Wearing eyeglasses can be a new experience for a child that can encompass excitement or dread. Children wearing glasses can also provide an extra burden of worry for parents. Not only are there the cost factor but parents also have to worry if their child will wear them as directed or if they will get teased by other children. Glasses can make a difference especially if a child is struggling at school. My middle child was having difficulties in school which turned into an outward low morale and resistance to even attending each day. It became more evident that there was something amiss aside from apathy towards learning. As I started noticing complaints of not being able to see regular print or constant rubbing of her eyes, I knew it was time for an eye appointment.
Low and behold, the doctor prescribed eyeglasses which were a relief to understand that it might be her vision that affected her struggles at school. The additional diagnosis of a congenital optic pit was unexpected but manageable. Optic pits can later lead to serious detachments of the retina and will require routine monitoring and possible follow up procedures. The wonderful thing about her age was she was excited about wearing glasses which took a general burden off my worry. I found ways to help encourage the excitement:
• I was prepared to give her the pep speeches and the roll call list of all the well-known and cool people who wear glasses to include myself. Providing positive reinforcements and attitude is a great way to ensure compliance with proper eyeglass directions. When a child can relate the good relative to wearing glasses, it might make the difference in tucking them away in their bag or in their desk versus wearing them.
• Another opportunity to offer encouragement is through fun ways of wearing their glasses. One of the first things I did was to purchase a fun frame. She chose a frame that was ideal for girls and having her pick what she wanted also ensured she was choosing something uniquely hers. My next step was to purchase these great eyewear charm huggers called Ficklets. Ficklets are interchangeable little charms that slip on to the eyeglasses with ease and are available in many shapes and themes. She loved having a little of her personality shining through on glasses that were one of a kind. Her friends were excited to see the Ficklets which brought greater confidence to her. Once we developed the personalization strategy, she was off to conquer the world.
• Our next step was to develop the importance of responsibility which included proper care and maintenance, storage for her glasses during sleep or bathing and how to properly wear them. At first, it’s best to ease them into wearing their glasses to avoid headaches or other discomfort. We had her eye appointment on a Friday which provided an entire weekend for her to acclimate to the new glasses. Having her own eyeglass kit of cleaning products also allowed her a sense of independence and responsibility which she thrived. She still struggles with proper placement on her face and will have the eyeglasses sit a little crooked as she forgets to put them directly over her ears rather over her hair.
Since her glasses, she has excelled in school, is very confident and to date, no one teases her about her glasses. The little bit of personality makes her stand out among her peers. Confidence is essential in helping to ensure children wear their glasses as prescribed. It may not stop teasing by others but by allowing them to like their glasses, it might offset the negativity.
Judy is the mother of three children and one grandchild. Two of her young children have chronic medical conditions and she uses her blogs to help bring awareness to each condition as well as to her daughter’s non-profit for epilepsy. Link: Health Beauty Children and Family and Angles 4 Epilepsy