Eyeglasses are tough to wear at any age but especially tough for a very young child wearing prescription glasses for the first time. These children quickly discover that wearing eyeglasses really puts a damper on the day’s activities. Their new pair of glasses not only pinches around the ears and nose, it makes the world look a little strange and definitely gets in the way of play time.
When our toddler was fitted with eyeglasses to correct her emerging cross eyedness, the novelty of the new eyeglasses wore off after about an hour. I wheedled and begged and even bribed, but nothing would convince our daughter that the eyeglasses needed to stay on her face. She was just too young to understand that her eyeglasses were meant to be worn and not just another toy to be flung around the room. After spending almost a thousand dollars in replacement frames and lenses, I eventually wised up and figured out how to make wearing eyeglasses much more fun for our toddler.
If you are a parent of a young child who is now having to wear corrective eyeglasses, chances are you’re probably experiencing this same problem right now. To encourage your child to wear her eye glasses, one of these tips just may work for you.
Let her choose her own glasses
There are thousands of adorable eyeglasses on the market, but not all of them are right for your child. Instead of letting your child loose in the eye wear section where she’ll end up picking something she can’t have, it’s best for the parent to narrow the choices to those eyeglasses that meet your standards for durability first. Once the field has been narrowed, your child can choose an eyeglass frame that she’ll enjoy wearing. A child is much more inclined to wear her glasses if she’s allowed to pick a favorite.
We discovered that there are two types of eyeglass cases available for children. One variety is the soft sided cases that are decorated with colorful print and cartoon characters. While these cases are totally fun, they aren’t designed to protect glasses that are accidentally dropped or sat upon.
For a case that’s crush proof even when resting in the bottom of a diaper bag, it’s best to stay with a plastic case. These plastic cases tend to be solid in color and rather boring, but can be personalized by your toddler with stickers, dimensional paints, and glitter glue. Personalizing an eyeglass case gives a toddler ownership in wanting to store her glasses safely.
Toddlers can’t always tell us when their glasses hurt, and it’s up to the parents to figure out if a child’s new eyeglasses are uncomfortable. I kept an eye out for red marks around the nose and ears, which was a sign that perhaps the frames were just a little too tight. Eyeglass adjustments are a free service provided by your eye doctor, even if you have to come back several times.
Wear your own glasses as much as possible
In order to encourage my daughter to wear her glasses, I shelved my contact lenses and switched back to wearing prescription glasses. Seeing Mommy wear her classes help reinforced the idea that glasses wear meant to be worn.
Buy plastic glasses for her teddy bears and dolls
Several months after our daughter got her glasses, we found a doll for her that had our daughter’s blue eyes and fair coloring. This doll not only looked like our daughter, but was outfitted with a pair of wire framed glasses. Buying this doll was the solution that solved the whole eyeglass struggle for us. Because our daughter’s new “Annie doll” couldn’t remove HER glasses, our daughter figured out that she needed to keep her eyeglasses on as well, if she and Annie were going to be twins.
Toy stores carry a wide range of affordable dolls that wear eyeglasses. If you can find a doll that looks like your child, great! If not, places like Toys R Us and Build-a-Bear Workshop carry pint sized glasses for bears, stuffed animals, and 18 inch dolls. We purchased a handful of eyeglasses and our daughter had lots of fun outfitting her dolls and teddy bears with their own designer frames.
Keeping eyeglasses on a toddler is an incredible challenge, and takes some extra effort on behalf of the parent. By letting your child choose her own eyeglasses and glass case, purchasing some fun accessories, and outfitting her dolls and bears with glasses, you will discover that in no time at all your toddler will look forward to wearing her glasses instead of flinging them around the room.