Original Published Date: March 21, 2021

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As parents, we mainly focus on the development of our children through encouragement and positive re-framing. A youngster’s strengths and positive intentions should be bought to the forefront.

By demonstrating an unconditional belief in your youngster, you lay the foundation for an “I can do!” attitude (confidence), enthusiasm and motivation for personal growth.

You offer encouragement by words, actions, and feelings. Your kid might need a hug after falling off a swing and some prodding to get back on. Or perhaps he or she might need you to be lovingly firm through all of the tears before his or her dance class (which, of course, they’d enjoy once there).

How parents and deaf children bond today is ‘key.’ Families must go ‘the extra mile’ to make it all better. Positive re-framing requires that you, as a provider, point out the silver lining to every cloud regarding the hearing impaired. 

When a negative or potentially negative situation occurs, you re-define (re-frame) it in such a way that makes the youngster hopeful and motivated towards healthy outcomes.

For example, “You tried so hard to help daddy by carrying a big, full shopping bag. Next time we’ll have you carry a smaller one and maybe we can avoid having the bag rip.”

Encouragement and positive re-framing are especially useful in promoting a youngster’s capacity for self-appraisal.

How Do Parents Use Encouragement And Positive Re-framing?


Those two closely related techniques are often used together. You use them whenever you accurately paint a positive picture of your kid’s efforts and abilities.

With practice, you can identify and underscore positive elements for the young individual in any situation, no matter how bleak it appears.How parents and deaf children bond

Choose comments and questions that held your youngsters assess and praise himself, such as, “Aren’t you proud of yourself for studying for your test.”

Make encouraging comments, such as, “You sure did make the dishes sparkle!”

Re-frame discouraging situations; for example, “Yes, you got a D, but it is an honest D – you studied, you really tried and you didn’t cheat. I am proud of you.” 

Boosting your kid’s self-confidence helps him have faith in his ability to confront everyday challenges and to create positive outcomes.

Some find it hard to directly accept encouraging comments but can benefit from overhearing/over “seeing” your praise. For example, when Emily is present ask a third party, “Did you know that Emily swam the length of the pool today?”

Another helpful method for interrupting undesirable behaviors and extricating your kid from negative situations is to review positive moments, “I remember when you…”

In this way, you help your youngster remember past successes, renewing his or her faith in their own ability as well as the bright side of life. How parents and deaf children bond is so important.



Mutual respect builds your kid’s self-esteem and sensitivity to others. Empathy, the ability to understand another’s point of view, is a necessary skills for building healthy relationships.How Parents And Deaf Children Bond | Techniques That Foster Changes In Behavior.

Parents can best teach their child about mutual respect and empathy by demonstrating respect and understanding for him or her, for their feelings, thoughts, and experience.

Though this sounds simple, accepting a hearing impaired individual fully means accepting that person’s ways and everything about them. So the bottom line is how families unite is key!

If parents are shocked, saddened, confused or angry about their kid’s condition, then the parents should seek help to cope with these feelings.

In addition, the hearing family must learn to accommodate the hearing impaired toddler’s communication needs, which does not happen overnight.

Therefore, a parent might have gaps in understanding how his youngster thinks and feels about things.

This doesn’t indicate the absence of mutual respect, it indicates a communication problem that will require more patience and time to resolve.

The results are worth the investment of time and patience.

Families that base their relationships on mutual respect and empathy have an easier time living together, cooperating, and learning from one another.

How Do Parents Build Respect With And Have Empathy For Their Child?


You convey respect (or lack of it) for your deaf kid by many of your daily actions. You fail to respect your youngster when you talk down to him or her; purposely embarrass them; laugh at their efforts; exclude them from family communication; or look through their private belongings without asking permission.

Soliciting and listening to your youngster’s opinion, by allowing him or her the latitude to negotiate his communication needs, express clothing preferences, choose friends, and pursue hobbies.

You want to send the message that you value his or her taste and individuality. You demonstrate your respect for them through myriad of subtle actions.

But not rushing to your deaf youngster’s rescue when he or she is trying to solve a math problem, repair a broken toy, or construct a Lego skyscraper, you show respect for (and confidence in) his independent efforts and accomplishments.

