Kids and glasses can be a tricky combination, but it’s not an uncommon one. More than 30 percent of children wear eyeglasses or contacts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If your child is struggling to accept wearing glasses, know that you’re not alone. These four tips can help your child accept — and even love — them.
1. Let Your Child Pick Them Out
This is a critical step to helping your kid take ownership of their newest accessory. Work with your optician to select some options that work well with your child’s face. Then, let your child choose what they like, even if that means chunky neon green frames or a brand name. Your child will be much more likely to wear — and less likely to feel self-conscious about — something they think is cool.
Tip: Remember, these are your child’s glasses, so it’s OK if they’re a little out-there or silly. You’re not the one wearing them!
2. Make Sure They Fit
Metal or plastic? Wraparound or regular temples? Spring or standard hinges? Fit is a little trickier when it comes to kids’ glasses. The key is finding a pair that fits your child’s nose bridge well, so they don’t slide down. The sturdier the frame, the better, and flexible, spring hinges are great for young wearers.
Tip: Watch the fit as time goes by. As little hands pull glasses on and off, they’re bound to get loose and crooked. Plus, kids’ heads continue to grow, so a growth spurt could also affect the fit. If the glasses need adjustments, head back to the Vision Center.
3. Ease Into It
Your child may be resistant to wearing their new frames full-time right off the bat. If so, start with activities they’ll benefit from glasses the most — doing homework, watching TV and reading. Slowly increase how often they’re wearing glasses until it becomes a non-negotiable norm.
Tip: Enlist the help of your child’s teacher, coach or friends — bonus points if they wear glasses themselves — for positive reinforcement.
Looking for kid-friendly frames? Ochsner Vision Center has plenty to choose from. Plus, we offer pediatric eye services.
4. Create a Daily Routine
Just like brushing their teeth, putting on and taking off their glasses should be a seamless part of your child’s daily routine. Encourage them to put on their glasses right when they wake up, rather than (hopefully) remembering to wear them as they rush out to school. And the same goes for the end of day: Make sure your child keeps them on when you’re reading bedtime stories, and takes them off right before it’s time to sleep.
Tip: Create a dedicated spot for glasses to go when your child isn’t wearing them. Make a special visit to a pottery painting store so your child can decorate a glasses plate where the specs can rest easily every night.