To avoid having to wear eyeglasses, children used to suffer through vision problems rather than tell their parents or teachers that they can’t see as well as they did before. Squinting and even acting up in class were some of the tactics children used to avoid the inevitable.
But that was yesterday. Today, children see their classmates, siblings, and friends wearing eyeglasses, so it’s not quite as scary as it used to be. Besides, with so many fun styles, children can stand out with eyeglasses that match their style.
Just in case your child is still concerned about having to wear eyeglasses, here are a few ways you can help calm their fears.
1. Nonchalantly make them see how common it is.
We say “nonchalantly” because you don’t want to make it seem like it’s a bigger deal than it is.
If you see someone on TV or a YouTube video wearing eyeglasses, casually comment about how nicely the eyeglasses match that person’s face. Look up statistics regarding children and eyeglasses, and share them with your child in a fun, conversational manner.
(In fact, let’s give you that approximate answer now. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40 percent of girls ages 6 to 17 and 30 percent of boys in that age group wore eyeglasses or contact lenses in 2016.)
There are so many styles of eyeglasses for children today. Various shapes of lenses and colors of frames can allow the child to choose a pair that he or she likes. Try shopping for eyeglasses with them ahead of time to make it fun. Allow them to try on several pairs, and comment sincerely about how good they look in them.
3. Reinforce the positives.
If your child happens to be worried about the thickness of the lenses or that they might break easily, help them to understand it doesn’t have to be that way. In many cases, high-index lenses are an option to make eyeglasses thin and light, so the child might not even feel them. Also consider talking with them about polycarbonate lenses, plastic lenses that are more impact-resistant than glass or other types of plastic lenses.
4. Wear your own eyeglasses around them.
If you happen to wear contact lenses, try wearing your eyeglasses in front of them instead for a few days. It will help them understand that they are not alone.
5. Be upfront.
Simply tell them that their quality of life will be better. Discuss how they will no longer have to squint to see the front of the classroom and will be able to play games with their friends easier than they did before. Basically, reinforce the idea that wearing eyeglasses and being able to see clearly is better than not wearing them and not being able to do the things they love to do.
“Many children are worried about how they will look in eyeglasses,” said Dr. Annie Mak of Shelby Macomb Vision Associates. “By gently talking with them about the importance of being able to see clearly, they will understand. In just a short amount of time, they will likely become much more comfortable in the eyeglasses.”
If you believe your child is in need of corrective lenses, make an appointment for the child to see Dr. Mak here at the Shelby Macomb Medical Mall.