Fam­ily fight­ing over trans­gen­der child

Times Standard (Eureka) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Amy Dick­in­son You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: askamy@amy­dick­in­son.com and fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy.

DEAR AMY » My hus­band and I have a 7-year-old grand­son that his mother has been dress­ing as a girl. His mother refers to him as a “her” and uses a girl’s name.

She also wants the school to re­fer to him as a her (he has been hav­ing out­bursts at school).

My son shares cus­tody with his ex. The child’s mother feels she is do­ing what is right for him and ar­gues with any other sug­ges­tions.

My grand­son has seen a court-ap­pointed ther­a­pist to make a de­ci­sion on his gen­der is­sues be­cause when he is at my son’s house or our house, he im­me­di­ately changes clothes and gets up­set if any­one sees him wear­ing girls’ clothes.

We have told him that if he doesn’t want to wear girls’ clothes at his mother’s, he must tell her.

He says he wants to wear girls’ clothes, but his ac­tions say oth­er­wise. The mother has told us to not cut his hair — and lawyers ad­vise us to go along with her. But his hair is out of con­trol — he has to lift it or hold it out of his eyes. He has said he asked his mom to get it cut, but with COVID-19 she could not get it done. Now his mom is say­ing that we are pres­sur­ing him to get it cut.

Should we get him on cam­era ask­ing/say­ing he wants it cut? Should we take him to get it cut? Or should we just hope that she will take him?

Yes, we would like to see his hair short, but at this point we just want him to be able to see and not have to hold it up. What should we do? — Gamma

DEAR GAMMA » You should open your arms and love this child with­out pres­sur­ing them (I’m us­ing the gen­der-neu­tral pro­noun) to be any dif­fer­ent than they al­ready are. While with you, let the child choose and wear any cloth­ing they want to wear on that par­tic­u­lar day.

Don’t ask loaded ques­tions, don’t press this child about their cloth­ing, hair, or any­thing else. Do NOT in­ter­ro­gate or in­ter­view them on cam­era. Just be grand­par­ents, for good­ness sake. No child has ever needed lov­ing, neu­tral, ac­cept­ing grand­par­ents more than this child does. So take on that role and BE that.

If your grand­child’s hair falls into their eyes, of­fer to let them pick out a hat, a head­band, a “scrunchi,” hair clips, or any­thing else they might want to use to hold the hair back. And if the child doesn’t want to use any of these things, that should be OK, too. Do NOT cut the child’s hair.

The child’s father should be in charge of nav­i­gat­ing the “of­fi­cial” as­pects of this along with his ex, in­clud­ing any and all re­sponses to gen­der/ cloth­ing/hair is­sues.

Things are bad enough for your grand­child that the court has ap­pointed a ther­a­pist to step in. All of the adults in this child’s life should meet with the ther­a­pist and fol­low the sug­gested guide­lines.

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