Chores, Responsibilities and Home Interactions

I'm sure that I have at times. It is much easier to get the attention of the hearing child. It takes more time and energy to go to the child who is deaf or hard of hearing and explain what you need done, and when I'm in a hurry or tired, I find I will automatically call the hearing child to do the task. I'm sure if you ask my hearing child, he will say that he has more responsibility than his sister does. I'm more aware of doing this now, and I try to be careful not to do it. Both of my children had equal responsibilities when it came to things like cleaning their room and helping clean the kitchen. It sometimes took a little longer for my deaf child to accomplish the same task because I realized that I was taking for granted that she understood what was expected of her when giving her something new to do. I realized that I would often talk my hearing child through the same job while I was doing something else in a different room. Once I realized what I was doing, I began taking more time initially to explain the task better and model what needed to be done before expecting her to just wing it. Yes, unfortunately this has happened. Our child who is hard of hearing often became frustrated when helping with jobs at home, because it was difficult to always face him to give directions. As a result, it was easier to ask our hearing child to help with some chores. Maybe when they were very young, but our child who is hard of hearing is also the youngest, so that may have just been the natural thing to do. As she got older, we tried to give her more responsibility and encouraged her to take more responsibility for her own communication with others. At first we were much easier on our child who is deaf because we knew that the hearing children could understand us and rationalize better. Now, at age five, our son who is deaf sees everyone else doing their part and he knows that he should help too. Inadvertently there is more responsibility on the hearing children for things like 'call me if ' when they were playing. When friends came, the hearing child automatically was expected to tell them what our son who is deaf was saying. It is enough responsibility just being the hearing sibling. Sometimes he feels he is unnoticed when people ask about our deaf child or he feels burdened because he must watch out for his brother's safety, etc. As far as placing more responsibility for doing chores or schoolwork on the hearing child, no! The child who is deaf or hard of hearing needs to be expected to do his share in the family, school, and community. Yes, because I think sometimes that my hearing child will understand me better and sometimes I get lazy with my communication and it is just easier to say it and have it done faster. I feel that responsibility needs to be the same, whether a child is hard of hearing, deaf, or normal hearing. We all have to survive in the same world. What is most important is communication with your child so that he or she understands what the expectation is. Our hearing child is the younger of our two children, and I've realized that it is not fair to him to be put in the position of having to be the 'older' or more responsible one. It is also not fair to my daughter to feel that I think her little brother is more responsible, just because he can hear.

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