Several reasons might be behind your child wanting to remove his hearing aids on a regular basis. He might worry about what others think when they see the devices or he may simply dislike having them in. Kids who are new to hearing aids might be sensitive to the sudden influx of noise and can feel disoriented or overwhelmed. Whatever the reason, activities to help him keep them in longer are ideal for creating a habit of wearing his hearing aids all the time.
1. Offer Special Toys
Motivating your child to wear her hearing aids might be easier if it's a special time. Put together a basket of coveted toys and stash it, suggests the Listen Up website. Anytime she agrees to wear her hearing aids, pull out the basket and let her play with the toys inside. If she removes her hearing aids, gather the toys and put them back until she's ready to wear her devices again. Allow your child to choose the items she wants to keep in the basket, and rotate them periodically to prevent boredom. Action figures or dolls, handheld video games, books, coloring pages with crayons, travel board games and drawing pads are good ideas.
2. Do Something Fun
Engaging your child with an enjoyable activity can often be enough to distract him from the presence of his hearing aids. Allow your child to begin a fun game or other activity, then place the devices in his ears, suggests the Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics website. If your child removes his hearing aids, allow him to take a break, then put them back in. Gradually increase the amount of time they stay in place. Watching a movie, listening to a book on disc, taking a bike ride, reading a comic book or playing a board game are effective ideas for distracting your child.
3. Accessorize the Hearing Aids
Many children are more willing to acquiesce to suggestions or rules if they have some input. Allow your child to help choose her hearing aids and she might be more likely to wear them. This might mean letting her pick out brightly colored ear molds or applying small stickers to the hook that fits over her ear. Other accessories that might make hearing aids more appealing include clips, caps or headbands, notes the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website.
4. Set Goals
Chances are, your child feels good when he wears his hearing aids because listening to and staying aware of his surroundings is simpler than when he removes them. That doesn't mean he's always willing to use them, however. Work with your child to create goals for hearing aid use, recommends the People Hearing Better website, published by American Hearing Aid Associates. Perhaps your child's goal is to wear his hearing aids for 20 minutes at a time, five times each day. Maybe keeping the hearing aids in for three hours straight or remembering to wear his hearing aids at school is an achievable goal. Whatever his goals are, help him reach them by offering praise, encouragement or small rewards to keep him on track.