Same-sex parenting tips

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Same-sex couples are no different than everyday couples as they will all go through the same emotional ups and downs of the parenting process. However, same-sex couples sometimes are met with challenges unlike the conventional family, mainly prejudice and often a lack of support available.

Children, in any context, can best be described as bundles of joy. Any couple starting a family is filled with anticipation and joy at the thought of starting this journey. Same-sex couples thinking of starting a family must carefully consider the child as their main concern, and everything else will fall into place. Here are five ways to help a same-sex couple make the transition into parenting an easier one.

Communication and support

As a couple, it's important to talk, talk and talk even more! Communication is so important when bringing a child up in any environment. If you have adopted a child who is a bit older, you should be ready, willing and able to discuss any questions that arise. Lend an ear at a moment's notice. Also, if you have family members close by, let them know about your decision and ask for their support. It often takes a village to raise a child.

Talk with your partner

Bringing up a child with a same-sex partner does not mean the same questions do not arise for everyday parents. What will you name your child? What religious path will you direct the child to, if any? Will your child go to a public or private school? Who is going to stay home to care for your child if work issues arise for the both of you?

Get involved with groups

Find same-sex parenting support groups and organizations in your area, as well as online. It will be great to be able to ask questions and share experiences with like-minded people on a regular basis. This way, you are facing these challenges head-on with family rearing and understanding both functioning on their highest level.

A world of differences

As a same-sex couple, it's important to explain to your kids about society and the many types of people that make up this complex nexus. Explain to them they might, at times, be faced with some type of pressure since a lot of people may not understand the genesis of their family. However, assure them they are loved no matter what.

Be the love you want to see

It's important for a same-sex couple with kids to always make the presence of love and caring evident in their daily lives. This can be done with verbal reassurances from both parents to kids, as well as through social family functions, vacations and weekly outings. Keep in mind both parents must have some alone time to keep their fire burning, as well. Partners sharing some personal time will help their family grow and strengthen.

More on parenting

Parenting resources we love
For the Love of Children: A parenting guidebook
Celebrity parenting styles