In the midst of having to accept and come to terms with our child being deaf or hard of hearing, we are also in the position of having to deal with the reaction of family and friends, and sometimes members of the community in which we live. Just as each of us reacts differently, there is no way to predict how those closest to us will react.
My parents were very supportive and understanding. My mom said,
So we have a special little
girl.That was precious. Many of our friends and family, including my brothers and a good friend, made an effort to communicate with our daughter. However, others really didn't understand what we were going through, how to help, or how to react.
Our family cried. People were sad, and to an extent, it was annoying. Many would clap their hands and do their own 'hearing tests' or give unwanted advice.
The biggest mistake I made with my family was to cry all of my tears before I called them to give them the news. I knew my parents would be upset by the news, so I wanted to protect them by acting as if everything was fine. Because I was so in control and seemed to be handling it so well, they assumed that I was fine. If I had been honest with them and let them know how devastated I was, they would have been much more able to support me when I really needed it.
An important thing to remember with Grandparents is that not only are they sad for your child, they are sad for you as well. Just as we want to make everything right for our children, they want to do the same for us. They feel helpless and often go through their own time of grieving.
While most want to be able to support you through this time, realize that they themselves may be having a difficult time of accepting the news that their precious grandchild is deaf or hard of hearing. Seeing your grandbaby wearing a hearing aid, going through cochlear implant surgery, or the thought of trying to learn a new language to communicate with this little one may be very difficult for them.
Just as you need time to adjust and adapt to the changes in your life, they too need time.