Parents and caregivers should show empathy (understanding), not sympathy (pity), for challenges and obstacles that come their way due to his or her hearing loss.



How parents and deaf children bondFind ways to laugh, love, and in short, enjoy your hearing impaired child.

All of the parental worrying, drudgeries, schedules, and heartaches should be balanced by laughter, affection, excitement, and joy.

There are no rules that say parents must always be serious.

Allow your child to rekindle your playfulness – tickle, giggle, joke, go sledding, hug, love, and be downright goofy whenever you get the chance.

Love, humor, and affection can go a long ways in regards to raising a child with hearing loss.

How parents can use humor and affection?

Love, cherish, and accept your child simply because he is himself or herself. Your child needs to know that even when he or she misbehave you still love them.

This gives them the message that you may not love some of their behaviors, but you will always love them.

This enables your child to take risks, practice problem-solving skills, and examine his behavior, without worrying whether their efforts will affect your show of affection.

Physical and emotional affection are key components of parenting. Verbal and nonverbal expressions of your feelings show your child that your support and love are everlasting.

Such actions as saying “I love you,” hugging, kissing, or affectionately playing with your child’s hair (especially when he or she is not expecting it) tell them just how special and important he is to you.

Never overlook the value of humor. Like playful playing, laughter, joking, and daily silliness greatly restore perspective.

When parents defuse tension by seeing the lighter side of a problem, children feel less threatened and take more risks in examining their difficulties.

NEVER make a joke out of your hearing impaired child – it is not funny to be ‘sacrificed’ for the sake of a good laugh.

The Impact Of A Child’s Disability Is Emotional To All


Parents are often told, after recently completing a child testing diagnostic process, that “you have the same child that you went into the testing booth with – it’s just that you’re looking at him/her differently now. By this I mean that the ‘problem’ at this time is the parents problem, not the child.

For the parents, it’s a grief reaction; the impact of hearing loss is devastating! They’ve lost the child they thought they were going to have and the life they expected to live.

How Parents And Deaf Children Bond | Techniques That Foster Changes In Behavior.
Baby born with hearing loss

This will invoke for the parents many feelings of loss.

For the child, there will be feelings associated with the hearing loss, but these will not be one of loss as almost all children with hearing loss have never heard normally or have no memory of hearing.

These children have little or no concept of what they’ve lost.

In the past, I’ve compared the parental loss to a death, but I have begun to see that this is no longer accurate.

In a death, there’s finality to the grief, there’s a burial and life can go on, albeit with pain and loss. With hearing loss the grief is chronic, lived with 24/7. The child is a constant reminder to the parents of this loss.

No matter how well adjusted the parents seem to be to the reality that their child has a hearing loss, there will be trigger events that remind them of the loss and those initial feelings of pain and sorrow return.

Triggers can be as simple as a birthday party or the anniversary of the original diagnostic evaluation. What seems to happen after the initial pain of the diagnosis is that parents learn to live in a bubble of “normal” hearing loss and adjust to understanding that hearing loss is a disability of their child.

So they go on each day trying not to think about it. The trigger events remind them just how abnormal their life really is and what they’ve lost.

Newborn Screening


With the advent of newborn screening the diagnosis of hearing loss is, in most cases, going to be before the child is three months of age. The very early diagnosis seems to be a mixed blessing.

In a recent study at Emerson College, parents of children with hearing loss were asked if they would have liked to know at birth, if their child had a hearing loss.

The majority answered “yes” (83%) and gave some of the following reasons:

  • We could have offered earlier amplification or sign language, how-emotions-impact-hearing-loss-what-parents-feel-the-most/instead of silently moving mouths;
  • Because I would have had more time to give the very important communication she missed for two years;
  • Only because of a better understanding

Those parents who said “no” (17%), they would not have liked to know their child was hard-of-hearing, gave the following reasons:

  • I guess I was glad that I knew at 2 days so we could get started on what we needed to do, but I missed having the bonding time;
  • Parents need to bond with the infant before getting swept up in the issues of hearing impairment.
  • Not knowing immediately gave us (Mom and child) a time to bond normally, but I’m also thankful to have found out before 6 months;
  • She was too sick. Knowing at birth would have been too depressing.

