The subject of teenagers and hearing loss are complex subjects on their own. When both subjects come together, it can be a serious challenge for any parent or teacher.

The major challenge with most teens worldwide, including Malaysia, is their refusal to wear their hearing aids. The refusal to wear their device usually stems from an emotional response to fit in with hearing kids.

When kids reach puberty, how they perceive their peers’ approval is very strong. It becomes increasingly necessary to be an approved social group member.

Emotional responses that try to ‘solve the issue of fitting in’ results in taking off the hearing aids. Most often than not, they claim they don’t need hearing aids and pretend to be alright.

As a parent, there are things that can be done to accompany your teen on this journey. Be patient and understand that it is hard for him too.

In this post, we are pleased to present to you five ways to support your teenager through hearing loss. Read on to find out.


1. Help Your Teen Build Self-identity

To have a healthy relationship with those around us, a positive self-identity is critical. Helping your teen build his or her self-identity means that they are more conscious of who they are as a person.

As a parent or caregiver, celebrate the attributes and accomplishments that make your child exceptional and explain what characteristics make others remarkable.

Speak about how the person they are today has been influenced by both positive and negative experiences they had gone through.


2. Help Them Understand Their Condition

They need to understand their hearing loss to fully establish their self-identity. Help your teen understand the degree of their hearing loss, the everyday effect it may have on them, and, if understood, the cause of their hearing loss.

Doing this will help your teen better appreciate and move towards embracing their hearing loss as part of who they are. The hearing condition may make your teen feel ‘odd’ from his siblings or peers.

Therefore, in a secure setting, consider exploring and sharing these possible feelings with your teen and how he should react to them.


15 years old boy with cochlear implant doing homework


3. Increase Their Knowledge of Communication Behaviours

Good social interactions may have an impact on self-esteem and the capacity to sustain relationships for teenagers. Challenges such as communication misunderstandings can influence your teen when it comes to socializing and making friends.

Talking with your teen about how to handle various difficult situations may be helpful for parents, teachers, therapists, or other adult role models. In these cases, speak to your teen about how others can think or feel.

Roleplay or book reading can assist your teen in learning socially appropriate forms of behaviour in different social settings. This will allow your teen to improve his abilities to better handle and excel in his relationships with others.


4. Increase Opportunities to Socialize

Doing fun activities with friends will help improve their social skills and expand their knowledge. Create time and opportunities for your teenager to socialize with their peers.

Activities can include playing sport with friends, going to the cinema, or even just hanging out. By getting to know individuals of their age who also have hearing loss, your teen may feel more connected socially.

At organized camps, social activities, or online forums, they can meet other teenagers with hearing loss.


Three teenage boys relaxing and having fun while playing on a games console in a bedroom


5. Keep Communication Open

Teenagers may give the impression that they do not need help from their parents, teachers, or counsellors. They might even seem to be driving them away. Even with all the drama, it’s essential to try to communicate and engage with your teenager regularly.

Discuss topics that concern your teenager. Even if they reject these attempts, you can help them feel encouraged, welcomed, and cared for by keeping communication open.


In a Nutshell

Finally, assign your teen the duty of changing batteries and troubleshooting to care for their hearing aids independently during the day.

Enable them, if needed, to make regular appointments with an ENT specialist or their audiologist in Malaysia, such as Perfect Hearing. This autonomy will also help motivate your child, giving them a sense of control in their lives.

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