Raising a child is the most challenging, yet rewarding thing a parent can do. When it comes to a child who has hearing loss, extra patience and effort is required.
Hearing loss is one of the most common birth defects, affecting three of every 1,000 babies. It can either be congenital (hearing loss from birth), or acquired (develops post-birth from illness or injury). Even though most hospitals screen newborns for hearing loss before discharging them, it is still very important to look for signs of hearing loss while your child grows.
How to support your child
A child growing up with hearing loss might face certain hurdles, but with the right support system and encouragement, they can learn how to surmount each challenge. Consider the following tips:
You are their influence
You teach your kids everything you know like social norms, ethics, and values. Children are born without this information and learn it by testing your limits. It is your responsibility to set boundaries. This takes extra patience with hard of hearing children because you must invest effort into communicating clearly in order for them to learn.
Let them experience failure
Many parents with special needs children have a tendency to be overprotective, wanting to shield them from failure. In order for your child to become an appreciative adult someday they need to experience some losses in life. Experiencing adversity and learning how to manage it is a part of growing up. While no parent wants their child to be unhappy, it’s important to remember kids can’t value wins if they never suffer any failures.
Everyone is included
A functional family is made up of individuals that together form an integrated unit. If something happens to one member, the whole comes together to support them. Siblings and grandparents should be a part of your child’s support system. While you might need to give a child with hearing loss extra attention, it’s important not to leave their normal hearing siblings or other family members feeling neglected.
Take care of yourself
While taking care of your children is always the first priority, you need to take care of yourself, too. Remember to blow off some steam, treat your colds or other illnesses, and get good sleep, because a parent on empty can’t help anyone.
This is who they are
Some parents want their child to overcome their hearing loss, and push them to function just like a normal hearing child. Unreasonable expectations can be hurtful, leading to defiant behavior and negative self-image. You want to encourage your child and embrace who they are and what they can accomplish. Parenting is about your child’s needs and best interests, not yours.
Investing in hearing aids
While a child’s hearing loss can seem like a roadblock for their development, it doesn’t have to be. Learning alternate communications techniques can help, as can investing in the right hearing aids if your child’s hearing loss is aidable. Restored hearing can boost your child’s confidence and help them do better both academically and socially.
Signia super power line helps kids and teens
Signia offers a selection of hearing aids for kids and teens, and the latest available are in our super power line. These hearing aids are designed to fit your child’s specific lifestyle and hearing needs. Many also come with optional safety features so young children aren’t able to tamper with their settings and batteries.
Raising a child with hearing loss definitely takes extra patience and care, but it is also very rewarding. Keeping up with their hearing health and giving them all the support they need will help them feel happy and confident throughout their life.