One afternoon last summer after a routine eye test at school Daisy came home with a letter which said they had referred her to the children’s eye clinic. To say I was surprised is an understatement, Daisy had never complained that she had any problems with her sight. I thought that perhaps it was a mistake and she just wasn’t in the mood to have her eyes tested that day.
On the morning of her appointment I was convinced she would be coming away without needing glasses. As I sat and watched the ophthalmologist carry out the examination I was utterly shocked. How could Daisy be struggling to see the letters and pictures. How could I not have noticed that she couldn’t see properly ? The very kind ophthalmologist explained that to Daisy that would have been normal to her as she would have never known any different.
Daisy was so good at the appointment, taking everything in her stride even when they had to apply eye drops to dilate her pupils. She was very excited at first at the prospect of wearing glasses. I left the appointment with a mixture of feelings, grateful that the problem had been detected early and a little sad that Daisy had poor eyesight.
An appointment was made for Daisy to go and choose some glasses. This was the part she enjoyed the most, she chose two lovely pairs of purple frames, her favourite colour. In the beginning there were good and bad days, sometimes she really didn’t want to wear them at all. Thankfully one year on Daisy’s sight has improved immensely, enough that we’ve been told that she probably won’t need them into adulthood.
There are lots of things we learned along the way of helping Daisy get used to wearing glasses. I thought I would share some tips and ideas of how to help your child adjust to life with glasses.
The first thing we did when we learned that Daisy might need glasses was to explain to her about eyesight. We showed her some pictures of eyeballs and explained how they worked. Children adapt to changes a lot better if they understand the process. Giving Daisy some knowledge about why her eyes needed help made the situation less daunting to her.
It’s easier to explain to older children why it’s important to their health to wear their glasses but with younger ones it can be tricky. Making the glasses a part of their daily routine like brushing their teeth makes it easier for them to adjust. Putting them on soon becomes just another part of their day, something they automatically do without thinking.
Let Them Choose
Opticians have a wonderful range of kids frames available. From their favourite Disney character to colourful bright patterns, there are lots to choose from. Leaving the choice of frames to the kids gives them a little sense of control over the situation. Daisy has to wear glasses all day every day so it was important that she could choose a pair that reflected her style and personality.
For older kids and teens it can be a nightmare trying to convince them to wear glasses. If they don’t like the way they look in glasses it can affect their self-esteem. Lots of teenagers choose to wear contacts instead, while there’s no minimum age to wear contacts it’s important that they are ready and mature enough to wear them. Feel Good Contacts have a long history of experience in selling contact lenses. Their Eye Care Hub is packed full of information about contact lenses and children’s eye health. They also offer a 10% discount for new customers first order, just use the code LOVEFG03.
Help The Headaches
In the early days of getting used to wearing glasses Daisy would often suffer with headaches. We bought some fun character shaped soothing gel packs for her to help relieve the pain. It was also helpful to let her take short breaks from wearing them when she did suffer with headaches.
Make It Cool
If you have a really reluctant wearer you could try the ‘look how cool they are’ tactic. Find some pictures of their favourite characters, celebrities or musicians who wear glasses and point out how cool they look. Kids love to emulate the people they admire, Daisy wanted to wear glasses because a character from her favourite Cbeebies show wears them too.
Another good idea is to give lots of praise and reinforce positive behaviour around wearing glasses. A little reward after sitting nicely through an eye exam or putting the glasses on without being asked is a great way to do this. Kids will think this is cool for sure.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.