When your optometrist prescribes glasses for your child, you may be wondering how on earth you'll get your child to wear them every day. Wearing glasses can take some time to adjust to, and there can be several reasons for a child not wanting to wear them. They may feel self-conscious or think their peers will react negatively to them wearing glasses. Their glasses may also feel uncomfortable, which can be because they are not used to them or because the frames need to be adjusted. You can help your child adjust to wearing glasses and encourage them to wear them consistently using these three tips:
Create Routines Involving The Glasses
Tweak the routines you already have in place for your child, such as their getting ready for school or nursery routine, and make their glasses a prominent feature of the routine rather than an afterthought. For example, have some quality one-on-one time with your child when it's time for them to put their glasses on. It only has to take a few minutes, but stopping what you're doing and sitting with your child for a cuddle or chat will make putting their glasses on something they look forward to, as it means they get some special time with you.
Use A Reward System
Rewarding your child for wearing their glasses for a whole day or whole week can be a huge motivator. They receive praise, feel a sense of achievement and earn a small reward or prize for doing so well. Use a system that's appropriate for their age and let them pick some small rewards they really want. For example, a toddler will enjoy getting shiny stickers on a chart and receiving a book or a small teddy as a reward. A child who has just started school may prefer to cross off the days on a calendar with you and earn art supplies, a backpack or even a certificate.
Allow Your Child To Decorate Their Glasses
Children's glasses come in a wide variety of designs and colours, but even if your child has a pair featuring their favourite cartoon character, they'll still be excited about being able to decorate their glasses. Why not let them pick out several styles and colours of neck straps, which attach to the glasses and prevent the glasses falling to the ground if they are knocked off? Your child may enjoy being able to pick a strap out of their collection each day, and there are also creative people on sites such as Etsy who make bespoke straps. Charms are also available and attach to the legs of the glasses. The charms are similar to children's clip on earrings and come in a variety of designs, including animals, flowers, cars, balls and Lego pieces.
Occasionally, kids need a little extra support to cope with what they perceive to be big changes to their life. If your child is still refusing to wear their glasses after a few weeks of encouragement, consider whether they'd benefit from speaking to a therapist.