Shouldn’t the title of this article say it all? Shouldn’t the sentiment of this title be true for every child? Ever? I would hope so.
All children deserve unconditional love from their parents. That gift is the most precious and valuable gift any parent can give a child. Personally, I think all parents should love their children unconditionally; however, I also know that is not unfortunately always the case. Some parents find out qualities about their children that they find difficult to accept, and then they find it difficult to accept all of their children’s distinct qualities.
Yesterday, a father’s letter to his son was published on websites all over the Internet. In the letter, the father wrote to his son, who is gay, that he does not need to worry about ‘coming out’ to him or his mother because they already know and love him no matter what. What an amazing miracle!
In the letter the father wrote, “‘I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me,’ it reads. ‘The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now. I’ve known you were gay since you were six, I’ve loved you since you were born.’ He signs it ‘Dad’ and finishes with a post script: ‘Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple’” (Greenfield 1).
This letter was originally submitted to a website that promotes activism against hate for those who are GLBT, run by a man who is gay but who has been estranged from his Christian fundamentalist parents (Greenfield 1). However, the letter has become popular and published among websites of all kinds, particularly landing in the inbox of PFLAG.
“The national organization Parents and Families of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG) also saw the letter and loved it. ‘This letter is what PFLAG is all about—what child doesn’t want to receive unconditional love from his or her parents?’ a spokesperson told Yahoo! Shine. ‘For some, like this dad, it comes quickly. For others, it may take time. But regardless of how or when they get there, parents need to have their kids’ backs, no matter what’” (Greenfield 1).
In my 20+ years of working with teenagers, I have seen parents choose to deny their children love and affection for all kinds of reasons. I have seen parent/child relationships be destroyed because a parent or parents could not accept a reality about their child. Those situations have NEVER resulted in a child ‘choosing’ a different path; they have always resulted in the destruction of the relationship between the parent(s) and the child. Such destruction is unnecessary, painful for all and can create life-long relationship issues, if there is even a relationship left to save.
Parents: Love your children. That unconditional love will return back to you in spades.
Greenfield, Beth. “Dad's Love Letter to Gay Teenage Son Goes Viral.” www.shine.yahoo.com March 15, 2013.