I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about commitment versus compromise. We were talking about how important it is to look after ourselves and that we had a choice either to commit to our health or to compromise it.
Our discussion centered on the idea that…
A commitment is an action of the mind; a promise that is based on knowledge. Making a commitment is hard at times. It is never the easy way in the heat of a tempting moment.
A compromise is an action of the emotions; based on feelings, excuses, and rationalizations. Making a compromise is easy. Any little thing is an excuse to give into the impulses of the moment.
Later I took this thinking one step further and began to think about my son’s hearing loss and realized that part of my role as a parent is really about teaching him to commit to his hearing loss and his needs, rather than compromising them.
The word compromise has a warm and fuzzy feel about it. It’s that win-win situation that parents and educators love – where everyone is happy.
But, when a child with hearing loss makes a compromise in the classroom or in a social situation, a lot more is at stake.
- The classroom is too loud at the end of the day and your daughter can’t hear the homework assignment and so she falls further behind.
- Your son mishears a key word as the teacher is writing on the board and while he pauses a moment to try and figure it out he falls behind in his note-taking.
- The substitute teacher is not sure how to use the FM system so it remains off for the entire day.
- The noise in the cafeteria is too loud and your daughter doesn’t hear that her friends are meeting in the library for recess. She goes outside and can’t find anyone.
These are all situations where your child needs to commit to their hearing loss. They need to be able to say “Hey, wait a minute. This isn’t working for me. Here is what I need.”
Teaching your child to commit to his hearing loss means helping him take the responsibility for what he needs to ask for to get his needs met.
And sometimes it’s a real bummer that your child always needs to be the one to put herself out there and ask for something, but others aren’t going to know what she needs unless she tells them.
Commitment looks like:
- Asking the teacher to write the homework assignment on the board.
- Making sure the teacher knows that it’s hard for you to hear when they are facing the board, and could they please try to face the class. Other solutions could include having an assigned note taker, or having access to the teacher’s notes.
- Showing the substitute teacher what they need to do to use the FM unit.
- Telling your friends to make sure they have your attention before they make plans.
Commitment is about honoring yourself and your needs and there is nothing wrong with teaching your child to take ownership about those needs.
How have you helped your child commit to their hearing loss? Would love to hear from others…