Everyone knows that children can be cruel and will often single out a child for bullying simply because that child is somehow different. This means that if your child is deaf or suffers from hearing loss, being bullied is unfortunately something that they will be forced to deal with at least a few times in their life. Unfortunately, there’s not really much that you as a parent can ever do to completely prevent your child from being victim to hearing loss bullying since you obviously can’t follow them around and protect them every minute of the day. Nonetheless, the fact that most bullying stems not from meanness, but simply out of the ignorance and arrogance of youth means that there are a number of ways you and your child can work together to hopefully at least put a stop to the bullying problem before it becomes a more major issue.
Teach Your Child the Importance of Staying Strong
Staying strong in the face of bullying can be tough to do, but it’s one of the best possible traits your child can learn. Most bullies tend to pick on people that they perceive to be weaker and thus easy targets, which helps a lot to explain why children with hearing loss or those that wear hearing aids are picked on so frequently. In this sense, it obviously helps to prepare your child for the possibility that they will be teased about their hearing loss ahead of time. This way, they should stand a better chance of hopefully ignoring the bullying or at least not reacting in a way that is only likely to make things worse.
Make Sure Your Child Doesn’t View Their Hearing Problems as a Disability
Hearing loss doesn’t mean the end of a person’s life, and the fact is that hearing aids have developed to the point where even major hearing loss is no longer a major disadvantage. What this means is that it is vital that you don’t let your child view their hearing loss as a major hindrance or disability. Instead, make sure that they know they are the same and just as capable as other children. It can also help to show them that they’re not alone in having hearing problems. In fact, it is estimated that at least 28.8 million Americans have hearing loss that could be improved with hearing aids. By working to help your child to understand and internalize these ideas, you will also help to better prepare them for any bullying.
Get Your Child the Best Treatment Possible
Obviously, it will be easier for your child to feel more confident and think less about their hearing loss if they have higher quality hearing aids capable of restoring their hearing as fully as possible. Luckily, your health insurance policy will typically cover the cost of the hearing aids. Nonetheless, it is still essential that you choose the highest quality aids possible even in situations where you have to pay part or all of the costs yourself. In this sense, it is vital that you remember that not all hearing aids are as effective.
Focus on Educating Your Child
Making sure your child is fully educated about their own hearing problems can be another essential step in limiting the amount of bullying they may face. Again, much of the motivation for bullying stems from ignorance, and children are far more likely to react negatively to things they don’t fully know or understand. By explaining to your child everything related to their hearing loss in a way that they can actually understand, you are also arming them with words and explanations that they can use as a response when their being bullied. With any luck, the bullies will quickly move on once they realize that your child’s hearing issues don’t make them any different.
Make the Hearing Problems Less Visible
The fact that they need to wear hearing aids is what makes children with hearing loss especially susceptible to bullying. Hearing aids obviously serve as a very obvious sign that the child is different from others, and thus increases their risk of being targeted by bullies. The good news is that modern hearing aids are far smaller and much less noticeable than the bigger, bulkier aids people used to have to wear. Still, your child will be far better off if you opt for custom-molded hearing aids. The reason is that these hearing aids are custom-made to perfectly fit your child’s ear, which makes them even less noticeable.
Simply put, hearing problems don’t have to hold your child back. Nowadays, people with hearing problems are capable of doing any of the same things as anyone else, and this is something your child will likely come to realize one way or another. In this sense, it is important for you as a parent to do everything you can to keep your child positive and make sure you never let hearing loss bullying get them down.