According to a 2016 survey carried out by the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), 36.2% of girls aged between 6 and 17 years of age, and 29.1% of boys aged between 6 and 17 years of age wear either glasses or contact lenses.
The vast majority of children who require eyeglasses after the age of 6 years old will continue to require optical support for the rest of their lives. So it is important to get them excited by the idea of wearing glasses so that it normalizes the routine.
Tips For Getting Your Child Excited About Glasses?
There is a reason why “kids say the funniest thing” is a quote recognized the world around. Speaking without a filter is a beautifully naive pleasure that leaves us as we get older; but for children, they can not only say the funniest things, but the cruellest of things too. Wearing glasses at school can bring about a loss in confidence in your child, as they can feel different to the majority of their classmates.
Your key role as a parent is to normalize wearing eyeglasses, to create an exciting buzz around being different to the majority, and to build the resilience in your child so that they ignore the less kind comments in the playground.
Helping your child get excited about the notion of wearing glasses isn’t going to be easy and won’t happen overnight, but by using some of our tips, it’ll make it a little easier.
1. Leverage The Power Of Celebrity
Draw up a list of your child's favourite singers, actors, actresses, influencers and even characters in games and if you don’t already know who they are, Google them. The probability is that a few of them will wear eyeglasses. Show your child pictures online or in magazines of the celebrities that they admire wearing glasses, and it’ll help to inspire the confidence in your child that wearing glasses is going to be good for them too.
2. Make The Buying Experience Fun
Going to have your eye test may not be the most exciting thing in the world and for some children they can find it daunting and almost punishing at times. So it is your job as a parent to make the process of an eye exam and the choosing of glasses a fun experience. Let your child try on as many pairs of glasses as they want, try some on with them, pull some funny faces in the mirror. Take some selfies and compliment them on how they look, and to help make choosing eyeglasses a family bonding experience the same as any other shopping trip.
3. Turn Glasses Into A Fashion Accessory
Encourage your child, especially if they are a little older, to think about how the glasses would look with certain outfits and uniforms. Encourage your child to think about which t-shirts and tops would match the color of the frames; or perhaps even the color of accessories and shoes. If you can help your child to see glasses as a part of their fashion choices rather than as something that ‘has’ to be worn, they’ll be more likely to integrate the glasses into their everyday life.
4. Make Sure The Glasses Fit Well
If you think that your kid is only worried about how their glasses look, you are wrong. If your child has never had to wear glasses before, or has had a significant change in prescription, they may be experiencing discomfort at the weight of the glasses on their face, or the fit of the glasses around the temple. You should check that the frames fit nicely around the temple and that the glasses sit comfortably on the bridge of the nose too.
5. Explain The Benefits Of Wearing Glasses
Don’t forget what the purpose of the eyeglasses are, and make sure that your child understands that wearing the glasses is going to help them to see better, and maintain a healthier pair of eyes for the rest of their lives. Glasses will also enable them to read their favorite book or watch their favorite TV show a little clearer and easier.
6. Be Patient And Use Positive Reinforcement
As with pretty much every part of parenthood, patience and positive reinforcement is key. Pile on the praise every time your child remembers to put their glasses on of their own fruition. Keep the compliments coming with how good the glasses look on, and make sure that when your child forgets to wear them or moans about them that you remain patient.