We want every child to love wearing glasses, but encouraging them to wear their first pair can be a challenge for parent and child alike.
There are several things you can do before you pick out a pair of frames and when you are at home to help your child look forward to their glasses.
Here are a few tips to help your child want to wear their glasses, even if at first they seem reluctant.
How to get your child to wear glasses - at the opticians
1. It is important that your child’s glasses fit properly
Nobody would be keen to wear a pair of specs that don’t feel good, and this could be a legitimate reason for their objection.
Make sure you choose a good independent opticians who will be able to put plenty of time aside for your child’s appointment.
2. Make it a special day
When it’s time to choose your child’s first glasses, don’t be in a rush. Allow yourself enough time to make the occasion a happy one.
3. Choosing glasses can be exciting!
Frames come in a range of colours, patterns and styles. Let them be involved in the process of choosing their new frames and make it fun!
4. Compliment their new look
Genuinely positive comments boost self-esteem in moments when they are feeling unsure about their new look.
Your child’s first glasses - before they pick up their new frames
1. Use celebrity credibility
Children of all ages love to emulate their favourite stars and characters.
Look for pictures in books, comics and cartoons of their favourite characters, musician or sports person who wear glasses. Create a scrapbook and talk about their glasses before you go to the optician to pick them up.
If they're into superheroes, tell them they now have a new “Superpower”!
Normalise wearing glasses to show your child that lots of people wear spectacles.
2. Keep them fully informed
For older children, explain the benefits of wearing their glasses, what it will do for their eye health and how it will help them in the classroom and at home.
Encouraging your child to wear glasses at home
1. Introduce their frames slowly
Helping kids to adjust to glasses is a gradual process, especially for younger children. Usually, once they realise that they can see much better with glasses they will keep wearing them, but achieving this result may take time!
Choose an activity you can do together every day such as reading books, playing games or watching a movie. If you have glasses, wear them too! Stop the activity if they refuse to wear their glasses. The aim is to associate wearing glasses with enjoyment. Gradually increase the length of time the activity lasts for.
Give your child lots of praise when they put them on without being told. A happy child will be much more willing.
2. Glasses are something to be proud of
Teach your child how to look after their glasses.
Let them choose their own case. There are lots of fun cases available, they don’t have to be boring!
Show them how to put their new frames away carefully before they go to sleep at night and use a cleaning cloth.
My child refuses to wear glasses, what now?
If your son or daughter continues to refuse to wear their glasses, don’t worry. Some kids just don’t want to wear glasses and this process can take weeks or even months.
Most children will get over their reluctance to wear glasses as they get used to the improvement to their vision and the feeling of the frames.
Wait a few weeks before trying again. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to get back in touch with your optician who will be able to offer some more advice.
If you have any questions or concerns about glasses for your child, get in touch with your local optician who are fully trained on examining children's eyes and fitting their frames.