“Why does Jake have 2 mummies?”
Your 4-year-old starts noticing other families
Expert Response #1
It starts with love
Jake has two mummies because his mummies love each other and they wanted to have a family together so they could share their love with Jake
Dr Sarah Welsh, gynaecologist, co-founder of Hanx
Expert Response #2
Same, not different
There are lots of ways of being a family. The important thing is that children have grown-ups who look after them and love them and help them grow up
Petra Nordqvist, senior lecturer in sociology, University of Manchester
Expert Response #3
Other family examples
Families come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Some people have one parent, some have two parents and other people have carers, guardians or grandparents who care for them. There are step-parents, adoptive parents and foster parents too!
Amy Forbes-Robertson, partner,
Whatever you say next, keep these things in mind…
Include everyone – because the spirit of diversity and acceptance isn’t all about sexual orientation or even about who’s in the family. People can be different from our family in the jobs they do, the homes they live in and their celebrations and religion or lack of religion too
Try to emphasise what’s important about families, which usually brings out the similarities and not the differences. All families are built on those little family traditions, celebrations, care and love
Ask some follow-up questions: do you know of any other families different from ours or Jake’s? How would it feel to be different from most people?
If it feels right, encourage your child to talk to Jake about his family. What is it like? How does he feel?
CRISIS NOT AVERTED?
More help with questions from younger kids about LGBT+ issues…
QUEER KID STUFF | What does GAY mean?!?
Simple video, complete with teddy, blackboard and perky presenter – from a site that offers LGBT+ and social-justice media for all ages Go to What does GAY mean?!? >
Remember: every child is different. Adjust these suggestions for the age and stage of your child. Children with special educational needs and disabilities, looked-after children and children who have experienced abuse may all need different support.
If you’re in doubt about your child’s emotional, physical or psychological development, please seek the advice of a professional