We’ve had a couple of readers asking for advice on how to get their child to wear their glasses and keep wearing them. I’m a firm believer in not pretending to be an expert in areas that we are not, and I’ll be honest I have little experience in encouraging little ones to wear glasses. Therefore, I put out the question on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to ask experienced parents and professionals for their top tips and here they are. (Please note, we take no responsibility for the advice given, as always please consult a professional with any problems relating to your child’s health)
How can you encourage your child to wear their glasses?
- Check They are Comfortable. Comfort is incredibly important and as mum Helena explains “First tip would be making sure they are well fitting and comfy. Our son has only used Tomato glasses so far- but they are designed to be light and comfortable- I have never seen any red marks anywhere and he’s happy to wear them”. It’s also important to keep checking they are comfortable over time, one of our followers on twitter advised that you “review fit and ensure comfort”.
- Give Them Ownership Over Their Glasses– Everyone needs to feel that they have some sort of control over new situations and as mum, Helen explains, letting her son “choose a character for his glasses gave him control and ownership”. It also helps if they like the glasses they are wearing, so by letting them choose them they can get some that they feel happy in.
- Wear Your Own Glasses Yourself! As parents it’s so important to set a good example. Often children learn more from what we do that what we say. If we have a positive view of wearing glasses, it’s likely they will too. As Helena explains “I used to be very reluctant to wear my glasses…so made an effort to wear mine more around our son to make wearing glasses seem more normal and a positive thing”
- Consistency. As with most things with children, consistency is incredibly important and wearing glasses is certainly no exception. It’s key to make sure that everyone who looks after your child is following the same plan in respect to encouraging your child to wear their glasses. As Helen explains it really helped that her son’s “child carers were consistent”.
- Show Them The Biggest Reason to Wear Glasses! Don’t forget to stress to your child the huge advantage of wearing glasses for them- they will help them see better. One of our followers on twitter advised for older children that when a child is getting used to wearing glasses you “grade an activity, so that it makes it obvious the benefits of wearing glasses. I.e the visual correction it provides, making the task easier…children more likely to wear them if the benefits are obvious to them”
- Wear For Short Periods Of Time Initially. As with anything new, it can often be a good idea to start off slow and build it up. Helena explains she “started by saying we were wearing our glasses for a defined time period (an hour initially) and did something that he enjoyed and that would distract him during that time (we watched some episodes of his favourite show). We both sat on the sofa with our glasses on (we did a ‘cheers’ with our glasses) and had a cuddle while we watched some TV. At the end of the time period I didn’t take his glasses off but I let him know the time was up. He didn’t feel the need to take them off then.” Zoe over on Instagram, who explains she has worked in Optics for the last 13 year (her blog can be found here) says ” My Advice is little and often. Let them wear them for an hour the first day, 2 the next and so on. Don’t push it, otherwise the glasses will become a target for frustration”
One of our readers, Helena, provided some lovely advice for parents too “it is absolutely normal to feel sad about your precious child needing glasses…and it is normal for them to not look like your baby in their glasses. I found that hard and still do sometimes. There are sites that help with this (eg, for little eyes) – help explain that the less than positive emotions associated with your child needing/wearing glasses are all perfectly normal.
…and I needed to hear this in the beginning – in establishing that your child needed glasses – that is some good parenting. It’s not easy to work out, particularly when they are young. And the pathways between eyes and brain are still being formed until about the age of 7 – so the sooner and better they wear their glasses before that age, the better.”