My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet doesn't verify the qualifications of users. If you have medical concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

General health

Glasses - how to get a 2.5 yr old to wear them?

30 replies

merrygoround · 11/08/2004 09:21

Dd (2.5) recently diagnosed with squint. Glasses arrived yesterday and I am panicking about getting her to wear them. She is quite a stubborn child (takes after her father....) and if she takes against something it is almost impossible to get her to change her mind. In this case I know that I have no choice, so nor does she, but can anyone give me ideas / experience to make this easier? She goes to nursery 3 days a week and they are willing to help. All I can think of is tons of bribery and rewards - ie smarties - and maybe telling her she can't go out to play until she has them on, but I don't want to end up with dental and weight problems as well....

I don't want her to pick up my anxiety, and I need to be prepared. The last thing I want is a repeat of my performance when she refused to take her medicine earlier this year and I ended up screaming and crying at her that she had to take it because I knew she was really ill and I felt like I was failing her if I couldn't get it down her.

Any advice would be very gratefully received.

OP posts:
Fio2 · 11/08/2004 09:35

my daughter is awful at wearing her glasses but apparently wears them at school. Does she go to nursery at all? if she is not co-operating at all, maybe let them try?

mummysurfer · 11/08/2004 09:42

depends on how she reacts - some children will love eberyone making a fuss of the new glasses, complementing them, telling them how they look grown-up etc.
other children would prefer people not to mention them.
initially try putting them on in front of the mirror and you saying how good dhe looks. if she wants to take them off hten i'd let her.(i wouldn't say "You have to wear them" cos if she is stubborn that may make her think 'well i'm not going to' in hour take her to the mirror and put them on again, ask her if she'd like to go for a walk in them.
tbh if she wants to take them off then i'd let her and just gradually build up.she hasn't worn them for 2 and a half years so if it takes a month or so to get used to them then so be it.

the most important part i'd say is not communincating your anxiety.

you never know your worries may be unfounded and she may love them! good luck

Tinker · 11/08/2004 10:47

She may find that she likes them since she can simply see better with them. My daughter was a little resistant to them but now panics if she can't find them first thing in the morning. She's actually self-conscious without them because of her squint. Her eyesight is bad though so the difference the glasses make must be enormous.

But, yes, lots of compliments. Sensitive adults tend to do this anyway because kids just look so damn cute in glasses

merrygoround · 11/08/2004 11:44

Thanks for the advice. It is interesting what you said mummysurfer about some children liking a fuss and others prefering none - I think dd may be a bit uncomfortable with fuss that is too over the top so I'll try to make it a bit lower key. I might have over compensated for my anxiety by being a bit heavy handed with the compliments.

Tinker I'm not sure how much difference the glasses make to her ability to see. They seem incredibly strong, but she has always been able to see things quite well - the doctor explained that she simply has to work much harder than a "normal" person to focus. I guess she's got used to doing that. I hope that she does eventually find them an aid, so that she positively wants to wear them. but that will take time I suppose.

I will ask the nursery manager to brief all the staff individually so that nobody else says loudly in front of dd, when hearing that dd will be wearing glasses, "Oh NO!".

I feel a bit of pressure because the doctor wants her back in a month after she has worn them full time for three weeks to start the patching. That seems like a tall order. The doctor did say not to force her, but that seems contradictory.

Thanks again

OP posts:
Tinker · 11/08/2004 11:51

merrygoround - she may have simply adapted to seeing so far hence seems to be able to see well atm. My daughter didn't have squint until she got the glasses, that have simply started to correct her vision. She only squints without them. My little girls's are strong and it made me realise how much she simply couldn't really see until she got them. At least she's got them before she starts school.

