Many, many moons ago, my mother was informed by my teacher that I might need glasses. Being that wearing glasses was social suicide in junior high school, the last thing I wanted to do was wear them. So, quite against my will, my mother took me to the optometrist and I was fitted with the largest, ugliest glasses on the face of God’s green earth.
I hated them and it showed. I started getting into the habit of leaving them places in the hopes they would get lost, but someone would always find them and return them. Finally, while playing outside one day, I kicked the awful things under a car, effectively losing them for good. My mother was less than happy.
If your child needs glasses, then, my story is probably a very familiar one. For parents dealing with a child who doesn’t want to wear glasses, it’s a tough trial to get them to wear them. For school-age children, wearing glasses will make them appear different from their peers, and in the schoolyard jungle, different is a very bad thing. However, it really doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to give them some confidence in their new spectacles.
Point out someone they like that wears glasses
Children have a tendency to want to emulate those they respect or hold in great regard. As a parent, you can make a point to remind them that their favorite singer or actor wears glasses, too. For me, this point was made the day I found out that Sharon Stone spent much of her childhood wearing glasses. For your child it might be someone different.
Do a little research into your child’s favorite actors, singers, or even cartoon characters. Don’t overlook real people either. If your child’s favorite person is an aunt or uncle that wears glasses, make a point to mention them. It might make a difference in the way they view themselves.
Let them choose a frame
When choosing a frame for your child, let them have some say in what they look like. When I got my first frames, my mom chose the ones that she thought would look good on me unfortunately, none of my friends thought so. Remember, what you think is in’ may be outdated in your child’s world. So, give them a chance to decide.
Note: This works for younger children, too, as it gives them a sense of independence as well.
Have them wear glasses while watching television
Simply put, if your child is distracted, they’ll forget they have them on. Have your child wear their glasses during some enjoyable activity such as watching television, videos, or a movie in a movie theatre. Maybe have them wear them while playing video games or reading or just going for a walk in the park. After a while, not only will they forget about them, but if done often enough, eventually, they’ll be more hesitant to take them off when they want to see something clearly.
And probably the most important tip
Do not lose your cool
When your child defies you in some way, sometimes it’s hard not to lose your temper with them. But remember, in most cases the wearing of your child’s glasses has to do with their self image. The last thing you want to do is turn this into more of a major issue than it has to be.
Instead, focus on helping to boost their esteem. Compliment them on the way they look when they wear them and when they take them off; instead of going postal, sit down and talk with them on a person-to-person basis. If you can get to the root of why they don’t want to wear them, then maybe you can help them feel better about what’s really bothering them.
For younger children, you may want to pick up some children’s books related to wearing glasses. (Arthur’s Eyes by Marc Brown was my personal favorite as a kid).
Have no fear. Your children will wear their glasses once they find out that wearing them is not the end of the world. Use these tips to remind them that glasses not only help them to see, but they’re also an enhancement to their wonderful faces and have faith. They’ll get it eventually. I did.Have no fear.