Even Superman Wears Them: Helping Your Child Adjust to Glasses
Here are a few things that I learned and seemed to help my son adjust to new glasses:
- Address any concerns that the child may have, no concern or question is silly and all are important to the child's well-being.
- Involve them in picking out the frames, choosing their favorite colour while being practical about weight, helps them to regain control of a situation they don't have control of.
- Point out people in their lives whom they respect and admire that wear glasses, my son has an Aunt and Uncle who both wear glasses and most importantly we pointed out that Superman himself needs glasses.
- Don't make wearing the glasses a big deal, if they forget to put them on, or if they've taken them off, simply have them put them back on. If you nag and lecture, it creates a negative reaction surrounding the entire process. In fact, their vision is improved when they wear their glasses and you may notice that they will start putting them on without having to be asked because they can see!
- Teach them to respect their glasses and never to allow another child to hold or try them on. They are likely the most expensive thing your child will be wearing on a daily basis.
- As in my son's case, when dealing with younger children, be there to support them when they first see their friend's with their new glasses. Make it exciting and positive. My son's teacher was awesome, saying, "Wow class, check out his COOL glasses!" Friends and family have been supportive as well always commenting on how handsome he is.
- Be there for your child if someone does say something hurtful or that causes them to feel embarrassed about wearing them. Shrugging off teasing can cause a communication break down and your child may not feel comfortable sharing their feelings with you in the future.
- Watch your own language and behavior about the subject! Learning there was something wrong with my son's vision had me riddled with guilt, sadness and anxiety. I had to deal with my own feelings appropriately and project a positive outlook on the situation if I wanted him to feel secure about it.
Since my son has had his glasses he's adjusted quite well with friends and family being nothing but supportive. What's more, his vision is improving and there is hope that by the time he reaches puberty he may not need to wear glasses (motivation we use to keep on top of wearing them).
I hope my story has given some insight into what it's like dealing with vision problems and how to help your child adjust, keeping their self-confidence in tact. After all, even Superman wears glasses!
For more information about when you should have your child's eyes examined please visit All About Vision, a great site covering all things vision! Eye exams for children are FREE almost everywhere in Canada and many vision problems can be improved if not corrected entirely if caught early enough!