Many parents struggle to get their children to wear glasses. You know what it’s like: you surf the web looking for any tips and tricks you can use to get your child to warm to the idea of wearing their glasses every single day. Kids generally don’t like glasses. They think it makes them look silly, they don’t like how it hinders their play and they are afraid of getting teased by their friends. They are usually more afraid of peer pressure than they are of the consequences of not dealing with their eye problems. So let’s talk about how you can get your child to wear their glasses.
Break the News With Compassion
Not all children hate wearing glasses. Some children have very positive associations with glasses. They may even get really excited about the idea and look forward to picking their new frames. Other children, however, do not take kindly to the idea. They may think that something is wrong with them because they can’t see so great. Wearing glasses may symbolise a failing on their part.
So when you break the news to your child, make sure to think through how you can deliver the news in a way that comforts your child and reminds them of just how special they are. You will have to address any fears they have and anxieties about how other people will view them. Your child’s fears and anxieties are legitimate, your job is to show them that they are still special and that nothing is wrong with them.
Pick Out Frames With Them
One of the most powerful ways to get children to embrace wearing their glasses is by getting them to pick their own glasses. This will ensure that they have buy-in into the decision because they chose the glasses themselves. Make the event special and let your child try on loads of frames until they find the right one for them, just like when you sell sneakers to someone who would first want to try them one. You can get your optician to help you find the right frames, based on your child’s facial shape, but the important thing is that your child picks a frame that they really like.
When the prescription is ready, you can go with your child to pick them up. Your child may be hesitant at first, but don’t put pressure on them. Build the habit of wearing glasses slowly. You can start by getting them to wear their glasses for a few seconds, or some period of time so small even they can’t say no. Work with them over time until they feel comfortable wearing them for long. Marginal gains in how much time they spend wearing their glasses will compound and snowball until they are comfortable wearing their glasses the whole day. So don’t worry if it seems like you are making incremental progress.
How to Deal with Resistance
You have to listen to your child’s refusal in a spirit of unconditional positive regard. That means that whatever they say, no matter how absurd or silly you think their arguments are, they should always feel that you regard them positively and accept the legitimacy of what they are feeling. Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are and it is the most precious gift that a person can receive. Listening with a sense of unconditional positive regard will go a long way toward getting them to wear their glasses.
Your child may have very legitimate reasons for not wearing their glasses. The glasses may not fit your child very well, for example. They may be too tight, or too loose. So listen to your child and if necessary, go back for a refitting.