Parenting in itself can be a tough but rewarding job. Factoring in hearing loss can make that even harder. Parents by nature are extremely tough and resilient. From the time our sweet bundles of joy are born, we rely on communication to help us understand the needs of our children. Both my mother and my husband have had to jump into parenting with hearing loss and, while both my mom and husband are fantastic parents, their hearing loss has caused them to struggle.
In a hurry? Head on over NOW to the Miracle Ear Site and take your online hearing test!
As a young girl, it was common for me to regularly hear things like:
- I can’t hear you.
- Can you look at me when you speak, otherwise I can’t hear you.
- You are on the wrong side for me to hear you.
- There is too much noise to hear you.
- Can you speak up so I can hear you?
These phrases were a common but also very frustrating. Eventually, my sassy adolescent self would get impatient and say, “Never mind!” I am now thirty something and my mother still has to remind me of these things. Why? Because my mother is completely deaf in one ear and 20% hearing loss in the other.
Parenting With Hearing Loss from Military Service
My better half, Clay, has a plethora of combat related issues including hearing loss. When he enlisted 21 years ago at the ripe old age of 19, he signed up as a (his words here) “Gun bunny, aka Gun dummy, aka what’s the sound of artillery? Boom! Boom!, aka cannon crew member, sending rounds down range, creating havoc from afar, artilleryman.” If you’re reading this and you are military, I’m sure you can decode this jargon. Anyway, he would sleep next to the howitzer during fire missions. Hearing protection wasn’t a requirement and rarely was it recommended. After years of loud booms, his hearing is pretty much gone. He still can hear, don’t get me wrong, but he definitely struggles. Sometimes it is like deja vu and I am back in my childhood seeing my kids get annoyed at their Dad when he doesn’t answer them.
So how can you better communicate if you are a parent with hearing loss?
- Take a deep breath. Don’t take it personally when communication, or lack thereof, causes barriers. It happens to all of us at one time or another. Patience is a virtue and sometimes that patience is tested when we are unable to effectively communicate due to hearing loss. Both my husband and mom have been really good about patience. However, I have also had to practice patience when speaking to both my husband and my mom. I’ve had to learn not take their inability to hear my words personally. They are not trying to ignore me. They just cannot hear me. I learned this lesson especially well with my middle son, Xander. You see, not only does my mother and husband have hearing loss, so does Xander. Before I knew he had hearing loss, I thought he was being defiant. (Note: The hearing loss in our family is not hereditary or related).
- Make sure you have your listener’s attention. Another skill I have learned is that if my husband is preoccupied, he really can’t hear me. I really used to think in our early days of marriage he was just doing that to ignore me. He wasn’t. So I learned to go to him and get his attention first. This works with my mother and middle son as well.
- How you speak to someone with hearing loss matters. Speak clear and concise words. Taking time to annunciate your words makes a huge difference. Slow your speech and pause between sentences. Sometimes my mom will tell me to slow down because I have a tendency to talk fast. That makes it more difficult for her to understand what I am saying.
- Positioning matters. Where you are physically located matters as much as the words you are communicating. You may need to move to the room they are occupying, or move closer, or even stand on the other side (i.e. my mother is deaf in one ear). My mom has learned to try place herself at family get togethers where she can hear every one best. We have also learned to adjust our positioning as well. Same thing with my husband. He cannot hear well from another room. So if I am upstairs and he is downstairs, I just usually text him. HA!
- Hearing Aids! If you have a loved one who struggles with hearing loss, please have them check out the online hearing test from Miracle-Ear. Miracle-Ear has a commitment to training and education. They truly care and want the best for their customers. Each of their hearing professionals is required to have many hours of extensive training and education. Also, each employee must re-certify each year.
Miracle-Ear also promises a lifetime of care! Now that is a company I want to help me! You can read more about what to expect, but here are a few things offered:
- Complete Hearing and Health History
- Ear Canal Inspection
- Hearing Threshold Test
- Speech Discrimination Test.
These are just a few tips if your parent or someone you regularly interact with has hearing loss. If you suspect you are a parent that has experienced hearing loss or maybe you aren’t a parent but still suspect loss, head on over to Miracle-Ear and take their quick online hearing test. You will be thankful you did. After that, you can schedule an appointment for yourself or your loved one with a Miracle-Ear expert!
Go>>>>HERE<<< to take your FREE hearing test.