4 Tips for Helping Your Child Adjust to Glasses

I started wearing glasses when I was in college. Textbooks with tiny print + the lousy lighting in the Biology department meant I spent a lot of time squinting. I wore them throughout college, got a “nice” pair of glasses when I started my first real job and then never went back to have my eyes checked again. All those years of squinting made me adapt to an impaired vision – I quit driving at night and always sat close to the front of the room. Two years ago, I went in for a routine exam and the doctor was horrified at my prescription. Horrified. I now wear glasses on a regular basis and it is amazing how clear things are! {please note the mockery in my tone… it’s directed at the condescending nurse who asked me how I didn’t walk into walls without glasses… ahem}

4 Tips for Helping a Child Adjust to Glasses

We figured our kiddos would have to wear glasses at some point in life since both of their parents do, but I didn’t realize how difficult it was for Liam to see until one day this summer a friend watched him trip and fall and promptly told me to take him in. Sure enough the next day, the eye doctor sweetly explained that because of a significant difference between his eye prescriptions, Liam’s depth perception was off adding to his already challenged eyesight.

A week later, the cutest little pair of black framed glasses were on his face and he noticed just how BIG the world is! {Also, he stopped falling 20+ times a day.} Since I hadn’t had my glasses all that long, I remembered how uncomfortable it was to adjust to them. Their constant presence on my nose, the headache for the first week while my adjusted to seeing things normally and gosh darn it, the desire to toss them in the trash and continue to spend my days squinting.

The first day Liam wore glasses, I counted 17 times I had to remind him to put them back on. The next day it doubled. Adjusting to glasses is hard. Add in the desire to rough house or play in the pool in the summer and you really need to take some extra steps to help your child stick it out. Our eye doctor explained that because children often don’t realize that their sight isn’t clear, their eyes adapt so that they can function, but when you introduce glasses, the eyes are forced to relearn how to see.

4 Tips for Helping a Child Adjust to Glasses

In light of our experience, I thought I’d share with you what helped us make the adjustment to glasses simpler!

  • Make sure they like their glasses – There are so. many. options. these days when you choose your frames. So many. Thankfully, on the first tray of frames, Liam spied a pair that were miniature versions of what Matt wears. He snatched them up and declared them his favorites. You wear what you like and this boy likes to look like Daddy!
  • Make sure that your child understands that they can complain about the fit – Liam didn’t say anything about how uncomfortable the glasses were on his ears until we were almost 3 weeks into wearing them. It was a simple fix, taking them back into the office and having them stretched a tiny bit and once it was done, no more pinching! But before that appointment, I reminded him that he’d been uncomfortable for 3 weeks… far longer than necessary. If it’s not comfortable, tell me so I can fix it. If I don’t know, I can’t help!
  • Establish safety guidelines – Liam’s lenses aren’t supposed to ever break. But even still, if he wants to wrestle, play in the pool, wear his super hero costumes or do anything rough, he has to take them off. Additionally, when they come off, they are to be placed somewhere safe {I prefer his bookcase}. I didn’t express how serious I was about that rule and that is how the glasses were left on a bed that they were jumping on and got crushed… at just one month of having them.
  • Reward the little victories – because I knew that he was going to have headaches and feel like his eyes weren’t “right” while they were adjusting, I wanted to make sure there was an incentive to continue wearing the glasses. For the first few days, I gave him an awesome rock at lunch, snack, supper and bedtime if he’d been good about keeping the glasses on. By the end of the first week, he was getting four rocks a day so I knew it was safe to switch over to only getting one rock a day. I did that for another week and by then only had to remind him to put them back on after he’d taken them off for rough play. These days, if I see that he’s being responsible or I don’t have to remind him even in the morning to put them on, he gets an awesome rock just because I love him!

Now that we are adjusted and the safety guidelines have been established, glasses are a piece of cake. Although, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by giant smudges or finger prints on the lenses, he is doing a great job taking care of them. Even Sylvi is aware and will remind him to take them off if she thinks their play might get “crazy”.

When we had Sylvi’s eyes examined, the doctor told us that she’ll be in need {more than likely} in a few years of her own pair of glasses. I’m glad that she has such a great example to follow. And I feel more prepared to help her adjust when {if} her time comes!

**Of course, today, Liam took his glasses off before gym class and left them with his teacher. We almost left without them. Adjustment has been smooth, but he’s still a 5 year old!**

2 Replies to “4 Tips for Helping Your Child Adjust to Glasses”

  1. I appreciate your tip on making sure your child likes their glasses when choosing the frames. It seems that with all the different types of frames available these days makes it really easy to find ones they really like and it wouldn’t be the best idea to just get the first ones that fit. My son recently found he needs glasses, we’ll be sure he likes the ones he picks before we settle on a pair.

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