For many kiddos, the start of school is the perfect time to meet new students, expand their friend group, or connect more fully with their classmates. As a parent, it can be nerve-wracking to let our kiddo spend time in a new friend’s house. As a parent of an LGBTQ+ human, it can be terrifying. One of the best ways to ensure our kids and their LGBTQ+ friends are spending time in a safe environment is to open our home to them after school and on weekends. Being an ally is the first and most important step to creating a safe space for our kiddos. This guide focuses on the second most important thing: creating an inviting and awesome physical space.
Co-create a space to hang out.
Kids these days are all about the aesthetics. They want to spend time in a space that feels really good to them, even if it wouldn’t be your design choice. Think of your kid as a partner in curating the space and give them some freedom to be creative.
Have snacks at the ready.
Kids are always hungry. Mostly, they want junk food. As a parent, you have the never-ending job of negotiating healthy choices, food preferences, and ingredient limitations. Do your best and if you can, let the kids help make decisions.
Signal your home is an LGBTQ+ friendly space.
Kids want to know right from the start what kind of house they are in and how authentic they can be. We hope you’ll get the chance to have meaningful and important conversations about allyship but that may not happen right away. In the meantime, you can drop some helpful hints.
Set the rules and trust your kids.
Kids, despite what they may say, want clear boundaries. Talk to your household about rules that make sense for your family. These might include quiet time after 10 PM, clean up after yourself, no smoking in the house, when to get an adult involved in a conflict, homework before screen time etc.
Hear more from Mo Bailey about ways in which you can create safe spaces outside of school walls at our SAFE at School Event. We will also hear from Josh Covington, a former school principal, about legal rights and from Jennifer Boudrye, a school counselor and parent coach who will provide information to help with additional emotional support for LGBTQ+ teens and tweens.
Register today for our SAFE at School Event hosted on Zoom on Tuesday, September 13 at 5pm PT/8pm ET!
About the Author
Mo Bailey is an empowerment coach, captivating speaker, and Community Organizer who believes in the power of story to connect, heal, and inspire people.
Mo's purpose in life extends beyond her professional roles. She deeply values creating safe spaces where all people feel worthy of belonging. Her work with CASA, the Norfolk Diversity Council, and Norfolk Area.
Pride is her way of trying to make her corner of the world a better place. Mo lives in Norfolk, NE with the three loves of her life: her wife, Angie; their mini doxie, Oaklie; and their pomchipoo, Myla.