Like any of our first times, your child’s first pair of glasses can come with the addition of nerves and self-consciousness. Here’s how to prepare your child for their first ever pair of glasses.
There’s a first for everything.
“Your child needs glasses.”
Not the best news to hear from your child’s optometrist, but a necessary one to help your child see clearly.
This could come as a huge shock to your little one who might be the first among his/her peers to don a pair of glasses. It’s a drastic lifestyle change that your child’s just going to have to incorporate into his/her daily routine for the rest of his/her life. Your little one’s head might be spinning with questions and confusion about their appearance, the consequences of this decision, perhaps even anxiety about having to explain to their friends about their new glasses.
Take a deep breath, because here’s how you can help your child come to terms with his/her new everyday friend – glasses.
Taking the plunge.
Before you throw your child into the deep end and get him/her to start wearing glasses daily, be sure to talk and walk them through the entire process that led up to your child’s diagnosis.
1. Ask if they have any questions first
Your child’s definitely going to have a whole list of questions they’re ready to fire away. Gently ask them to voice any concerns they might have about their vision and their new need to wear glasses. After hearing their questions, patiently answer each of them slowly for your little one to understand.
For instance, if your child asks, “are my eyes broken?” you could answer, “no sweetie, your eyes aren’t broken. But the optometrist said you have a condition called ‘myopia’. Now, it simply means you can only see things clearly if they’re near your eyes, but you can’t see things farther away. This can be easily fixed with a pair of glasses, so don’t worry, your eyes aren’t broken!” Explaining the situation rationally and calmly can help ease their worries about their eyes and help them accept the normalcy of the situation.
2. Involve them in the process
Don’t just pick any ol’ pair of glasses for your child to wear, let them customise it and make it their own! Nowadays, optometry shops stock up glasses in all sorts of frames, shapes, and colours, especially for children. Let your child take first dibs on colours, designs, and patterns that attract him/her. Letting them choose their style of glasses makes the whole process of wearing glasses much more fun for them.
3. Compliment their new look
Once your child has chosen a pair to call his/her own, compliment your little one’s new look. Complimenting your child helps to boost his/her confidence in wearing their new pair of glasses. It also helps them feel less self-conscious if they know that their number one supporters are on board with their new look.
4. Teach them how to care for their spectacles and their eyes
Now that they’ve got a pair of spectacles in their hands, they need to know how to take care of them – a little like having a pet, just without the eating and playing part. Prepare all the essential cleaning tools for your child in a compact case and patiently teach your little one how to keep their glasses spick and span. This allows them to take the lead in treating their items with care and instils a sense of responsibility in them too. Give your child time to adapt to his/her new glasses and encourage them to stick to it too.
At the same time, remind your child to continuously practice good eye care habits every day. They may have just gotten a new pair of glasses to help them see clearly, however the journey to healthy vision doesn’t stop there! Remember to remind your child to take care of his/her eyes every day. If your child is reading a book or using his/her phone, be sure to remind him/her to place them at least 30cm away from the eyes. It’s also important for your little one to take an eye break every 30 minutes after reading a book or using his/her phone, so be sure to prompt them to do so to give their eyes a good break.
5. Remind them that you’re always going to be there
Sometimes, new things and experiences can be frightening. It’s the same with your child’s very first pair of glasses. Let them know that you’ll always be there through their journey with glasses – for every optometrist appointment, for every glasses change, for anything really. Their glasses are going to be part of their everyday for a real long time, so let them know you’re there for anything throughout this journey.
Should you want to get your child’s eyes checked at an optometrist, book an appointment at your nearest optometry clinic using plano Eyecheck*. plano Eyecheck has partnered with Nanyang Optical, W Optics, Videre Eyecare and Optic Point to bring eye exams closer to you at an affordable price. For a limited time only, all appointments made using the plano Eyecheck platform will receive a S$50 voucher to cover the cost of the eye check-up. Simply visit planoeyecheck.com and select your nearest optometry clinic using the on-site map to book an appointment.
*Only valid in Singapore