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When my kids were little, living in the country, I had dogs in the house too. In order to distinguish if I was fussing at the dogs versus the children, I would add a ma’am or sir at the end of NO. When it was the dogs in trouble, a simple “NO” was called out but when I was fussing at one of the kids, they would hear, “No ma’am or no sir”. This way it was a clear understanding of who (dog or child) was being fussed at and in trouble.

Well, as silly as it sounds, this was one of the hardest transitions for me during our transgender transition. Once my son began using female pronouns, she and her, we all as a family made the switch pretty immediate. It was somewhat easy to remember to say “she” or “her” when you are calming talking or referring to your transgender child. But when there was an argument or bickering going on, either among siblings or a disciplinary squabble, it was much harder to remember to switch to the feminine pronouns. With adrenaline running while fussing, the “no sir”, out of habit, came out almost every time, instead of the requested, “no ma’am”.

This was one of the harder changes for me as a parent during the transgender transition, not for lack of support or desire, simply the routine of habit. For two years, it had been, “no sir” and now for my son, it was “no ma’am”. While my little one never let a pronoun go uncorrected, it was the one area I struggled with just due to habit. Often times it came out…”no sir, I mean no ma’am…no sir…ugh!” But with some patients from my two-year old, we got it to become our new habit very quickly.