helping kids feel great in their glasses
First Pair Tips
Getting glasses can be challenging for children as they face fears of being different and adjust to a new accessory. However, with the right attitude, this process can become easier for your child, and even empowering.
- As an adult, supporting your child, fostering a positive mindset, and encouraging open dialogue are crucial.
- Empathy from peers and education about vision impairments also create an inclusive environment.
- Encouraging personal style and ownership of their appearance builds confidence.
Glasses are a tool, not a definition! By focusing on strengths and accomplishments, children can embrace their uniqueness and see the world with newfound clarity.
Here are some dos and don'ts for parents looking to support their child as they put on their first pair of glasses.
- Tell your child that you “can’t picture them in glasses.”
- Project your own feelings of dissatisfaction or unhappiness with your child needing glasses.
- Relate any negative memories you might have from wearing glasses as a child.
- Downplay the need for your child to wear their glasses. You and your child will be told when their glasses should be worn. Parents should reinforce the importance of using the glasses.
- Allow siblings (or other friends and family) to talk down about the glasses you and your child select. Comments like “those look bad” or “why did you pick that color/shape/strap” will not help your child feel comfortable with their new glasses.
- Force your child to select frames you like the best. If you want input into the selection of frames, try to make it a joint decision. Remember, it will be their pair of glasses and they must be happy with the choice.
- Encourage your child to help select the frame and color they like.
- Instill a sense of ownership and responsibility. Your child’s glasses will be “just for them” and your child should have a sense of ownership.
- Help your child get used to wearing glasses. If you need to, keep them distracted when they first wear the glasses at home. Sometimes watching TV or a movie can help because they will see the screen better.
- Make getting and wearing glasses a positive experience. Some parents have thrown a “Glasses Party” and some may get a stuffed animal or doll that is wearing glasses. Sometimes, just a little special attention can go a long way to make a young child feel good about their new glasses.
- Remember, the hardest part is often the first day or two. Have patience and don’t get frustrated if your child doesn’t want to wear their new glasses. Over time, they will get used to them. Very often, as children become aware that they can see better with glasses, they will want to wear them. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about how your child is adapting.
- Parents, if you wear glasses, this is the time for you to wear them! Make it a secret “Glasses Club.”
- With children under 18 months, often it is the act of putting the glasses on the first few times that is difficult. Gently enter their room in the morning before they wake up and place the glasses on your child. If they wake up, that’s OK. The glasses are already on, and all they see is you!