Finding out that your child needs to wear eyeglasses can be a difficult, emotional experience for both parent and child. Parents may feel sad or upset that there is something “wrong” with their child, while many children worry that other kids will tease them, that they look weird or ugly, or that everyone will be looking at them. Glasses may feel uncomfortable and heavy, and they may fall off or get in the way when playing sports. For these reasons, many kids will resist wearing their glasses, “forgetting” to put them on or take them to school.
Here are some tips for helping a child get used to their new eyeglasses.
- Let your child choose their glasses. Suggest several suitable styles, and let your child make the final selection. It’s important that the child feel comfortable and confident in their new frames since they are the ones who have to wear them.
- Give your child a “breaking-in” period to adjust to wearing their glasses. Start by having them wear their glasses for short periods of time during enjoyable activities. If, after a few days, your child is still having difficulty adjusting to their glasses, ask why, and try to resolve their issues and concerns. Wearing sunglasses or even toy glasses can help a young child get a feel for wearing eyeglasses. Acknowledge to your child that it will feel weird and strange for a few weeks, but will soon become second nature.
- Help your child identify with others who wear eyeglasses, such as family members, friends, or even favorite celebrities and sports stars. Show your child some of their favorite characters who wear glasses, such as Velma from Scooby-Doo, Simon the chipmunk, Arthur the aardvark and Harry Potter. Let them see that it can be “cool” to wear glasses. Find toy glasses for your child’s favorite doll or stuffed animal to wear. Read your child a book about glasses.
- Make wearing glasses a part of the child’s daily routine. Teach your child to put their glasses on first thing in the morning, and to take them off and store them in the same place each night at bedtime. Let teachers know when the child is expected to wear their glasses.
- Avoid nagging a child about wearing their glasses. If your child takes their glasses off, put them back on in a firm but loving manner. Do praise them for remembering to wear their glasses.
- Make sure the glasses fit properly. They should be snug, but not too tight, and should not slip or slide. If your child complains of pain behind the ears, or if you notice redness or sore patches on their nose or temples, take the glasses to be readjusted. If you are afraid your child may drop or lose their glasses while playing, consider an elastic sports band, which attach to the glasses and hold them in place.
Did your child have a hard time getting used to his or her new eyeglasses? What tricks or tips did you use to help them adjust?