For many children, asking them to wear their hearing aids every day is like asking them to do their homework each night. Saying it’s a struggle is an understatement. Even if they realize that they can hear better with them, the piece itself can cause feelings of self-consciousness, making it hard for them to want to wear them. But as their parent, you know it’s necessary and that it will only take time to really get used to wearing them.
At Platinum Hearing Aids, our expert audiologists want everyone to feel comfortable in their hearing aids — including infants and children. Here are some tips to help them feel comfortable and to take ownership of their responsibility.
When hearing aids are first fitted, it’s ok to start slowly with times that are dedicated to wearing them and certain times when it’s ok to not wear them. When your child goes to school, over to a friend’s house, or at the dinner table, these are times when it should be required that they wear the devices. When they are doing their homework or playing a video game, this is when it’s ok to let them have a break. Keep in mind though, that these times should be limited, especially if they are playing a video game for hours on end.
Make it Fun
Children love to be challenged and rewarded. If your child makes it a whole day wearing their hearing aid, give them a special treat after dinner. If they kept their hearing aids on during a designated break time, let them know that you are proud of them! A reward for wearing their hearing aids doesn’t always have to be an extra hour of play time or an extra scoop of ice cream. Simply letting them know that you love them regardless of their hearing loss may be all they need.
Make it Stylish
One of the biggest challenges for school-age children who wear hearing aids is the fact that they’re different. Some kids may accept that being different is cool, but for those who don’t, it can be stressful going to school. Take your child shopping for hats, headbands, or colorful hair clips that may help ease some of the self-conscious feelings. But remind them that just because the aids are hidden, doesn’t make the hearing loss go away.
As your child grows older, they will realize that their hearing is their responsibility. Consider working with an audiologist who has full faith in your child’s ability to lead a normal life, doing the activities they love, and playing like other kids. With each visit, your doctor will begin to ask your child questions instead of directing them at you, the parent. This will increase their sense of responsibility and ownership.
Some children have a harder time adjusting to their hearing aids, so it’s ok if they don’t love wearing them right away. The key is to remain consistent and give them regular motivation and encouragement to keep trying. They may not realize just how much their lives will improve if they keep up the effort of wearing their aids consistently.
If you’re looking for a compassionate and experienced audiologist in the Detroit area, schedule an appointment with Platinum Hearing Aids. We’ll be there throughout your journey.