My son identifies as gay. He’s in grade eight and only recently went through puberty. He doesn’t struggle with gender identity, as in, he is still male and wants to remain male. He’s attracted to boys in a sexual way.
My wife is very accepting, as is his sister. The problem is my parents. They absolutely adore him and vice versa, but they just don’t seem to get it. They keep asking him inappropriate questions, making odd comments in front of him and generally hurting his feelings, though they obviously don’t mean to.
This sometimes gets my wife’s back up. I don’t want her to lose her very strong and healthy relationship with my parents.
Of course, we’re all very protective of my son, but I don’t want to fight with my parents all the time.
How do I help them understand that this is who he is and they should just love him the same as they did before they knew who he liked to kiss?
Remind them that he is still their little Freddie (name change) who they’ve loved since the day he was born. He’s still the same kid who loves when they take him to the movies or has sleepovers at their house (just random examples).
Tell your parents that Freddie’s sexual identity is very important to who he is, it’s not a lifestyle choice and they need to be careful with what they say around him.
My kids were desperate for a dog. They each wrote a persuasive letter convincing my wife and I to get them a dog. I didn’t need convincing. I grew up with dogs my whole life and wanted one to complete our family.
My wife was petrified and adamant that we not get one. I assured her I would do all the work and the kids would help. Considering they’re only six and eight, I knew the onus would fall on me and I was fine with that.
They begged for months and I just let their sweet little faces do the work. My wife finally, reluctantly, agreed. I had been secretly searching online knowing that if and when she said yes, we’d have to jump on the chance.
That night I called the breeder I had been following and was told they had four pups ready to go. We went out that weekend and brought home the cutest little puppy. My kids cried with happiness and I could see my wife’s heart melt.
I knew she wasn’t a dog-lover, but I was astounded at how afraid she was of this tiny little brand-new puppy. She refused to touch it, pet it, cuddle it in any way.
We’ve had the dog for one month and my wife isn’t getting any more comfortable. How can I help her?
It’s hard not to fall in love with a cuddly, sweet pup – unless you have a fear that takes over. Have you talked to your wife and asked her exactly what it is that she’s afraid of? Is she afraid of being bitten? Is she afraid of falling in love? Is she afraid of having something to take care of that doesn’t speak her language?
These are all legitimate concerns. Show her that, just like children, puppies take time to get to know, but need their “Mommy” to help show them the way. There are definitely growing pains with a pup, but it’s a shorter time frame than with children.
Show her what a great job she’s done with the children and tell her how you know she’ll be great with the dog once she allows herself to let the pup in.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who doesn’t have grey hair in her 70s (Sept. 30):
“Just finished reading your advice to Truly NOT grey and thought I'd add another perspective:
“Years ago, my wife in her early 60's would go to the hairdresser to have her grey hair dyed black. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer and, like your reader, went through chemo and radiation treatment. Soon she lost all her hair, as forewarned by her Oncologist.
“But a few months later, her hair grew back a lustrous and silky black color, and stayed like this for several years.
“One day I complemented her on her hair. Her response was that she would prefer grey hair or any other colour, instead of cancer.”