May 17, 2013

HAHAT: Teaching children equality

Hello all and welcome to Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Today, May 17th, is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. click to learn more.

First of all, I'd like to apologize if this post is all over the place. While writing this, I'm am just getting over a nasty head cold/flu, whatever that was, and I'm still a bit foggy.

Today, I'd like to talk about teaching children equality. And while I thought that title was okay at first, now I'm thinking it's better said as: lending your children a guiding hand and showing them that everyone is equal.

As a mother of two preteens, actually by the time this posts my daughter will be a teen, I'm often faced with a lot of questions as I'm sure most parents are. While many of those questions are easily answered, there are a few that aren't so easy.

There might be manuals on Parenting. There might be shelves of books on behavior management, child illnesses, and parenting techniques. But some questions and answers can't be covered in a paperback book. Such one issue is how to raise children to believe that everyone is equal regardless.

First, may I say that I have been blessed with a daughter who has always been non-stereotypical, and completely accepting of all. She has many different friends all ranging from different cultures and backgrounds, and even sexual preference. She's always been very open minded, and accepting of everyone.

However, my son is a different story. He also has friends from different cultures and backgrounds. But lately, he's been somewhat disrespectful of anyone GLBT individuals. Including mom.

How to I lend him a guiding hand and show him that anyone under the GLBT rainbow are the same as everyone else?

Certainly, I'm not the know all, say all when it comes to teaching children. I struggle, just as everyone else, but I'd like to share some things that I thought could help.

The first, and most important, is no pressure. I cannot persuade my son to accept everyone today. He's not going to turn his opinions around in a week. That's okay. He's got a long life ahead of him.

The second I found is probably the "do all" for everything. Be prepared to talk and listen. But most importantly, listen. Drop everything your doing and listen when he has a question, or when he talks about his concerns or feelings. My son has ADHD, and he's very vocal. Although a lot of this is "hyper words", I'll even listen to them for clues. I gently talk to him about his word choices, but I won't pressure or punish.

I also understand that by the time he's a teenager, I won't be the most influential voice in his life. He has friends, peers, that may be very vocal on their feelings. Yes, peer pressure is commonplace in everything, not just alcohol and drug use. His friends might curse and make fun of GLBT individuals at school or at social functions. And my child may do the same to look good, even though that is not the way he truly feels.

Anti-bullying programs. It's hard to tell at this point if he's going to be a bully in the future. But it's a great time to get proactive in bullying programs. Schools have these for students and parents. I admit, I need to look them up in my region. Also speaking to the teacher(s) about behavior with other students during PT conferences will also indicate if there could be bullying problems later on.

Some other things I've thought of:

Show the love. If you're friends either online or in person with GLBT individuals, talk about them. Not personally, but simply say something like: "My friend (or coworker, or new acquaintance) and I are going out to have coffee." Or "We're going to walk in the pride parade." Show your support. Attend GLBT functions, and let your child(ren) know why. "I'm going to rally in support of gay marriage." Then, be prepared to listen as your child(ren) may or may not have some questions.

Get your significant other involved or friends/family. I don't mean drag them to a rally. My boyfriend would stop in his tracks before we get to the door. What I mean talk to them, if they're open to it. Let them know how important it is to you that your child(ren) believe in equality. Ask them to refrain from possible derogatory remarks within your child's presence, or refrain from other discussion that might seem negative.
And, who knows, maybe they'd love to go to a rally or a parade.

I know there might be more tips, so I'd like to hear from readers. What are some other ways to lend that guiding hand?

Also, as a giveaway, one lucky commenter can win a $10 gift certificate to AllRomance Ebooks or OmniLit. All you need to do is comment with a working email address between May 17th and May 27th.

I'll draw one name from a hat and contact the winner after May 27th.

Don't forget to visit all the blogs participating in this wonderful event. Here is the list of all active and participating blogs so you can click on the next one with ease. Enjoy!


  1. Thank you for taking part in the hop! And for such a great post.

  2. Teaching your children the value of every single human being is so very important. Great post. As one of the organizers of the HAHAT, thank you so much for participating.


  3. Thank you for taking part in the hop!

  4. Really great advice here!


  5. Thanks for all the info!

  6. I talk to my boys already 7&4 and in instill them the value of love. It is important to star teaching them at an early age, because they will eventually go off and share what they know.

  7. Thank you for your great post. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    awindandbooks at gmail dot com

  8. I think raising your child with prejudice is handicapping them. My children accept everyone.

    debby236 at gmail dot com

  9. That was a really great post. I know that there are a lot of great resources out there in teaching kids about prejudice, specifically in the form of books. Some of them might be a little young for someone your son's age, but it might be a place to start looking.

    Thanks for doing the hop and please count me in one the giveaway.


  10. Hmm tips - I can't really give parenting tips - I can tell you how I reacted to certain things:
    * I reacted very badly to things like "You have to...". Those absolute statements - do not go down well - I was open to explaining why I did certain things and listening just why I shouldn't do them as long as it was my decision how to act in the end.
    * Listening - well I guess you can be lucky he's talking - according to my mother I put her through hell because I didn't talk, well sure the necessary I'm hungry, I will take the trash out later I need this or that book for school but nothing about me - I'm working on that. Well my point was I would talk if she would just stop asking. So I guess keep the door open but don't push.
    *Her being actively involved in my life if I didn't ask for - well long as I didn't know about it it was fine. I was and am still very protective about "my" life. And I did not care for her intruding.

    Well one very very important thing I go by is I don't have to like everyone, it is ok not to be best pals with people. It is not ok to discriminate or bully, but it is perfectly ok not to like someone because the always try to squeeze in at the front of a queue, do not greet you even if that individual happens to belongs to a group you are supposed to be especially open to.
    [that's one big point with my mother as she's the more forgiving second chance kind of social worker]

    Oh one more thing - my mother always made sure I knew exactly what the words were I used for cursing ... she would make me read dictionary entries and the use through history - if I had to use them I should at least know exactly what I was saying. That did reduce that vocabulary a lot.

    Well is your son disrespectful only to individuals with a QGLBT background? Is he just trying to be "different" from you? testing his boundaries? or does he actually have something against them in general?

    Now I don't know if it all makes sense - but then people don't always make sense to me. The whole thing got a little longer then intended - with that I'm off hopping some more.

    leo.v.s at aol dot com

  11. Good luck with your son. I raised 2 girls and find my grandsons a total mystery at times. I do remember endearing myself to my oldest grandson by teaching him to burp on command when he was about 6; annoyed his mother to no end. We have had a good relationship and now at 17 we have occasional serious conversations. Thanks for hopping.

  12. Thank you for post I enjoyed reading it.

  13. Never underestimate the power of empathy. Thank you so much for sharing you wonderful post and participating in this amazing hop!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing your post in this blog hop! Such an important subject.
    OceanAkers @

  15. Very informative. It all starts at home if kids are lucky :)

  16. Parenting is such an important job and so few do it with the love and patience it takes. Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. Great parenting advice. Thank you for joining in the hop and for the wonderful post.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  18. Wonderful tips and post. Thanks for joining the hop.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  19. Thank you for the post.

    peggy1984 at live dot com

  20. Hi! Wonderful post! Great tips! Thanks for being apart of this fantastic hop! Its sad how some people are. Im happy to say, im glad were all different! I think being brave enough to say you love someone, no matter the sex, is amazing! People should find there happiness. Who cares what others think. The only people that matter, are the ones in the relationship. Too many people in this world are simple minded. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful night!

  21. I don't have any advice on kids since I don't have any. But being open to listening is always good.

    Thanks for participating in this great hop!