No one likes to think about their child being less than 100% healthy. This is a reality that keeps many of us awake all night, and it’s the reason that our hearts are often in our mouths for even routine checkups.
Hearing tests, especially, can be nerve-wracking considering that hearing loss is evident in as many as 15% of children. While not always easy to spot, signs of problems here can include -
Changes in behavior
Mishearing or mispronouncing words
If you notice these, the best thing you can do is take your child to an audiologist. They’ll do some basic tests and determine whether your child needs treatment options like hearing aids. This can seem daunting, but your audiologist will be there for you every step of the way with tips not only on how to cope but also on fundamentals such as hearing aid maintenance. And, all of this can make your and your child’s journeys that bit easier.
Then, you’ll both be able to focus on adjusting to your new reality. There are many steps involved here, and it may take a while, but you especially need to consider what not to say to your child. After all, even if you scolded them for not paying attention before, you need to treat them with as much kindness as possible to help them through this. That’s something you can take steps towards by making sure to never again say the following -
Don’t ignore me
While ignorance isn’t an attractive trait, you now know that this isn’t what your child’s exhibiting. Quite the opposite, their seeming ignorance is entirely out of their control. As such, it’s down to you to display patience and go above and beyond to make sure that your child sees your lips moving when you talk with them. You may even find it beneficial to learn sign language to help them understand your meaning at all times.
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Can you hear that?
This is something we say far more often than we imagine, but it could make a difficult diagnosis even harder. After all, your child doesn’t need reminding of what they’re missing. Instead, focus on the things that they can enjoy/experience such as sight and smell.
How are you feeling?
Constantly asking how your child is should also be off the cards. Obviously, you need to ensure they know that they can talk to you, but try to leave it at that. If you’re forever asking how they are, they may begin feeling like maybe they shouldn’t be okay, and that can soon spiral. By instead carrying on with the assumption that they’re fine, you may well see the resilient nature of children in action.
We aren’t going to lie; navigating a diagnosis and knowing exactly what to say is never easy. But, by steering clear of the things you shouldn’t say, you should soon start to naturally settle on the ‘right’ approach for your family.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.