Most medical and psychological professionals agree that affirming children is the best approach for children with gender dysphoria, said Paul Mitrani, clinical director and child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute in New York.
Affirming means that parents can address such children by their preferred pronoun or name, ask them questions about their gender assertions and engage them in conversations about their interests and gender expressions in affirming.
“Affirming is just saying, ‘This is who you are right now,’” Mitrani said. “You’re not trying to push them one way or another.”
Parents have a role in making sure their children feel safe to be themselves, but how children express their gender with one parent over the other isn’t an indicator of the child’s transgender identity, according to experts.
If Younger’s child is acting like and preferring to be a boy, the child could be conforming to the father’s expectations and adapting in a way that diminishes stress, Mitrani said.
Younger has said that the child behaves as a boy and wants to be treated as male when not around the mother, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Although much concern has surrounded the medical care of the 7-year-old, the likelihood that the child will deal with any serious medical decisions is low at the moment, Mitrani said.
If there is any change a transgender or gender diverse child might experience at this age, it is mainly social.