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National Siblings Day: Robin's sisters

Published Date: 13 Apr 2023

Robin is so lucky that she has two amazing sisters who love her so much. There’s a big age gap between our eldest Olivia (11), and Robin (4) and Eve (3), but the dynamics are brilliant. Sometimes Olivia and Robin play together as the ‘big girls’ doing crafts or making up dances and Eve follows them around, other times Robin and Eve get lost in imaginary play together while Olivia does her own thing.

What we notice between them all is that Robin’s hearing loss doesn’t hold her back – she’s exactly where she needs to be in our family and in life, and her sisters treat her exactly the same as each other.

Olivia loves Robin so much, and we can see that she’s protective of her – if Robin doesn’t hear someone out and about, Olivia will be the first to point out to strangers that Robin wears hearing aids. Olivia helps Robin to own her hearing loss and will often pull her hair back in the company of others so that her hearing aids are on show – she wants to make sure that Robin knows she never has to hide them. She says that Robin’s hearing loss ‘makes her unique’ and ‘Robin wouldn’t be Robin without her hearing aids’, which makes her the best big sister ever.

With Olivia being the oldest, she has a better understanding of what might lie ahead for Robin in school or social situations, and she feels sad for Robin when she can’t hear properly with her hearing aids off. But we’ve all got ways to cope with that: speaking clearly and closely into Robin’s better ear; making sure she can read our lips; pointing or showing with gestures. We’ve found our little tricks as a family to communicate better, and it’s amazing to see how the three girls find their own ways to communicate too – they’re in their own little world sometimes.

Eve is only three so doesn’t quite yet grasp that Robin has a hearing loss – she just wants to know when she can have hearing aids too, which is very cute. It’s amazing how children can just tell it like it is and make really straight statements about situations that we as adults sometimes can’t find the words for. And having sisters that are so supportive of Robin, we know they’ll all take good care of each other as they grow up. We’re so lucky to have our three girls, and we’re so happy that they’ll always have each other.


Emma and Matthew are parents to Robin (4), Eve (3) and Olivia (11). Robin has a moderate-to-severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss caused by Pendred syndrome and wears hearing aids to help her.