As a young girl I remember that saying, “four eyes are better than two”. I knew that I needed those extra pair of eyes when I was able to read contact lens prescription after having worn them for the first time. My sister wore glasses and I looked up to my sister as all little sisters do. When she would shower, I remember sneaking to put them on and actually seeing better with them. When my mom took me for my exam I was right, my eyes were weak and I needed glasses to see better.
Observing my son came naturally to me just a few months ago when we were sitting down to read. I remember looking over at him and he was squinting, he was sitting closer to the television, during our dinner conversation he would tell me that it was a bit difficult for him to see the SMART board or the regular board at school. I also expressed my concerns with his teachers and they were able to observe him at school. It came as no surprise when the Pediatric Optometrist announced he needed glasses. I was a bit nervous for him wearing the glasses as well as how children would treat him. Here are a few tips that helped me:
Observing your child at home
Take time to sit with your child and see if you see him straining his eyes. Ask your child if his eyes are feeling different or if his head is hurting him. Many children begin to sit closer to the television if they are nearsighted. Also, send a note to your child’s teacher asking if they observe your child sitting closer to the board or complaining that he cannot see. Have the teacher document the observations so this can be a topic of discussion at the appointment.
Choosing a Pediatric Optometrist
As I was looking for an Optometrist I remember my husband asking me why was I searching for a “Pediatric Optometrist” why not a regular Optometrist? Pediatric Optometrists know how to deal with children and they have the patience that is required for a child this young to have their eyes tested. Many Pediatric Optometrists also schedule their appointments with younger children in mind. Children cannot sit for long periods of time for an appointment, so the schedules are on time and there is less “wait time”.
Choosing kid- friendly glasses
Children can be very careless, especially at school. I decided to go with the X Games Eyewear. These frames are Flexon- they fall right back into shape after accidental twisting, bending or crushing that may take place with children. Purchasing two pairs is always the way to go. It is always much safer to have a pair at home and one especially for school, just in case. Allowing him to choose both pairs also gave him that sense of ownership and choice of what he wanted and what made him comfortable. I also have my son rest his eyes when he arrives home from school, and remove his glasses to take a break.
My son has transitioned nicely into wearing his glasses. We spoke a lot and I explained how I really loved wearing my own glasses, and the importance of them helping me become a better reader and writer. Thankfully, there were a few other children in his classroom who wore glasses as well. He played with them in gym, outside and we have not used the second pair, our emergency pair as of yet. He loves them and seems very confident wearing them, which I was concerned about. I believe us talking about the importance of them really helped and the fact that he was a part of it all. As parents, it is important for our children to make these choices and decisions that will impact them and how they feel.
Does your child wear glasses and if so, how did you and your child handle this new change?