Think nursery staff are pretty good at weeding out nefgative comments. I bet soon she won't be the only one with glasses either. They are a lot more common than when I was a child I think

lou33 · 11/08/2004 12:54

Ds2 is 3 1/2 and been wearing them since he was a year old. We have ear curls on the arms, which made them a bit harder to take off (though he can do it now) when he was younger. I was lucky I suppose in that after a few attempts at grizzling about it, he just gt used to me putting them back on, so he wears them pretty much the whole time now. It's just perseverence really> I don't know if I would go downt eh bribery route, as it is not for a shorta mount of time, and your dd could start demanding treats to waer them, then you have a whole other issue to deal with. Just tell her how great she loks in them, keep boosting her confidence, and maybe point out a few other people wearing them too. Good luck

lou33 · 11/08/2004 12:56

Forgot to say ds started wearing them for a squint too, and we did patching, then op. He wears his glasses full time.

SofiaAmes · 11/08/2004 13:51

Our ds (3.5) started wearing glasses a few months ago. We didn't have any trouble with him, but did make a big deal about how lucky he was to get glasses and how NO ONE else, even M**k (his playmate) was allowed to have them. We were carefull not to position them as a bad thing, so did not introduce bribery at all, as that implies that we are trying to get him to do something that he might otherwise not want to do. We acted like they were a special treat that only he was allowed to have. Won't work on every child, but it did quite well for him.

merrygoround · 11/08/2004 16:25

Thanks for the further comments. I am going to rethink my ideas on bribery / rewards as a result. I am realising that I will simply have to perservere, but can't help dreading it. The more I think about it the more I can see that I MUST keep my cool, and be as matter of fact as possible, while of course giving her a lot of positive reinforcement. I've been a bit vague and inconsistent about rewards up till now - I've made half hearted attempts at sticker charts, and she tends to get smarties at the end of the day for no particular reason except it became a habit that began when she was toilet trained. I can see that going further down that road could lead to a lot of trouble. Hmmm, a bit of a challenge for me to parent without resorting to treats for "good" behaviour.

OP posts:
frogs · 11/08/2004 16:40

FWIW, I think it's best to be completely neutral and matter-of-fact about it. Dh and I both wear glasses, which helped, but we didn't make a big thing of it. Dd1 (then 4) found she could see much better with glasses, which helped -- but then that effect got cancelled out by the patching on the good eye, leaving her with very little vision initially.

Your dd is younger, so your issues will be different, but you need to be clear in your own mind that she needs to wear them, it may not be nice but it's essential and that is that. That way you can try to distance yourself from the child's emotions, and be more objective about it. I used to tell myself that it was the same as if she needed (say) insulin injections -- of course the child would resist, but you'd just get on with it.

On a practical note, the patches come with packs of stickers in, which help a bit.

Tinker · 11/08/2004 16:43

Word or warning - be careful about removing the patches. My daughter ended up eyebrowless for a year, effectively waxed her eyebrows off . You can get a material patch that you slip over the lens

scaltygirl · 11/08/2004 19:27

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

merrygoround · 12/08/2004 00:18

Today is the day. I am not being negative, I just can forsee it being very difficult, knowing dd's personality. Am still finding it hard to form a plan - do I start after or before breakfast? Do I say she can't have her breakfast without them on? I just don't believe that I can talk her into wearing them by saying how nice she looks, so in my mind am going through much more drastic approaches. But I can't refuse her breakfast because she isn't wearing her glasses! This feels ridiculous. I am beginning to suspect that I have managed to get her to cooperate with all sorts of things by using a system of reward and withholding, instead of finding ways of reasoning with her. But then the thought of reasonsing with a wonderfully willful toddler makes me laugh - I spent hours trying to convince her to wear short sleeved tops in the height of the summer, all to no avail as she simply insisted on long sleeves. I don't object to her being willfull, but it leaves me a bit stumped for techniques to win her round. I have her to myself for the next two days so that will help.

Sorry to appear negative, I am feeling a bit of a failure in advance I think. I have always been quite good at reasoning with people and creating good arguments for doing or not doing things, and am finding it immensely frstrating not to know how to do it with my own daughter. I'm going to keep it calm though, and keep trying different approaches and see if I hit on something that works, even if takes till the end of the weekend - and if not by then, nursery can try on Monday.

