My child is unique
Most hearing people have little or no experience of profound deafness and the way other people (parents, family members, friends, professionals and people we meet) respond to your deaf child affects their sense of identity and self esteem – how they feel about themselves.
Parents, carers and close family have an important role in helping the deaf child develop a healthy, positive view of themselves from an early age. This in turn acts as a buffer and helps them:
- cope better when they come across life's difficulties
- develop their potential to achieve at school and other activities
- grow into fulfilled, healthy, responsible adults.
The positive and loving feelings you have for your deaf child are always there, but at times of stress they can slip beneath the surface. Whilst it is much easier to focus on the difficulties and things that are going wrong, it is more useful to think about the successes and build on positive steps they are making.
Tips for success
Reward your child with smiles, cuddles, positive attention, touching, winking and kissing whenever they make even small steps towards behaviours you want to see more of, even if they haven't got it quite right! But do show them you have noticed.
Show them that you approve of them and value their unique qualities as much as possible.
Building the positives
Write down what comes to mind when you reflect on the following questions:
- What is great and unique about my deaf child?
- When I think of her/him, what do I feel grateful for?
- What are things I love and value about their personality?
As you write down your thoughts, pause occasionally and reflect on how you feel when you think about your child in this way.