Getting your child to wear glasses can be like getting them to eat broccoli, brush their teeth or do pretty much anything that’s good for them. However, while it may be challenging, it doesn’t have to turn into a constant battle and it’s certainly not impossible. Kids are curious and they want to see clearly so when they realize glasses help them to do just that, they often overcome their reluctance. It tends to be a matter of getting a child used to wearing their glasses and heaping on the positive reinforcement. Based on our experience as Vancouver opticians, we’ve compiled the tactics that have worked for our customers. By tailoring these suggestions to fit your child’s age and personality, you’ll have your kid rocking their eyewear in no time.
The Lead-Up: Preparing Your Child to Wear Glasses
So you received the news that your child is nearsighted or farsighted. Now is the time to start laying the groundwork so your child experiences an easy transition into wearing spectacles. You’ll want to sit down with your little one and explain the benefits of wearing glasses and why they’re important. Reassure them that it’s completely normal and acknowledge that they may feel strange at first but they’ll get used to their glasses. Give them the opportunity to ask questions. Here are some other ideas to incorporate into the warm-up period:
- Point out family members wearing glasses or even people on television, in advertisements or in the movies. Bonus points if you can identify some bespectacled celebrities. Make wearing glasses seem “cool.”
- Ask your child who their favourite singers, actors and athletes are. Hopefully some of them will have less than stellar vision. Put together a collage of their favourite icons wearing glasses and hang it in their room.
- If you or another family member wears glasses, make a bit show of donning them while doing important tasks. Younger kids in particular love being just like mom or dad.
Choosing Your Child's Eyeglasses
Depending on how old your child is, allowing them to get involved in choosing their own glasses can go a long way in getting them to actually wear them. There are tons of kid-friendly, colorful frames available. Make the trip the optical store exciting. Give them ample time to try on different pairs and maybe even offer a reward at the end of the excursion. You’ll also want to:
- Ensure a proper fit. If the glasses aren’t comfortable, your child probably will be extremely resistant to putting them on. At The Spectacle Shoppe in Kerrisdale, we take measurements, including the bridge measurement, and offer up frames that are suited to the child’s face shape. Something lightweight that stays put and doesn’t slide around tends to work best.
- Peer acceptance is important. Try to steer your child towards a style similar to what their friends and classmates are wearing.
- Since little ones grow fast, keep in mind you might have to stop at the optical store to have them adjusted periodically to maintain a comfy fit.
Encouraging Your Child to Regularly Wear Their Glasses
You found the perfect pair but your child doesn’t want to wear their glasses. Don’t allow it to escalate into a power struggle. Be patient. If they take their glasses off, firmly but nicely put them back on. It can take a few weeks for glasses wearing to become a daily part of life but these suggestions can help
- Start slowly. Get your child to wear their glasses for short bursts of time and build up gradually until they’re wearing them as much as necessary.
- Have your little put their glasses on in front of the mirror so they can see themselves wearing them. Kids tend to like their own reflection.
- Pile on the praise. When your child wears their glasses, compliment them and make them feel good about it.
- Put their glasses on when they’re doing something enjoyable so your child can associate wearing them with positive experiences. It can be especially beneficial if it’s an activity for which glasses are needed, such as reading a picture book, drawing or watching movies.
- Get into a routine. Have your child put on their glasses first thing in the morning and take them off at bedtime.
- Have teachers and sitters to get in on the action. Let them know your child should be wearing the spectacles throughout the day and ask them to keep the positive reinforcement going.
If your child still won’t wear their glasses after enacting these tips, don’t panic. It might just take some time and every kid is different. The Spectacle Shoppe offers a variety of children’s glasses in Vancouver. Check out our selection or stop by the store to find the perfect frames for your little one.
Morgan is The Spectacle Shoppe’s Lead Technician and Customer Relations Specialist as well as a Principle of Spectacle Shoppe. She is a licensed contact lens fitter and dispensing optician and has been working for The Spectacle Shoppe since 2006. She graduated from Douglas College’s two year Dispensing Optician and Contact Lens Fitting Program in 2008. From contact lens fitting to eyeglass repairs and adjustments Morgan is eager to help you with any optical needs. Connect with Morgan Nahanee on Google+