OP posts:
Tessiebear · 12/08/2004 09:44

Dont expect too much at once - aim for just 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the afternoon and reward her with a favourite game or story that you will play/read only when she has them on. If she thinks you will do good things when she has them on it will encourage her. Suggest a trip to the park if she wears her glasses the whole time. You will only need to bribe/reward for a couple of weeks until she is used to wearing them

merrygoround · 12/08/2004 14:40

Dd is fast asleep and I feel shattered! It's gone better than I expected, she has worn them for two continuous periods of 45 minutes and another of 30 minutes this morning. The key seems to be keeping her so busy that she forgets she is wearing them. It has certainly made me work a lot harder at entertaining her than I usually do - in fact it's been rather nice doing a lot together.

I'm not fussing when she wants to take them off, but trying to persuade her to put them back on again after a break, as I feel she needs to know that these glasses are not for part time wear. I am searching all the time for other children wearing glasses to point out to her, and that is definitely helpful.

What I didn't expect was how sad I felt for the first couple of hours to see them on her face. I feel bad for admitting it, especially as I thought I was totally cool about the idea, and when I compare something so minor and "acceptable" as wearing glasses with what some people have to endure. It was just that with her glasses on I felt I was looking at a different child, so I guess I have to get used to it too. Dd has always been very physically active, and part of me is worried that glasses will hold her back in terms of jumping around type stuff, and/or make her more shy. I know I am being ridiculous but am I alone in having these feelings?

OP posts:
Tinker · 12/08/2004 14:56

Know exactly how you feel about looking at another child, it does change their face, you feel you've had your baby stolen from you. It's not stopped mine from being active though.

Tessiebear · 12/08/2004 15:14

My DS (Age 6) has worn glasses since age 2 and they now seem like "part of him" IYKWIM. They have never held him back in terms of physical activity (or anything else) He does gymnastics,football ,tennis ,running ,rounders, cricket, cycling, fighting with brother - all with glasses on and Swimming (glasses off)

merrygoround · 12/08/2004 20:43

Thanks Tinker and Tessiebear for those reassurances. It's the end of the first day and it's gone OK. I suppose tomorrow and the days after might be harder as the reality sets in for dd that this is for (at the least) a long time, but at least it has made me feel closer to her simply because I've put so much extra effort into doing things with her.

OP posts:
marialuisa · 13/08/2004 11:52

Merrygoround-18 months from DD getting her first pair of glasses we now find it weird to see her without them! They've become a part o f her very quickly. She takes part in all the normal activities that 3 year olds do. The only problem area is swimming (she can't see the other side of the pool!) but TBH it bothers me more than her, she'll just paddle around in a circle untilshe can see something to head towards.

We were very lucky and have had no problems with getting her to accept glasses, and most people's reactions have been along the "how cute" line. Even more fortunately there are a lot of kids in her nursery class with galsses and/or patches she even has a bespectacled boyfriend.

If your DD responds well to such things, have you tried hunting out "Topsy and tim go to the Opticians" or "Golden Girl's Glasses" on ebay?

Goldfish · 13/08/2004 20:01

my ds wore glasses from the his 2nd birthday as he also had a squint. I was dreading him getting them but didn't show it. I remember he was drawing a picture and I quickly put his glasses on and I said to him Oh look you can see better now and he has worn them all day every day since then. He is now nearly 11. They have never stopped him doing anything, though when he was younger he was constantly breaking them! He had to wear a patch for 4 hours a day wheb he was 3 which we usually done while he was at home, after nursery or whatever. He is only now starting to be conscious of them, I think other children make more remarks as they get older and on Wednesday he has an appointment as he has been told he can now wear contact lenses if he is sensible enough, so i am really hoping all goes well as he is really excited about it. Merrygoround both you and your daughter will get used to them on time and when she goes to school you will find more and more of her friends will wear them. My sisters ds was so jealous of my ds glasses at one point he begged his mum to get his eyes tested as he so wanted to have glasses!

merrygoround · 13/08/2004 20:44

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who has taken the time to post. I feel so much better for reading all your comments. I think the first two days have gone really well, and that is mostly because I have felt better prepared as a result of this site.

