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Posted on 07-26-2016
How to get your kids to love their new glasses
Once upon a time in the olden days when I was in school, getting glasses was an emotionally scarring experience- complete with huge neon pink contraptions, which took up the majority of your face and earned you delightful little badges like "four-eyes" and "coke-bottles."
These winning styles are due to come back into fashion any day now.
However, kids today have a huge variety of frames to choose from and-bonus- which are considered fashion accessories! These days kids are more likely to leave our office in tears if they DON’T get glasses during their yearly exam.
I know I look good
However, just in case your kid is in the microscopic percentage of children who still haven’t hopped onto the eyeglass band wagon, here are some tips on how to keep kids in their glasses:
You can only do (insert fun activity here) while you are wearing you glasses: After a long grueling day of multiplication tables and Mavis Beacon, sometimes all a kid wants to do is sit back with an ice cold Ovaltine and a relaxing marathon of Halo. Imagine the bargaining power you’ll have when the only thing standing between them, their scooter and the great outdoors is that pesky pair of glasses.
Get excited about it: Sometimes when the exam is over, I’ll turn to the kid in my chair and say, ‘Hey buddy, your trouble seeing the smart-board is a thing of the past now that you are going to get some super cool glasses to help you see!” To my dismay, one of three negative reactions may occurs: a.) the parent demands a recount; b.) the blood drains from their parents faces as if I just announced the beloved family pet has been kidnapped and held for ransom;
My kid needs what? Ok, be honest Doc- how long does he have to live?
c.) The parent erupts with laughter and then leads the crusade against their child’s self esteem (this is usually the first time the child will hear the words 4-eyes). Keep in mind that if this occurs, your child will hate their glasses, will never wear their glasses, and I predict that you will find your investment stuffed behind the washing machine within a matter of days.
Reference cool fashion forward people that wear glasses: Think of friends, classmates and the boatload of famous people who wear glasses and love them. There are prominent actors, singers and sports stars who don’t need glasses but will pop out the lenses in their frames and wear them anyway.
Hey, I’m sure Harry Potter could have cast a spell for perfect vision but he wore his specs with pride.
Do compliment. Don’t make fun. Reason 2c is important enough to reiterate! Keep in mind- your kids look up to you, so if you never wear your glasses or you mock people that do, they will be ashamed to wear theirs. Go a step further and throw a glasses themed pizza party to celebrate or find some frames with no power and wear them as a sign of solidarity.
Let them choose their frames. Part of the excitement of buying a new pair of glasses is the selection process! Yet, there is a constant battle between what the kiddo wants to wear and what mom or dad would like them to have. Let them pick their favorites and help narrow it down. It goes a long way toward them keeping the frames on if they are proud of what they've chosen. After all, at the end of the day they are the ones who will be wearing them for the next year.
The first 48 hours: If you child is less than 2 years old and has to wear glasses, the first two days are super important! They don’t understand the contraption on their faces so they may scream and cry and you may get frustrated but every time they take their glasses off, you must replace them right away. After a while they will grow weary or forget they’re wearing them and you will never have trouble again!
Get their teachers in on it. As you are not likely to be with your little angel during all waking hours, you should recruit some help! Your best informant: your child’s teacher. They will not only remind them to wear their glasses, but they will double-cross your little darling by singing like a canary if he/she isn’t even bringing their glasses to class.
"Listen, I don't have much time before my cover is blown. I have it on good authority that Jenny is only wearing her glasses during geography class!"
Glasses can be a challenge for kids. The key is setting some ground rules and following up with positive reinforcement. Do this, and you are on your way to having a kid who no longer bumps into walls!
Dr. Nytarsha Thomas
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