What Would You Do If You Couldn’t Hear Your Children?

My children are not allowed to listen to music on their iPods like all their friends.

They can’t turn their backs to me when they talk. They must keep their mouths free and clear of debris and food or I won’t understand what they are saying. And they definitely can’t bellow “Mom!” from another room and expect me to answer. I won’t hear them. I am their mom, and I love them, but I also have a hearing loss.

My hearing loss started when I was in my 20’s, inherited from my father’s side of the family. By the time my first child was born, I probably needed to wear hearing aids, but was still in denial. When my son was born two years later, I religiously wore my hearing aids for work, but never at home. As they grew, so did my hearing loss and I was soon forced to accept it and wear hearing aids all the time. Thank goodness I did, otherwise I would miss quite a lot!

When my children were infants, it was easy to manage my hearing loss and my role as a mom. I used baby monitors when they napped and always had them within an arms length. Plus, they couldn’t yet run into the other room while I wasn’t looking. But soon they grew and began to explore. I was always most vigilant with my eyes since it was harder for me to keep the proverbial “ear out” for anything amiss.

As they aged out of their baby monitors, the scariest times for me were at night. 

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3 thoughts on “What Would You Do If You Couldn’t Hear Your Children?

  1. To Shari,
    At the end of your article you wonder if it bothers your children that you can’t always hear them. You add that they have never known anything different. This is what is normal for them. My mother had a severe hearing impairment. She could not hear anything without her hearing aid. She showed me where her hearing aid was and how to put the batteries in. If I needed her in the early morning when my dad was at work and she was not up yet, I got the hearing aid and put in the batteries and brought it to her so she could hear me. It never bothered me that she couldn’t hear. I never knew anything different and it was normal for me. My mother never let the hearing impairment get in the way of anything. She did the best she could and showed me a good example. Hearing impairment runs in my family and my mom’s sister was hearing impaired as well. I became hearing impaired myself a few years ago as well as two cousins. If you show your kids a good example, it will help later if they should develop any hearing issues. If you do the best you can they will see it and they will do the best they can .


    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of "We Hear You," an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, "Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss," (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Thank you Cheryl! That is exactly my goal. Glad to know it worked well in your family.

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