Tips for Parents and Grandparents with Hearing Loss

Jul 27, 2009 by

Interacting with kids can still be exciting and fun even with hearing loss, as long as you follow a few ground rules.

  1. Educate Kids, 4 Years and Up
    Sit down your kids or grandkids and have a conversation with them about how you can’t hear very well. Older kids will want to know why. Make sure that they know it is nothing to be sad about, just something they have to keep in mind when they are interacting with you. Kids can sometimes understand these issues better than adults can, so don’t hold back with details.
  2. Be Patient with Younger Kids
    Kids under 4, and even under 5 in some cases, aren’t necessarily going to be sympathetic or attentive when it comes to your hearing loss. At this age, a child is more about exploring their own individuality than interacting in the world. Don’t be angered or disappointed if they forget about your hearing problems and don’t address you directly or speak loud enough for you to hear.
  3. Purchase Books About Deafness
    If your child is old enough to read, buy them books on deafness. If they are younger, read them books on dealing with hearing loss. This page is a wealth of information on deafness and hearing loss for kids, including suggested book titles.
  4. Make Efforts to Interact with Your Kids and Grandkids
    Often people with hearing loss will simply avoid interactive situations. If you really don’t wish to speak with people that often because of your hearing loss, pick up text messaging, Facebook, or e-mail. It is very important to keep in touch with your loved ones, and these methods will give you an easy way to keep in touch with your younger loved ones. In the case of younger children, try to interact with them as much as you can. You will draw as much joy from it as they will.
  5. Remember that Kids are Highly Adaptive
    Don’t worry about your kids having to interpret what you say. If your kids are younger, they will get used to dealing with your hearing loss. If they are older and getting close to teenage years when your hearing loss begins to manifest, there will be resentment of your hearing loss just as teenagers resent nearly every facet of their parents. If your child is in those difficult years, ask for their patience and understanding and they will generally give it.

At a conference for those with hearing loss, there was a seminar for mothers who were coping with hearing loss. The results are here, and we highly recommend giving it a read if you are a parent or grandparent that is coping with both your own hearing loss and children.