If you’ve just learned that your child has a hearing loss or is just getting started with hearing aids, you may be feeling anxious about the new responsibilities required of you as a parent. Your child’s hearing healthcare professional is a wonderful primary source of advice and support.
The encouragement of family members, educators and peers when your child consistently uses hearing aids is essential to his/her self-esteem and will help him/her flourish.
Below are some suggestions for encouraging healthy hearing and building self-esteem in your child:
- Encourage your child to speak for himself/herself.
- Help your child describe his/her hearing loss in age-appropriate language. Most kids can understand that hearing aids are like eyeglasses, only they’re for hearing better rather than seeing better.
- Treat your child the same as you treat his/her siblings. Don’t be afraid to set high expectations.
- Give your child an age-appropriate level of responsibility and demonstrate the confidence you have in his/her abilities.
- Teach your child how to verbalize his/her needs with confidence. You can try role-playing to help him/her find appropriate ways to tell friends, teachers and other adults what he/she needs to hear better.
- Continue to discuss hearing loss with your child, but not to the extent that your child’s identity is based on his/her hearing loss, and so he/she is known first for his/her other characteristics and qualities.
- Encourage your child to face others who are speaking and to work hard at paying attention.
- Consider introducing your child to happy, successful adults with hearing losses. They will see how hearing loss doesn’t hold people back from doing what they want to do.