Explaining Caitlyn Jenner To My Child

Tonight I explained Bruce Jenner’s transformation to my 9-year-old.

It was a smoother conversation than I expected.

Kids are naturally curious, and they notice more than we think. My kids don’t watch the nightly news on TV, or read People Magazine or US Weekly, but it’s natural in this digital age of information overload, for them to see things.

And let’s face it – step aside Kim Kardashian, because Caitlyn Jenner broke the internet this week! Her amazing transformation was blasted all over the media. My daughter repeatedly saw her Vanity Fair cover photo splashed everywhere, and she began to wonder just who she is and what she had done to make her “newsworthy”.

So she asked me.

I told her I’d explain it to her, but I wanted her to listen to the whole story.

Having lived in New York City for many years, and having friends from all walks of life, I am completely supportive and proud of Bruce/Caitlyn, for finally choosing to live her life openly and honestly. I don’t judge. My friends come in every color of the rainbow. I have gay and lesbian friends. I have attended a couple of the best weddings ever, and they were both weddings uniting two women. So I consider myself to be very accepting and open. I simply think that everyone deserves to be happy.

As liberal as I am, I still felt like I should be cautious when explaining to a child, just who Caitlyn Jenner is. Of course my daughter knows that everyone is not the same. I have tried hard to teach her that each person is unique. And differences are awesome. We can learn a lot from others who may not act, look, or talk, like we do.

But the whole adult, sexual side of this, made me think I should tread the waters carefully with her.

cf283bf6f50f03ddfd48a9fa1b8c885dSo I started by showing her pictures of Bruce Jenner, and his famous moment at the 1976 Olympics. She recognized him. Then I showed her more pictures of him throughout the years. And much to my dismay, she recognized him as “the dad of all those famous girls”. GREAT. Yes, I told her, that’s Bruce Jenner.

Then I showed her Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair cover. And I said, “this is Bruce Jenner now”. And not surprisingly, her mouth fell open. She said, “I never thought that was a man, she’s beautiful”.

And then we had a very mature talk (in words geared toward a 9-year-old), about how everyone is unique. And different is okay.

I told her that some people feel that their inside is different from their outside. They may have been born a boy, but on the inside they feel like a girl. And that’s not important. The important thing is that they share kindness with others and that their choices about how they live their lives, don’t hurt anyone else.

And my very smart 9-year-old said, “Well then, if he wants to be a girl, that wouldn’t hurt anyone else, so he should be able to be a girl, right?”. And I said, “right”.

Yep, she got it. That was easy.

At the end of our conversation, I thought for the millionth time, just how great kids are. Oh, to be young, and accepting, and know nothing about judging other people.

I hope she hangs onto that for a long time.


~Cindie xo


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  • Reply mummaknows June 2, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    I’m so happy to read this post. Kids are truly amazing. And it’s also amazing how much influence we (as parents) and society have on them and what their beliefs and attitudes eventually turn into as adults. I will always aspire to be very open with my kids and have conversations like this one! #wineandboobs

    • Reply cindieblog@yahoo.com June 3, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Thanks for visiting!

  • Reply how not to June 3, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Sounds like you’ve done a grand job bringing your girl up! Found you on #wineandboobs thank you for sharing this story

    • Reply cindieblog@yahoo.com June 3, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Louise Rodgers June 3, 2015 at 2:41 am

    Such a sensible parent! I think a lot of parents would have completely avoided this subject but kids respect honesty and I believe you took a wonderful approach here *high five*

    • Reply cindieblog@yahoo.com June 3, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Thanks! I did try to avoid it at first! lol. But my daughter asked again!!!!

  • Reply Bethany June 3, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Words cannot express how much I love this post πŸ™‚ if only more people could be like your daughter. Because of parents like you the world will be changed!

    • Reply cindieblog@yahoo.com June 3, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Thanks Bethany! I wish adults could be more like kids in that respect! There would be no judging of each other.

  • Reply Christine&Stacy (@HawkChr03) June 3, 2015 at 10:44 am

    The way you explained this to your daughter was so beautiful, so many people are against this. They are so negative with anything to different. In my honest opinion everyone should live their life’s however it makes them happy. No one should judge anyone, ever! Sounds like you bringing up your daughter the right way, no matter if she or her children are straight, gay, bisexual she will know now that it’s okay to be different. Thank you for sharing this beautiful conversation with your daughter. Thank you for being so respectful to people and their feelings!!

    • Reply cindieblog@yahoo.com June 3, 2015 at 11:23 am

      There has been a lot of support for Caitlyn, but you’re right, also a lot of negative comments. It’s sad to me. He’s not hurting anyone. And like you said, I don’t ever want my kids to feel ashamed of choices they may make. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply chelsea T June 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    If only the whole world could view each other through a childs eyes.. wonderfully written! loved it πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kayla Daughetee June 3, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Great way to explain this to your daughter! Very simple but with much meaning.

  • Reply Leanne June 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    What a lovely way to approach the subject, which can be tricky and is a bit of a tough one if it catches you unawares! Kids are always so accepting and adaptable – makes you question what on earth happens to so many to make them turn out like they do later down the line! x

  • Reply Stefanie (@LexieLooDylan2) June 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Good for your sweet daughter! I hope she stays that way!!!
    Kids truly amaze me at times. After my baby was born with Down Syndrome, we attended a big event. I asked my kids if they noticed all the children there who had DS. My 8 year old daughter replied, “Nope. All I saw was people.” Such a simple, perfect answer.
    Kudos to you for raising such a great child!

    • Reply cindieblog@yahoo.com June 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks and you too! Sounds like your kids are amazing as well. I just visited your blog, and love it. I look forward to reading more!!

  • Reply Stephanie @ The Dish BCS June 3, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    EEEKKKK I am so glad my children are young enough where they don’t watch the news or see the internet so that i don’t have to explain this.

  • Reply Amber Hillis June 3, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Wow, that is amazing. I love how open you are to sharing this with your child so young. I admire that.

  • Reply A Moment with Franca June 3, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    It is amazing how easy it was for your daughter to understand something that is completely complex even for an adult. Kids really surprise us a lot! What an interesting post! My daughters are still young but I can see myself having to deal with these type of subjects in the future! This post really helps. Thank you for sharing, xx

  • Reply Nancy Laws June 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    That is the great thing about kids, they are accepting in nature, and it is up to us to nurture that and I think that you handled it so well!

  • Reply J Young June 4, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I like ehat she said, sometimes the simplicity of children is so smart.

  • Reply natasham June 5, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Kids are amazing, aren’t they?! I think a lot of it comes down to parenting and I love the way you sat down and took her through it. I think it’s rather sad the way everyone is titling her “brave” for her transformation. It makes me sad to think we have to be brave to choose happiness. Shouldn’t it come naturally?!

    • Reply cindieblog@yahoo.com June 5, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Well said! I completely agree.

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