Sunday, 1 May 2016

Ignore, Redirect and Reward - Dealing with Unreasonable Behaviour.

I am not a therapist. I do not have the skills, training or experience to attempt any sort of therapy or counselling. Even if I did, I cannot have a therapeutic relationship with my child, we have too much history and to much at stake to be non-directive or or explore stuff.

The following is not therapy and it's not very deep. It won't give you a dramatic moment, where your child breaks down and accepts just how right you have been all along. Life is not like it is in the movies.

It is advice given to me by someone who has a great deal of experience in dealing with troublesome behaviour and getting them to a better place. Someone who does know what they are talking about.

It gives me a way to carry on day to day without reinforcing or collaborating in the trans delusion. It helps me to avoid damaging confrontations. Its easy to remember and recall when you feel yourself getting wound up.

Ignore: Don't mention trans and don't argue about trans. Don't rise to any provocation. Don't be dramatic about this and don't make a point of ignoring it. Don't say your ignoring it, just quietly get on with doing something else. Teenagers can be difficult anyway so try not to see everything in terms of trans, sometimes trans teenagers are just being teenagers.

Redirect: Do something else with them that is good for both of you and nothing to do with trans. Again don't make a point about it and  don't state why your doing it. Just think of something that you can do with your kid that is nothing to do with trans, but will be something they can join in with. It can be something that seems really small, choosing what to have for tea, choosing something on Netflix to watch together. It doesn't have to be worthy or anti-trans.

Reward: Be positive for anything but trans. Don't make a big point of it, don't mention trans, just be nice about whatever they do that isn't trans related.

Its not always easy. It means you have to ignore a lot of hateful stuff. You have to let it wash over you and yes it will sometimes get to you. Find a friend you can talk to, phone the Samaritans or write an anonymous blog, you are the adult.

And yes, it works with dogs and horses as well, we are all mammals.


  1. I read your original post with a mixture of sympathy and respect. You're clearly an exceptional parent, emotionally intelligent and dedicated.

    I haven't faced your situation, so I can't advise, though I can tell you that I wholly agree with what you're thinking and doing.

    However I have dealt with significant emotional and psychiatric problems in my family. Both my sons have had problems, one who completely came unglued for over two years as a sort of delayed reaction to the death of their father (a lovely man) and the second as a reaction to very serious health problems which lead to depression and self-harm.

    I have spent a lot of time over the years trying to communicate with resistant or withdrawn kids and what I learned was that it's often helpful to be near physically but to be in a situation where your eyes don't meet. Walking, particularly in a lovely natural setting, or in the car: both allow chatting in a particularly safe, detached way. Side by side avoiding any sort of confrontation.

    You probably already know this tactic but I thought it was worth offering it in case it might be useful. Please know how admirable I find you, and that your daughter is lucky to have you in her corner.

    I am a feminist, and gender critical. Men don't have to transition to have a nurturing, gentle side. They just have to be themselves, like you and my dear dead bloke.

    1. Thanks, that's so very true, sometimes just being together, or doing something together opens up a space for connecting and communicating that can't be found when your talking to or at each other.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the warmth and empathy I have come to expect from transgender activists. I expect you have convinced thousands, if not millions, of the justice and humanity of your cause.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I found you from 4th Wave Now ( I'm practicing a lot of the same advice you give above with my 13 year old daughter who is struggling with gender dysphoria. So, it was really a pleasant surprise for me this morning to see another father taking the same process with their child as I have recently started doing. It's been about a month since my daughter started insisting that she is trans and always felt like a boy. Requesting we use a different (more male) name, asking about binders, insisting on male pronouns, etc., etc. It's enough to make you want to scream sometimes, but I am learning patience. I've used this sign as a wake up call. I am using this time to understand her more and spend a lot of time doing things we both enjoy together. More time together pulls her away from all of the media, Internet, YouTube and outside influences that I believe have started these feelings of insecurity about her beautiful mind and body. I'm so new to all of this that I really don't have anything else to share, but I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to put this site up. I'll reach out more in the future now that I know you are here. Thanks again.


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