When making difficult decisions for your child, you may feel confronted with opposition. Sometimes people disagree with our decisions – whether that is the mode of communication we select, the educational placement we choose, or whether or not our child should wear hearing aids or get a cochlear implant.
Don't apologize for the decisions you make for your child. It is your right as a parent to make decisions for your child.
One very important thing to remember is, as parents, it is our right and responsibility to make decisions for our children until they are old enough to make them on their own, regardless of whether or not they are deaf or hard of hearing. We make decisions every day for our children.
Even though we may not always know for certain that a decision we are making for our child is the right one at the time, it is our job to do what we think is best for our child, based on the information available to us. Knowing how other parents have dealt with opposition can be very helpful.
Each child is unique, and one size does not fit all.You know your child and your family best.
Tough as it is at times, when we are faced with disapproval of the choices that we have made for our children, we must not be discouraged by the opinions of others. It is of the utmost importance that you believe in the choices that you have made, and that you stand firm in them. Let people know that this is the decision you have made, and that you firmly believe it is the best one for your child. They are entitled to their opinion, but remember that it is just an opinion. You can see for yourself the progress and success that your decisions have brought about for your child. There is no harm in listening to what other people have to say, and gathering information that might help give you another perspective, but don't be swayed just because they are opinionated.
Make sure that what you receive from others applies and is good for your child and for you.
When it comes to the education of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, everyone has an opinion. When I was met with opposition about our choice of communication mode or educational placement for our daughter, I tried not to let myself get drawn into the argument of which was the 'right' one, or the 'better' one. Instead, I merely stated that we felt that this particular choice was best for our child. I made it a point to tell them that I didn't think that their opinion was necessarily wrong, but that right now we felt that the choice we'd made was the best, or most appropriate one for our child.
When faced with opposition, try to listen to what the person's opinions are. But remember that not every child is the same. If it becomes more than you can take, you may want to distance yourself, or find another parent who may have a more open mind to the direction you are taking.
I think the hardest time for me is when my family questions some decision I've made.
While they are my family, they don't understand deafness to the depths that I have learned it, lived it, and experienced it.
I think letting others express their opinions is part of the learning process. It is not really necessary to defend your choices.
You are the one who is with your child, and as parents we have to make decisions that we feel are best. The fact that we are not all the same makes this world a better place.
In our case, the educational placement we would have chosen over the recommendations of the school district would have been the wrong one for our daughter. We agreed to a six-month placement to avoid having to fight the school district, and as it turned out, the placement they had insisted on turned out to be a very good choice for her. If we had insisted on our choice and had put all of our energy into fighting the school district, we may never have had the opportunity to see that in this instance, someone else knew better than we did about what was best for our child.
Often parents know instinctively what is right for their child, but that is not always the case. It is important to be open to the input and advice of others.