You’ve just been told that your child needs glasses. You may feel relief that your instincts about his or her vision were right. Then you may feel apprehension at the extra responsibility of selecting and getting your child to wear a pair of glasses. The following tips can help make wearing glasses a smooth transition for you and your child:
Let them choose. Children who are allowed to choose their own frames are more invested in wearing them right from the beginning. Before you head over to the optical section, give your child some parameters, especially if you are on a budget. Our optical specialists can walk you through the features you’ll want to consider, such as polycarbonate lenses and durable frames, and ensure the right fit.
Pay attention to fit. Sometimes children are so excited about their glasses that they gloss over the questions we ask during fittings. If your child finds that his or her glasses are less comfortable a few days after receiving them, know that we are always available to make adjustments. Kids need to be comfortable in their glasses, whether they are for schoolwork only or worn full-time.
Make wearing them non-negotiable. Sometimes children will resist wearing their glasses. One child may be particularly sensitive to having something on the face. Another may feel self-conscious. Find out why your child is resisting and do what you can to address the issue.
If you know your child will be uncomfortable, use the time before they receive their prescription glasses to get them used to the sensation with dress-up glasses or sunglasses. This will help prepare them for the “real thing” when it comes.
For kids who are afraid of teasing or “being different,” read them books on wearing glasses, point out people they admire who wear glasses and reassure them that their new glasses offer a great benefit — better eyesight!
Regardless of your child’s concern, wearing the glasses should be mandatory. If you do opt to give them time off from their glasses, make sure it is limited, clear and easy to follow, as well as appropriate for their vision needs.
Consider a spare pair. Sometimes the responsibility of wearing and keeping track of glasses is difficult for children. This is especially true for children who don’t need to wear their glasses full-time and end up removing them frequently throughout the day. Having a pair for home and one that your child keeps at school is a good way to ensure that when the homework comes out, your child doesn’t have to muddle through (and vice-versa).
For children who wear glasses full-time, parents should consider keeping a back-up pair for times when the primary pair breaks or is left behind somewhere that isn’t easily accessible. Giving them the choice of which pair they wear each day is another strategy for avoiding a power struggle.
Check in and check up. Once your child has adjusted to the idea of wearing glasses, he or she may not say much about them, including if they are working sufficiently. Kids’ eyes are developing more rapidly than adults’, and their glasses will need adjustments to the frames and changes to the prescription more frequently. Make sure you are communicating with them regularly about their glasses and stick to an annual schedule for comprehensive exams. Do not hesitate to contact us with questions if an issue arises between annual check-ups.
*Photo courtesy of allaboutvision.com