My experience with parents is that those who found out that their child had hearing loss at birth, are grateful that they found out so early; but regret that they didn’t have time to enjoy their baby.

They had to hit the ground running and couldn’t delight in their newborn. It seems to take a while for the early diagnosed parents to recognized their loss.

At first, gratitude for the early start dominates their thinking. It’s only when they have time to reflect that they realize what they’ve lost.

Parents with a later diagnosis often felt guilty that they had taken so long to get started and did not always appreciate the time spent thinking of their child as normal hearing.

They think of this as wasted time. I often assure them that they got a great gift in that they had this time to enjoy their child.

The consensus among parents is that the most desirable time to have found out their child had a hearing loss was after three months and before six months.

Unfortunately, most screening programs are not designed to detect hearing loss after three months of age because of the difficulty of locating parents of newborns after they leave the hospital and the expense of setting up equipment in every pediatrician’s office.

Much training and effort needs to be continuously expended to provide audiologists and hospital personnel with not only the technical skills to diagnose hearing loss in very young infants, but also to develop the skills to support the infants of the parents at an emotionally vulnerable time.


Check out these amazing tools designed to teach & promote quality, effective, integrated learning. Go to:

Listen to this amazing video, If You’re a parent with children between ages 2-14

Toddler Talk: Techniques & Games – Proven Language Therapy Techniques

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18 thoughts on “How Parents And Deaf Children Bond | Techniques That Foster Changes In Behavior.

  1. Hi Ronald

    Thank you for your article, it really is so important to encourage and uplift our young ones. Not only when its our own children and whether or not they have disabilities as you mention , positive reinforcement and communication in any manner or form is crucial. I have no children as yet but I do have a niece that looks to me as role model and for me giving her that attention and motivation in her life is a real confidence booster. I feel that as we all move on through the years no matter what age we all still need positive reinforcement as part of human nature:)

    Such important topics you are raising, thank you!

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Like you stated my friend, regardless of any disability or not, positive reinforcement and family bonding is a ‘key’ move within families. Even when extended families bond together and help raise children is nothing short of good communication and great reinforcement. Please share

  2. Hello there! This is a great article! As someone who has all senses intact, life is still quite tough. But I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like for these young individuals to have an impairment in one of their senses. That’s why I think you did a great job to remind parents the importance of positive reinforcement to help the family focus on the good things. As a result, this helps build a healthy relationship within the family unit and this is critical for the child’s upbringing. The process can even take a toll on the parents and I am glad to see there is support available for them through articles like this. Thanks for compiling this!

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Thank you for the compliments Mike. Young people that loses their hearing or just partial hearing is really tough. Trying to fit in with the ‘hearing society’ is really a task in itself. This is why guidance and  family bonding is so important. Please share.

  3. Aleksandra Pavlov

    Very helpful article for those who have deaf children. Parents has to bond with their kids, especially if they had some disabilities. I have a friend that is born deaf, and I see how she struggle, because she never had support and bond with her parents. She was send as little in school for deaf children. So I wanna to say, that deaf children are not different, parents should give them all love and support, and at the end they are children, and they will sure make world different. 

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Deaf children should never be treated that much different compared to a hearing child. They want to be treated in the same respect as others. Same bonding principles apply. They all need guidance and as parents, we must supply the support to them, so that they’ll have an easier road ahead. Please share.

  4. At some point, doctors made me concerned about my little boy who was nearly three years old at the time. The problem with him was that didn’t speak, often ignoring what was said to him and when at the appointment speech and language therapist tried to distract him from playing, my boy didn’t react. That was a very worrying time for us as parents. Luckily, when we did a proper hearing test with specialists it showed that it was absolutely fine. But I would advise all the parents to watch out for the signs and show their kids to professionals before it’s too late.

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Its good to hear Violeta that your little son turned out to be ok. (Many other parents aren’t quite so lucky.) Always some issues because they waited too late to take action. Like you stated, an immediate response would be advised. Thank you for checking in with me.

