Many common vision problems are easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses, leaving the patient in question with improved sight and better equipped to take on the world. Since patients of the smaller variety are generally not considered ideal candidates for contacts, however, kids are generally restricted to corrective lenses in the form of eyeglasses. At such a delicate time in your child’s life, being forced to wear these oft-maligned accessories can be a downright traumatic experience. With the proper preparation and plenty of patience, however, you can help your child adjust to wearing glasses with minimal fuss or despair.
Here are some easy steps to take to help your child adjust and love their glasses:
- Prepare in Advance
- Find The Right Fit
- Get In The Routine
- Keep It Positive
- Get Ready for Teasing
- Help Them Discover How Cool Glasses Are!
- Be Patient
- Work With Your Child’s Eye Doctor
Prepare in Advance
There will almost certainly be a period of at least a few days between receiving the news that your child needs glasses and their completion, since the lenses and frames will have to be created and assembled. Use that time to talk about getting used to new glasses, but keep your tone as matter-of-fact as possible.
Be sure to ask the Optometrist the times your child needs to wear their glasses!
Find The Right Fit
The fit is the most important. If your child is uncomfortable, they are less likely to want to wear them. Don’t buy frames thinking they will stretch or your child will grow into them. Opticians are trained to make sure the frames fit securely and comfortable, so ask them for help.
Allow your child to be a part of the picking process. They’ll be more eager to wear them knowing they chose the frames themselves. Let it be a fun experience and reassure them that they look great while wearing their glasses. Just like adults, children can be self conscious about an appearance change.
Get In The Routine
The hardest part will be getting your child to remember to put their glasses on. New habits aren’t easy to create, even for adults. Start your child off by having them wear the glasses for short periods of time, then integrate them more into their routine. Keep them close by so they remember to put them on in the morning and have them clean their glasses and put them in their case before bed. Over time, this will become second nature. If they need to wear them at school, make sure you let the teachers know.
Keep It Positive
Help Children be positive about the new change by giving them incentives. Small rewards for remembering to wear their glasses can make them want to. Make glasses seem “cool” for your child by showing them others who wear them. Point out sports figures, celebrities, or family members who also wear glasses.
The adjustment may not come easily, so remember to stay calm and be positive! If you have any concerns, you could ask your child’s optometrist for advice.
Get Ready for Teasing
While you may not want to broach the subject with your child before it’s necessary, it’s wise to get yourself ready for the fact that some mean-spirited classmate will inevitably poke fun at her frames. Have a response ready for the first time she comes home in tears after being teased, and make sure that you don’t minimize her feelings in the process.
Help Them Discover How Cool Glasses Are!
Try to find pictures of their favorite celebrities with glasses and put a picture or two in their room. Sometimes even getting a cheap pair of glasses for yourself (if you do not already wear glasses) or your child’s friend can ease the transition! Knowing other people wear glasses helps them feel confident and that they are not alone.
As with most big changes in a child’s life, getting used to new glasses will take time. It’s important that you remain optimistic and keep a firm grip on your patience throughout the process, so that you’re adequately equipped to help the adjustment phase run as smoothly as possible.
Work With Your Child’s Eye Doctor
One of your most valuable allies in the battle to help your child get used to wearing her glasses will be her eye doctor. Optometrists that work with kids on a regular basis have a slew of tricks up their sleeves for helping kids get excited about wearing their glasses, so don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your child’s doctor.
10 Ways to Help Your Child Adjust to Wearing Glasses by: NJ Kids Team - August 20, 2013