Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The New Normal

What do you say to your small children about same-sex couples? It’s a question I’ve asked myself lately because the scenario has come up. 

Both Reese and Westley have friends and classmates who have same-sex parents. I know the couples and they, along with their children, are awesome. I just wonder if there is anything I need to be prepared to say or any question I need to be prepared to answer if the kids see or hear something that they consider out of the norm?

Now, let me be clear. I am not homophobic, anti-gay or any of those other popular descriptors. Most of you who know me know I am a church girl, but I am not of the holier-than-thou variety. Everyone has their opinion, but I would never judge anybody for being homosexual. Lord knows I don’t want anyone judging me for things that I have done as a heterosexual. Yet, I do want to be ready for inquiring minds.

Why? Because I have been blinded-sided before with questions like:

Hard question? Yikes!

“Why do boys have penises and girls don’t?” 

That prompted a stimulating yet confusing conversation about pee-pees and wee-wees. I'm not even sure I understood what I said. 

Then there's my personal favorite, “How did the doctors get the baby out of your tummy?” Luckily, their dad was close by as the bus was approaching, so I threw him under it. 

"Ask your father!"

Those type of silly retorts will work on some topics for a while, but for same-sex couples, I want to have an educated, thought-out response. 

There is no topic that builds up as much steam as the discussion about sexuality. It sits right at the top of the taboo leaderboard with with politics and religion. Am I to leave the discussion for the locker room at my son's all-boy school? Or maybe let the littles pick up their views from just plain ignorant commentary that tends to follow this topic everywhere it goes? I want kids that care, not kids that crucify.

What about things they might see on a play date? No, I'm not thinking they would see anything inappropriate, but more like wedding pictures or the term "Mom" being used for more than one person. 

Am I over thinking it? Be honest. 

Maybe I should stay away from any detail-oriented explanations and tell them what I know to be true, what I have experienced in my own life…that different families have different dynamics. Some families have two parents, while some are divorced.  Some families have just one mommy or just a daddy, some have two mommies and two daddies, some even have aunts, uncles and cousins in different family roles. But most importantly, God loves all people, and so should you.
I’m hoping that if I stick with the basics, it will leave room for them to make their own judgments based on their own experiences. Maybe that is enough for now. What about when they are older and require more information? I think I will cross that bridge when I get to it. But kids will be kids and, sooner or later, they will want to know. I want to be thoughtful in my delivery because my hope is to raise children who are, while firm in their beliefs, understanding and loving. 

Any suggestions?


  1. I don't think you are over thinking, those are perfectly good questions. I believe that the only guide and truth to life is the Bible. So, the answer to those questions have been written. Yes, everyone can believe in anything or anyone, the freedom of choice is ours. But, no one has the longevity, accuracy, tried and proof record of the Bible. Although, thousands of archaeologists, historians and otherwise non-Christians have proofed over and over again the 100% accuracy of the Bible and although all of the Bible critics of the past have been forgotten or discredited, I rather believe in It because I cannot unknown what I know. Stick with the Word of God and you can't go wrong, regardless of all the noise around, you will be glad you did. Proverbs 22:6

  2. When my daughter was in elementary school we lived 2 houses down from a gay couple with 7 children and the question came up one day after she was playing at their house. I simply stated facts to her and told her that families come in all different varieties. They could be multi-racial (like ours), they could consist of biological and adopted children, they could consist of step-parents or with 2 moms / 2 dads. But no matter what a family looks like, it is a place where love is spoken and taught. Because I didn't put a huge emphasis on this one "type" of family, and explained it was no different than any other dynamic it made it not a major thing at all. Maybe that could be a tactic you could use.


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