  5. A very warm article. I see it helpful, not just for those who have deaf kids but for all families.

    i used to be busy with my career. Although I was coming home daily, I was not able to give that special bond with my children. Since, I stayed home most of my time, I saw the communication gap. 

    I worked it out as you have discussed it. We are now on our third year and I am seeing progress. May the readers see through your awesome intention to help.

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Rose, I’m glad you saw some value in my article. I’m happy that I could assist families in tough situations. Regardless if it’s families of disabled children or just plain, normal family bonding, these situations should be addressed properly and with the up-most care. Please share.

  6. My mom is a babysitter for 10 years. Although never encountered a deaf child, every child is pure at heart and they are similar in every way. I had experience with a child who never talk. When handling a child, it is best to use examples and encouraging ways. Sometimes we may get mad and yell in a negative way, but it has a very bad effect on our children. The positive way is the best.

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Hi Kit. Raising a child, either as a caregiver or as a parent, is a challenging task. Taking care of a disabled one is a hard job within itself. All children should be treated the same, disability side. As you stated, we should set examples for our children and staying positive is one of the ‘key’ ingredients towards that success.

  7. This post provides really useful information for parents with deaf children.Also, for all people with loved ones who are in a similar situation.
    Communication is very important in building relationships. Everyone deserves appreciation and to be loved.
    I have learned a very important lesson. I didn’t realise using encouragement and positive re-framing could go a long way in boosting self-esteem for kids.
    Is the Wireless Doorbell also available in the UK?

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Hello Zegu, how are you and thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you found some value in this post. Hearing loss is a serious issue and parents must always keep the lines of communication open. Despite a child’s shortcomings, a parents job is to help their child through society. Get them to understand, they’re no different than anyone else.

      Displaying an act of love, goes a long way. A child will accept this someone really caring about them and in turn, do better in life. Encouragement is ‘key’. Without encouragement  and positive reinforcement, a disabled child will lose all sense of direction and purpose.

      In regards to the Wireless Doorbell, I’m pretty sure this item is available in the UK. Check it out. 

  8. mike repluk

    Hi RJ

    Thank you for a wonderful article and the need to really be an active agent in our children’s lives 🙂

    The example you used is what happens every week in my household when it comes to grocery shopping.

    My wife will come home and our daughter will do her darndest to help out dropping everything in the process. My wife gets really frustrated, but I always suggested using positive reinforcement type remarks to encourage her efforts as well.

    I really enjoyed reading your article and will send a copy to my sister as well 🙂

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Hi Mike. Thanks for checking in. I’m very glad you enjoyed my article. I try to be as vocal and a provider of good quality information, as I possibly can. The families going through crisis need this. When I first chose to write on this subject, I was very surprised how many people every month are seeking information on this subject.

      A lot of times, readers will see themselves or some type of family situation within my articles. (As long as it’s positive, then all is good).

      As I mentioned be before, when parents show actions that convey “I love you,” hugging, kissing, or affectionately playing with your child’s hair, (especially when he or she is not expecting it) tell them just how special and important he is to you. Never criticize their efforts. Keep everything in a positive light. Positive encouragement can go a long ways in a child’s growth and development.

      Thanks again Mike for checking in and commenting. Let me know if you have ant other concerns.


  9. Laurieann

    This is a wonderful post. I wish I had have learned sign language. My sisters bf’s son is deaf and I feel so bad that I don’t know how to communicate with him. Thank goodness for text messaging. I love the colors and the theme of your site as well.

    • Ronald Kennedy

      Thank you Laurieann for commenting. It’s very much appreciated. Hearing loss in a child, as well as in an adult, is an issue no parent wants to deal with. It’s a situation that you can’t turn your back on. All a person can do as a parent or caregiver, is to educate themselves on the subject, s much as they possibly can. Learn sign and be able to teach it to our young.

      You mentioned about learning sign language yourself. Laurieann, it would have been a good thing and it’s never too late to learn basic sign. I offer simple-to-follow sign language cd’s on my product page, where an individual can teach and communicate with deaf babies and toddlers. (just think my friend, having this additional knowledge back then you could have better communication with your sister’s bf son).

      If you’d like to see what my product page offer, just go here:  Thanks again for stopping by and commenting Laurieann. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

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