Parenting Hacks for Raising a Child with Hearing Aids
There are parenting hacks for everything from maintaining peace in the car to getting your kids to pick up after themselves. But what about parenting hacks for parents with kids with hearing aids? You’ve come to the right place.
14 Parenting Hacks for Parents of Kids with Hearing Aids
Traveling with Your Kiddo
Have a travel kit ready to go at all times. Traveling with a child with hearing aids can be easy if you have a kit ready to go at a moment’s notice. Include all of the essentials of your child’s hearing aid routine along with extra batteries. And believe us when we say extra batteries! Travel often includes longer days and more activities. Additionally, climate can affect how quickly batteries drain.
Know how to get through security. Metal detectors are not dangerous to hearing aids but X-Rays are. Alert TSA to the fact that you’re traveling with a child with hearing aids so that they can manually search your bags. If it’s your first time flying with your child, explain to them the security process before so that they are less confused and anxious.
Let people know! Many airlines, hotels, amusement park/museum and other staff are prepared to help children with hearing aids. Let places know ahead of time that you’re coming to enhance your child’s experience and save time.
Let other people know! If your child is sitting next to a stranger it’s okay to let that person know that your child has hearing loss. Often times planes are difficult for people with hearing aids and this can stop any embarrassing interactions.
Reading with Your Kiddo
Get into the habit! Reading to all children is good for their development. This is especially true for children with hearing loss.
Sit in a way that makes sense. Make sure your child can see both your face and the pictures in the book when reading. Have them point to pictures, use simple signs (if your child signs), turn the pages and interact with the book in other ways.
Repetition, repetition, repetition. Read books with lots of repetition. These help your child practice sounds and not miss anything. Dr. Seuss books are great for this!
Find books featuring characters with hearing loss. Children with hearing aids want to know there are others out there like them. Find books featuring characters with hearing loss and hearing aids so that your child has heroes who look like they do.
Parenting Hacks for Exploring with your Child with Hearing Aids
Put a twist on “I spy.” Many of us have played “I spy” with our children in the car. When out and about with your child modify this game to include sounds. Familiarizing your child with common sounds will help them greatly. “I hear, with my little ear…”
Safety first! If you love hiking, swimming, running or any other adventurous activity don’t think your child can’t enjoy it with you! Just be sure to discuss with them first things of which they need to be aware. Especially in the case of swimming, an activity your child will do without their hearing aid. Establish routines of checking in so that your child can explore safely, with or without you. For those with hearing loss, running against traffic is vital. Biking is lawfully done with traffic, so make sure to outfit your child’s helmet with a mirror.
Hacks for the Parents of Athletic Kids with Hearing Aids
Know thy enemy. Children with hearing aids can and should play sports and they should do this with their hearing aids so that they can communicate with teammates, hear ref calls and be aware of any dangers. That said: the biggest risk to your child’s hearing aids during sports is moisture. Be sure your child carries a small air pump to keep sweat from building up and hitting the circuit.
Be advocates. Depending on your child’s age and aptitude you may confront challenges to playing team sports. Coaches, players and other parents may be resistant to a child with hearing aids being on the court or field. You should be an advocate for your child and teach them to be an advocate for themselves. Educating others about their hearing loss and hearing aids is a great first step.
Invest in clips. Athletes with hearing aids know they will likely get knocked around and could lose a hearing aid. Even worse: a hearing aid could get damaged. Buy clips that attach hearing aids to your child’s uniform so that they simply have to pop their hearing aid back in.
Talk about safety. Especially with older children who are runners, you’ll want to discuss the importance of being able to hear when running alone. While many people run with music in their ears and your child may be able to stream audio (music, audiobooks, podcasts) from their phone straight to their hearing aids. If your child is running alone it is safer for them to be able to hear whereas if they are on a group run music may be perfectly safe. Remember that your child will want to assert independence and you cannot control their choices when running alone. What you can do is provide information to help them make good choices.
Be sure to check out our other informative articles with parenting tips for parents of kids with hearing aids. We strive to provide as many resources as possible. Interested in a topic? Let us know on social media or in the comments!