Dd likes Topsy and Tim books - we have two - so I am really pleased to hear that there is one where they visit the optician. I'm going to see if I can get it tomorrow.

Dd has thrown a fair few wobblers today and yesterday, and is venting a lot of anger by hitting me -which she has only done on rare occasions before- and I am sure that is her mixed feelings about the glasses. She was in our neighbours' house yesterday and her little friend's dad commented on them. She apparently said "I have a poorly eye and wear glasses to make it better" - so she knows WHY she is wearing them, but obviously that doesn't make it much easier. It is still a big adjustment but I feel reassured now that it won't be a huge long time before she just gets used to them.

OP posts:
hmb · 13/08/2004 20:59

I know that it isn't the same sort of situation, as you have said that your dd has reasonable vision without the glasses but I still remember, with great joy, the day I first got my glasses. I stepped out of the shop and was astonised to see the world. It was the most amazing moment! Goodness knows how astonishing it must be to see for the first time, but for me seeing with clarity was amazing enough. Up to that point I didn't realise that you were suppoed to be able to see the leaves on a tree or the stars in the sky. An amazing day.

merrygoround · 13/08/2004 21:27

hmb that is interesting. I am a non glasses wearer who has always had good vision so have no real idea of what it must feel like. In fact I spend a lot of time worrying that the glasses must feel uncomfortable. As you mention, dd has always had the ability to see all sorts of things, so the glasses can't have that magical quality. Today in the supermarket in fact she was drawing my attention to something and actually raised her glasses up over eyes as if to say she could see it better that way. I was a bit worried by that, but am confident that her prescription is correct as it was done by a very experienced doctor. And surely she could not have run around playing full pelt with them on for 45 minutes if they weren't right.

Tonight I made a little ritual of putting her glasses "to bed" in the bright pink crocodile case she chose, and covering them with the cleaning cloths like blankets. I said, for her to copy, "night night glasses, see you in the morning" - in the hope that she might develop a fondness for them, and also as a way of telling her that they will still be there tomorrow!

OP posts:
hmb · 13/08/2004 21:32

to be fair I did switch to contact lenses when I was a teenager (and my vision is much better wit them). But those first glasses were magic! Actualy they were horrid as we are talking about the 60s But to me they were an amazing gift.

I think that it is easier to 'adjust' to your child needing glasses if you wear them yourself. My dd now has to wear them full time. Some of my friends commented (to me, not dd) that this was a shame and I honesly couldn't see the probelm. And neither does dd.

I am sure that your dd will grow to see putting them on as just part of getting dressed. Putting mine on is the first thing that I do each day, so that I can find my contacts!

Hope that things go well.

merrygoround · 14/08/2004 20:20

It's the end of the third day of glasses wearing, and dd has notched up quite a large number of hours of wearing them. However, she has not been particularly willing, and I find it quite tiring. I know that each time I ask her to put them on / back on there will be a scene varying from half hearted refusal to actively trying to throw the glasses in my face or hide them (for good!). But a lot depends on the time of day (eg if she is a bit tired) and also who she is with. I've had more success when I take her out of another child's company and have a quiet word with her alone.

The strange process of getting used to her face with them on is happening - this morning I was actually looking forward to seeing them on her. But I am still anxious about how other children will react to her, and whether she is likely to become very self-conscious. The two children she has played with this weekend seem quite fascinated with them when they are off her face, and not very interested at all when she has them on. I think a lot of my feelings are my own childhood ones that I am transferring on to dd, so I will try to work on that.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.