For children who need prescription glasses, putting those new frames on for the first time can feel like they’re seeing the world in a whole new way (no pun intended!). That said, adjusting to wearing and maintaining those glasses can be a challenge, particularly for younger patients. If you’re a parent or guardian with a child who has just gotten their first pair of glasses, here are a few tips to help make that transition just a tad smoother.
Engage your child in the process
It may be tempting to choose your child’s first frames on your own, especially when you see how cute they can look with that first pair on! However, your child may not like what you choose for them, and this can make adjusting to the glasses more difficult. Do your best to include your child in the process of picking out what style feels right for them. If they feel like they have a say in the matter, they’ll be more likely to want to wear those frames on a regular basis.
Be sure that the glasses fit properly and are comfortable
Ask your child about any discomfort they may feel after getting their glasses and watch for any signs that they don’t fit correctly. Consider investing in a strap or ear grips if the glasses seem to prefer slipping down your child’s nose rather than staying where they’re supposed to. This will help keep the glasses in place so that they can function correctly and be more comfortable
Make proper maintenance a part of their daily routine
Forming good habits is essential to keeping your child’s glasses well maintained in the long run. Try teaching them proper cleaning techniques and reminding them to practice after brushing their teeth or before getting ready for bed. Pretty soon you may find you won’t need to remind them anymore, and those glasses will last longer!
Show them that glasses are common in the world around them
Some kids may feel insecure about wearing glasses at first, so it is important to show them that glasses are being worn all over! If there’s a public figure, celebrity, or superhero your child looks up to, see if you can find any images of them wearing glasses. Over 60% of people wear glasses or contact lenses, so odds are you’ll find some examples to help your child feel less alienated.
Take breaks at home while their eyes adjust
For the first week or so after getting a new prescription, it’s common for there to be some slight discomfort and soreness as eyes get used to a new way of seeing the world. For kids, this means taking breaks will be important to give their eyes time to rest and recuperate. Things should get better after around a month, and if they don’t you should talk to your doctor about how to address any lingering effects or try a different prescription.
Stay encouraging and positive throughout the process
Change can be tough for children, but it is essential that you remain excited and encouraging throughout this process. Try positive reinforcement such as offering small rewards when you notice them acting responsibly with their glasses. Even just reminding them that you’re proud of how the glasses are being maintained can motivate better habits and make adjusting easier.
Listen to any concerns and work through them together
It’s imperative that you ensure your child feels seen and heard if something about their glasses is troubling them. Sometimes their concerns will be serious, sometimes not, but either way, you should let them know you care about any issues that may arise. Make this process as much of a team effort as you can.
Answer any questions as best you can
Kids ask a lot of questions! Be prepared for them to ask you everything from “what exactly do glasses do” to “who invented them in the first place” to “why do I even have to wear these things” ! You may not have all the answers and that’s okay! Do the best you can and if you need to consult ye olde Google every now and then, who’s looking?
Remind them of how much their glasses are helping them see the world
Children can forget the positives and focus solely on the negatives sometimes, especially when it comes to change. Explaining how much their glasses are helping them perceive the world around them may be an important aspect to keeping spirits high.
Keep it fun!
At the end of the day, kids love to have fun. If you can tie glasses-wearing into an engaging game or light-hearted competition, your child will be motivated to take proper care of their glasses and form lasting habits that you’ll be grateful for in the long run.
If you suspect your child may need glasses, we can ensure they have a beautiful window to the world. Reach out to Dr. Salisbury to schedule an appointment at https://salisburyvisio.wpengine.com/contact/