HOW DO I MAKE MY CHILD WEAR HIS OR HER GLASSES?
Excuse me while I laugh. First of all, there is no making a child do anything! Having a child for this long must have convinced you of that. Obviously... you have to trick him into it. We'll break up into different age categories because children of different ages respond to different approaches. Keep in mind each child is vastly different. Many of these suggestions will fail with your child. But these have worked in some cases. First and foremost, you must have a well-fitting pair of glasses for your child to wear (see What Should I Look For In A Pair Of Glasses.). Remember the goal here is to help a child's vision to develop normally. This requires consistency in wearing his glasses.
Little little guys (infant to 2 years): Remembering we can't make a child do anything, so let's try allowing them to appreciate good vision. This works well with this age group. The best way to get these young children to wear their glasses is to simply put their glasses on and distract them: put on their glasses, hand them a toy. Or put on their glasses and start making faces at them. Most children in this age category will quickly associate clear vison with their glasses. All we have to do is give them time. Don't be tempted to put a strap on the child's glasses at this age to hold them. A poorly-adjusted strap will make the glasses very uncomfortable and leave large red impressions on your child's nose from the nose pads. You know, your child can just as readily develop negative associations with glasses as well as positive ones. Don't make yourself or the glasses your child's enemy. If you have a child at this age that needs glasses, I encourage you to be patient and your child will choose to wear his glasses because he sees better with them on.
Not quite so little little guys (2yrs - Preschool): If you have a child this age, certainly you already know that you can't make your child do anything. I recommend with kids that as soon as you find out that your child will need glasses that you begin to acclimate your child to glasses in general. Start by showing your child that you wear glasses (if you do). Then begin to point out family members and close friends that wear glasses. Don't forget cartoon characters and book characters that wear glasses, perhaps read a book about glasses with your child. Encourage your child to note specific differences in glasses like Uncle Albert's glasses are square and Grandma's glasses are round. Point out that Grandma wears her glasses to see things that she couldn't see without them. Try to emphasize how much better and easier it is to see with glasses. Do not talk about your child wearing glasses yet, first we want your child to feel that wearing glasses is something that many people do. Once you feel that glasses are not so strange to your child, he or she may be ready to learn about their own need for glasses. Talk about what kind of glasses your child may want and where you might keep them at bedtime or when he or she is taking a bath. Talk about how you and your child could clean your glasses together. These things will encourage your child to take an active part in developing normal vision. A child this age is often wary of the unknown and fearful of something different. The more you do to allay these fears, the better compliance you will get from your child.
L M N-tary School Ages: This group of kids are often excited to wear glasses and will many times fail their eye exam on purpose to get glasses. Don't worry, most doctors are on to them and can't be fooled. On the other hand, when they have to wear glasses, it only takes one comment from a classmate to really put a dent in your child's ego. Try to create some excitement for them by really pumping up some items on the glasses. Find out what makes your child tick...maybe your son is really into Nike or Tommy Hilfiger. Maybe your daughter likes Barbie or Nickelodeon. This is where many brand names really help out. Don't you worry, though, with kid's glasses, the brand names doesn't necessarily translate to a higher price tag. Disney frames and Fisher Price and many others are quite reasonable. Accessorizing the glasses with a cool magic eyeglass case or hologram case can help. Sport bands eyeglass cords can help also. These are often small dollar amounts, but can keep wearing glasses fun and cool. Remember you can always give them something new for their glasses as a Birthday or Holiday gift also.
Older kids: These kids really want to blend in and the old pink glasses they had in the fifth grade are just not going to work any longer. Give your child most of the input into deciding which pair they will wear. This will put the burden on them to wear the glasses they have chosen. If all else fails they will probably need them for the driver's test and will have to give up the fight at that point.
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