My husband and I have both been wearing glasses since we were young, but when we learned that our eldest needed to wear them all day to help with severe astigmatism, we were a little nervous. Due to his sensitivity to certain textures, clothes, and others, we weren’t sure how he would react to glasses or a strap to hold them in place.
As parents, we know that often explaining that something is good for our kids (like eating veggies) does not make them magically decide to go along with our suggestions. So, it is essential to have a game plan set in place before an eye in appointment to make the transition for little kids a little easier.
To be honest, I thought my son was going to hate his glasses, and I would have to bribe him every day. But by using these five tricks, he was wearing them regularly after just one week.
1. Use creative ways to get them excited
Try to make the process exciting, from the eye exam to choosing their own glasses. My son was obsessed with Spiderman and superheroes, so I made sure to tell him that superheroes get their eyes checked and wear glasses when they need to. I showed him pictures of Superman in glasses so he knew how glasses could be an essential superhero tool so he wanted a pair too.
We also made sure to tell him that he was getting glasses to help fix his eyesight. And because he was a big boy he got to wear them and his younger brother didn’t. Using my 4-years-old’s obsession with being a big kid definitely helped during this process.
2. Give your child as much autonomy as possible
Allowing your kids to have some authority over the frames of their glasses can help them feel better about the whole process. Kids naturally strive for control and independence, and giving them a chance to have authority over part of their health can make the process a little easier.
My son was not very excited about the prospect of glasses, but when I showed him the different colorful options, he soon picked out a bright blue pair he wanted to take home immediately.
3. Use positive reinforcement in your everyday routine
Kids thrive on structure and routines. My son knows right before he can go play for the day, he needs to put on his glasses and he gets to take them off right before his chewable vitamin during his nighttime routine. By immediately rewarding kids with positive reinforcement, it can naturally create a pattern where your children will want to do the task (in this case putting on their glasses) in order to get their reward.
When we started this routine, we used screen time with his tablet as a reward, because he still wasn’t very comfortable with having glasses on his face. Using a high-valued reward really encouraged him to put his glasses on without much prompting or difficulty. Over the first week or two, we made sure to adjust the reward with our schedule so now he doesn’t expect large value treats/rewards in return for wearing his glasses.
4. Model with your own pair
One of the easiest ways I’ve been able to have my son want to wear his own glasses is by showing him that I wear mine almost every day. We’ve shown him how to properly clean them and use his case for storage by doing it with our own glasses. Even if you don’t need glasses to improve your vision, modeling wear and care for blue light or sunglasses can work as well.
5. Make the fit as comfortable as possible
I’ve been wearing glasses for years and even I hate when my glasses fall down my face or end up dirty a few seconds after I just cleaned them. To help with this, there a few products I swear by to make wearing glasses easier, which I’m also now sharing with my son.