Ten Tips for Parents from Mormon and Gay from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
As a parent, you may sometimes feel inadequate. Although you may not always know how to respond to the struggles your children face, you will never regret reaching out with love and understanding.
You will never regret saying “I love you.”
You will never regret throwing your arms around your child and hugging him or her. You will never regret listening. You will never regret trying to understand.
You have been entrusted with the care of a precious soul.
Learning to be a parent on this journey will stretch you. As you seek the companionship of the Spirit, you will draw near to God, your child, and, if applicable, your spouse. Remember to honor agency. If your spouse disagrees with how you want to handle things, work it out respectfully. If your child makes choices you disagree with, kindly let them know how you feel. Never try to control or manipulate them. Give them your time and assure them of your love.
Did you overreact, get angry, or say things you regret? Don’t be discouraged.
This is one moment in a lifelong conversation. It’s never too late to apologize.
If you learn about your child’s same-sex attraction secondhand, don’t take it personally.
Talking about one’s same-sex attraction can be terrifying and confusing. Your child may not have known how to talk to you about it.
It’s natural to grieve.
Do you feel your dream of the “perfect” LDS family slipping away? Do you fear losing a close relationship? Are you afraid your child won’t be treated with kindness? These feelings are natural. There is no shame in grieving.
Don’t blame yourself
for your child’s same-sex attraction.
This is no one’s fault. Blame is neither necessary nor helpful.
As a parent, the least productive prayer is “why?”
A close second is “please, take this away right now.”
The most helpful question you can ask is “how?”
How can I help? How can I be the mom or dad my child needs? How can we learn from this?
Some people care. Some people are curious. Answering questions can help build understanding but can also be exhausting. Be sure to charge your spiritual battery by spending quality time in sacred places. And no one cares more than your Father in Heaven.
Peace and perspective go hand in hand.
Seek knowledge, and learn all you can. Speak with your bishop or branch president and receive counsel from an authorized servant of the Lord. If you feel impressed, ask him for a priesthood blessing to help you meet the needs of your child. Some people find perspective in support groups or through temple attendance. In fact, there is no better place to find peace and perspective than in the temple.
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