How to Get Your Preschooler to Wear Glasses

When your preschooler needs glasses, the fight begins to keep them on. For many parents, that glasses prescription means lots of time spent searching for lost pairs and dealing with stubborn kids. You know your child needs glasses to see well, but how do you get them to keep them on?

Many kids struggle with the transition into glasses. They take them off, complain about wearing them, and lose them often. However, with some simple steps, you can help your kid appreciate their glasses and develop responsible habits.

Build Positive Connotations

To help your child get used to the idea of glasses, start pointing out people who wear them. Help your child notice people on the street, in their family, in books, movies, and TV shows who have glasses. Your child has probably never noticed just how many people wear frames every day.

If you can, ask a friend or relative who wears glasses to talk to your child about them. Have them explain that glasses help them see better and can even complement their wardrobe.

These experiences will help your child see glasses as an everyday part of life.

Let Your Child Pick the Frames

When you go to pick out glasses, give your child some say in which ones you buy. You don’t have to give your kid free rein over the store. Instead, select just three or four frames in your price range and let your child select which ones they like best.

Your preschooler will feel much more excited to wear their glasses if they got to choose them. Frames with fun colours or characters can also help your child feel good about them. However, if you give your kid the option to choose frames with characters on them, make sure they’ll still like those characters in the next year or two.

Assess the Fit and Prescription

If your child doesn’t want to wear glasses and constantly takes them off, have the eye doctor’s office check the frames. Your kid might not want to wear them because they’re too tight, too loose, or uncomfortable. You can also have the doctor double check to make sure they’re the correct prescription.

Establish a Wear Schedule

Glasses prescriptions sometimes require kids to wear them at different times. Some preschoolers need glasses just for reading, or to see the board at school. The easiest way to help your preschooler adjust is with a full-time wear schedule. With full-time wear, they only take off their glasses to sleep and bathe.

However, doctors don’t always recommend full-time wear. If your preschooler only needs glasses part time, establish a routine right away. For example, if your child only needs glasses for reading, make a big deal of putting on their glasses before getting out a book to read.

This helps your child understand when they need to put their glasses on. You can also take this opportunity to teach them how to carefully handle their glasses.

Use Behavior Charts

If your child doesn’t like their glasses and constantly takes them off, start a good behavior chart. Make a calendar for the week and have your kid earn stickers for every day they wear their glasses properly. If they make it through a whole week, reward them with a treat or an outing.

If your child really hates wearing glasses, start with just a day, or even a couple hours. If you can get your child to leave their glasses on long enough, they’ll eventually get used to them and forget they’re even there.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

Even without sticker charts and treats, you can reward your child for good behavior. Tell your preschooler how good they look with their glasses on. Compliment how well they read now that they can see better, or let them watch a favourite TV show and talk about how clearly they can see the screen.

Use positive reinforcement to help your child learn to love glasses.

Come Up with Appropriate Consequences

If you’ve tried everything you can and your child still refuses to wear glasses, come up with consequences for bad behavior. This can also help if your child doesn’t mind wearing glasses, but has a habit of losing them.

Obviously you can’t expect a preschooler to act like an adult. However, age-appropriate discipline can help change your child’s behavior.

For example, if your child doesn’t want to wear their glasses, restrict them from participating in certain activities. If they need glasses to see things far away, restrict things like TV. If they need glasses to see things up close, restrict handheld games and tablets.

If your preschooler keeps losing their glasses, talk to them about how much it costs to buy new ones. Then have them “work” for the replacement pair with age-appropriate chores and tasks.

Your preschooler’s new glasses shouldn’t have to be a battle. Use these tips to keep those glasses on your kid’s face.

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