An interview with author and professor, Dr. Vernon Wiehe about sibling abuse and how it differs from sibling rivalry. He describes a pattern of frequent victimization of one sibling at the hands of another, usually older sib, with long lasting consequences in the life of the victim. Dr. Wiehe points out that sibling abuse is even more common that domestic violence or child abuse, but is often minimized by parents. He describes ways to prevent it, including not leaving younger children alone in the care of their older siblings if the younger one doesn’t feel safe, talking to children openly about violence and sexuality, setting limits with privacy, listening to children and believing them. He also talks about the now pervasive influence of violent video games and television shows and how violence begets further violence, through modeling and desensitization. He encourages survivors not to waste time looking for an apology from the sibling who abused them, but to pour that energy into seeking healing in therapy.
An interview with doctor of clinical social work, Frank Brooks about gender role non-conformity. Frank described his own experiences of feeling different and facing prejudice as he grew up. He then went on to study the powerful link between gender role non-conformity in boys and the risk of suicide. He works now with families with gender role non-conforming kids to help them protect their kids from bullying, threats, and shunning. Frank uses the term Gender role instead of gender to highlight that these roles are social constructions and are changing. He sees hope for transgender and gender role non-conforming kids as social awareness and acceptance grows.
An interview with the founder and president of the first camp for trans youth, Nick Teich. Nick describes many challenges that trans youth face as they grow up, particularly as they enter puberty and begin to develop secondary sex characteristics of the sex that feels wrong to them. The camp is for ages 8 to 15 and is designed to offer a safe place where kids can express the gender that feels right to them, among others doing the same. He tells stories of campers who benefited tremendously from meeting other kids like them for the first time in their lives. Nick also describes some of the medical options available to kids to delay puberty until they are old enough to decide whether to transition.
An interview with Charles Robbins, CEO of the Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide among gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning youth. [Read more…]
An interview with Patricia Ellen about the suicide of her son when he was fourteen. [Read more…]