What should i know to be a great mostly-deaf father to a deaf or hearing baby?

craigm26

Active Member
I'd like to know what kind of parenting techniques are good to practice if you are mostly deaf and have children (deaf or otherwise).

I have anxiety towards being a dad because I don't want to misunderstand my child. I'm almost completely deaf and live in a hearing world. My wife is trying to learn ASL as I am probably a intermediate ASL signer.

Obviously, there's some technology tools out there, but I'm also interested in general rules/principles that you try to place on yourself so that you can communicate to your child.
 

DeafNerdMommy

Well-Known Member
I do it all the time, and I can see how bad it is, but I use my children as hearing 'dog's. They tell me when the baby is crying or someone is at the door. They should be playing not assisting. So maybe don't do that. Other than that it takes time to learn things. Hearing and deaf parents are not given a guide to children or parenting. Just know you will mess up and you will feel like a failure. But that just means you are learning.
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
I agree with DeafNerdMommy. I won't allow my hearing son to assist or interpret for me in any way. It's against the principle. I do not want him to feel like he has to work for me. If someone ignores me and talks to my son instead, I would pull someone aside and explain it that my son should not be an interpreter for me. He is a child, not an adult. Period.

My husband is hearing and I'm profoundly deaf. He knows ASL and Korean. If I sleep alone while my husband goes away on the business trip (my son is not a baby anymore), the monitor lets me know if my son cries. I had no problem. It went great. I wear hearing aids and can hear my baby cry. My husband and I teach our son ASL. He is provisional pre-verbal. ASL is his first language for now. It's all worth it. If you have a child with autism, I'd strongly recommend ASL. Very useful.

Yes, when you become a parent, you will deal with all kinds of "new" feelings. You will start to feel nervous and emotional, believe me! Those feelings will never go away ever again. You will love that child forever. As a parent, it is ok to make mistakes, but you will learn fast.
 
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Cappy

Well-Known Member
I don't mind my hearing wife and son being helpful. It is a family effort after all.
 

Tetracyclone

Active Member
I do it all the time, and I can see how bad it is, but I use my children as hearing 'dog's. They tell me when the baby is crying or someone is at the door. They should be playing not assisting. So maybe don't do that. Other than that it takes time to learn things. Hearing and deaf parents are not given a guide to children or parenting. Just know you will mess up and you will feel like a failure. But that just means you are learning.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with children helping a deaf parent. The trick is not making their responsibility. Kids like to help and it helps them feel important. Especially little things like someone at the door or the baby crying. It is a chore and kids should have chores.

That said, translating outside the house should be infrequent. We should always schedule a real translator even if out children must accompany us because we cannot leave them at home.

i've know some excellent people who were very proud of how they helped their parents, or their single parent, while growing up.
 

Beckell

Member
Thank you for sharing it with us! I can understand you! I am myself deaf and do have a hearing son. I can related this with you as I grew up in a hearing world.

I’m glad that you are making an effort to be a good and understanding dad. My best advise is to NOT let your child do the work for you like be an interpreter. Once you are out in the world such as dr appt, meetings etc. You will need to have a professional ASL interpreter for your needs. It’s not fair to put the burden on your hearing child and it can be extremely frustrated if you do that. Encourage using ASL when communicate with your child. He or she will pick up fast rather than wait until older. Also never let your child says “nevermind” or “it’s not important” if some reason someone talk to your child but ask the person to talk to you instead of your child. I think these are the common advises. Also I encourage you and your whole family to be patient and understanding. I’m curious how old is your child? Have you thought about getting into some kind of parent support group for deaf and hard of hearing children? These parents with deaf and hard of hearing children may have many advises, resources and give you a great support system!

None of us are perfect parent but try to be the best parent we can be.

God’s blessings on your family.
 
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