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Mary Gorham Malia
As more and more lesbians live openly, more studies are being done to determine what, if any, affect being raised by a lesbian mother or lesbian couple has on children.
The good news is there appears to be only good news.
Datingadvice.com recently reported on a study done on children of lesbians who were conceived through sperm donation.
Not only do these boy and girls do well in school, they also do well socially, are less likely to be rule-breakers, are less aggressive and are not as prone to blame their problems on others.
This is pretty exciting news and it speaks to a quality of care and attention that comes from having two women present and available.
Overall, children of lesbian couples actually do as well in school and in life as children of heterosexual couples. Yes, the study really says this.
Now if you are coming out and already have children, the results of this study are not fully applicable.
Your children have a father who they know and who they hopefully interact with even in the face of your divorce (due to the fact you have accepted you are lesbian).
Older children, particularly middle school and high school children, may find your coming out to be difficult and embarrassing.
Peer pressure gets in the way of even the most loving parent/child relationship, and a lesbian mother can be a very difficult thing to process for some children.
In my own experience, my son of 18 was extremely upset about my coming out as lesbian. My daughter, who was seven, never gave my being lesbian a second thought.
The difference in where they were developmentally was significant. It took my son about six years to adjust to his mother being lesbian, but I’m grateful that we again have a great relationship.
My daughter needed help adjusting to other changes that took place in our world.
She was heartbroken that she could no longer see her dad every day, was no longer living in the house she loved when we were a family and many other big and little changes that took place.
We found a delightful children’s therapist who specialized in play therapy. This is something I’d recommend to any woman with children who is coming out.
That therapist helped us move through the grieving process to being able to find joy and fun in life again.
“Living more honest lives is one of
the gifts you’ll give your children.”
Are you coming out with no children but planning on having them? Then this study provides deep emotional support if you’re worried about how your child will fare in life. He or she will do great.
Already have children? Then prepare to give them extra time and attention.
Be ready to talk to them about homosexuality in terms they can understand. Your 6-year-old doesn’t need the same information your teenager will need.
Be on the lookout for a therapist who specializes in working with children. Your kids and you may need extra help at certain points in your transition process.
Though there is a lot of joy in taking the steps to live authentically, there is always a grieving process that must be taken into account.
Coming out in a thoughtful and planned way will help your whole family handle the transitions more easily.
Ultimately, you are opening up the world in a new way for yourself and your children.
With your loving attention, deep listening to their needs and concerns and a strong support system, you will all do as well as the children in this study.
Living fuller, happier and more honest lives is one of the gifts you’ll be able to give your children.
What are your biggest concerns for your children in your coming out process? Share with us in the comment section below.
Photo source: curvemag.com.