experience with them
  • What is non-binary?
    • Don’t identify with either male or female gender
    • Not about women stereotypes
    • Watch videos or read blogs about non-binary together

Fears parents have voiced

  • Fears are normal and dialog continues to open up more regarding gender identity
  • Sometimes it is not easy for families depending on where you live, support system, school systems, etc
  • May receive some negative feedback from others
    • Connect with local therapist to find local support groups
    • Online communities for parents to connect to other parents going through this with their teen
  • [spp-tweet tweet=”Parents-you listening to your child is showing a huge amount of compassion, love and concern- Dara”]
    • When you support your child and/or get the support you need, you begin to see your child’s confidence level increase
    • Set boundaries for you and your family in not listening to uninformed or negative people

You and Your Gender Identity

  • Dara discussed her book for young adults, adults and therapist as a resource
  • Has various exercises to go through to discover gender identity
  • Used template of Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell
  • Reader is on their life’s journey through the exercises
  • Gain a deeper understanding of yourself
  • [spp-tweet tweet=”Discover your authentic self-Dara”]
  • The more you can truly know yourself at a younger age can reduce the odds of you making choices that don’t fit for you

Sign up to receive announcements about my local teen girls group and future online event for moms. This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio.

Dara’s Information:

Website: www.darahoffmanfox.com

Book: You and Your Gender Identity

Dara’s YouTube Channel

Facebook: Conversations with a gender therapist

Other Resources:

Darlene Tando http://www.darlenetando.com/ and her book Conscious Parent’s Guide to Gender Identity: A Mindful Approach to Embracing Your Child’s Authentic Self