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Why do Boys Have Such Trouble Hearing You?


If you are the mother of a boy, chances are good that you have, at some point, wondered if your son had a hearing problem. For veteran moms of boys, it is almost funny when they hear new moms of sons speculating that their sons have hearing loss. After all, they have all the symptoms! You tell them to do something only to realize a few minutes later that they havenít moved an inch from where they were. You call them in from outside in order to eat dinner, and then realize halfway through the meal that they still havenít come (okay, that one may only happen to moms like me who have more than a couple of kids and far fewer brain cells than those present at birth!). You remind them to do something only to be told the next day that you never said anything at all. You find yourself throwing up your hands in despair and making a doctor appointment to get your sonís hearing checked.

While there certainly are some boys who have hearing problems, and I in no way mean to minimize their challenges, it is a rueful fact that most boys just have selective hearing loss. I have found that I can stand in one corner of my house and whisper ďice creamĒ and be immediately stampeded by my sons. When I stand two feet away from them and say in a normal voice, ďtake the dog outĒ, they are completely oblivious to my presence. So what explains this discrepancy?
Obviously, the subject matter of momís comments or questions has everything to do with whether or not a boy responds immediately to her voice, or not at all. When the subject is one they welcome, they are all ears. When the subject is one they would prefer to ignore, well, they do! Apart from this obvious difference, though, there are things that a mom can do to help increase the chances that her son will hear her and respond.

First, make eye contact with your son when you are relaying a specific message to him, and maintain that eye contact until you are done communicating the necessary information. Next, have him repeat what you just said back to you in order to ensure that he heard and understood the message. Finally, let him know that you will not be reminding him again, so he needs to make sure that he does whatever you asked of him.

If you have any doubts about your sonís hearing, make sure you get him to the doctor. If, however, you find that he hears you fine most of the time, consider implementing the above routine. You might save more than the money for the hearing test: you might just save your sanity!
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Content copyright © 2014 by Laura Delgado, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Laura Delgado, Ph.D.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Laura Delgado, Ph.D. for details.

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