If kids had mid-life crises, getting glasses would be one of them. To them, getting glasses is a huge life-altering change that comes with many mixed emotions. It's a scary event for young kids and teenagers alike.
"What will my friends think? Do I look nerdy? Are people going to make fun of me?" These are all legitimate thoughts a child has as they grudgingly give in to improved vision.
Here are nine ways to ease the transition and help your child feel like a boss about getting glasses:
1. Give them examples of other "cool" people who wear glasses
Kids idolize certain movie stars, singers, professional athletes and cartoon characters, among others. A perfect way to boost their self-esteem is to compare their new look to some of their heroes'. Find examples specific to your child and whom they like. Arthur, Taylor Swift, Harry Potter, Spiderman, Spongebob, Superman and Cyclops are all great options.
Older siblings and your kids' friends who wear glasses can also do the trick.
2. Let them pick the color and frames of their glasses
Your child will feel way more confident about wearing glasses if you let them choose the color and style. They'll feel in control and happy that you trust them enough to make this decision. Of course, you may have to help steer them in a certain direction, but give them as much freedom as possible.
I remember my first pair of glasses as a kid. I was in fifth grade and chose ones that said Nintendo on the side of the frames. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.
3. Tell them all the things they'll be even better at now that they have glasses
Kids won't see any upside to their new face decor unless you help them see the benefits. Tell them all the things they'll be even better at now that they can see better. For example, being a faster reader, better at sports or a safer driver. They also will most likely be excited to hear that they don't always have to sit in the front of the classroom anymore.
4. Compliment them all the time about how good their glasses look
Kids need positive affirmations from those they love and trust. Shower them with compliments about how their new glasses make them look beautiful or handsome. Most kids also like to hear that they look more grown up; and getting glasses is a perfect opportunity to tell them this.
5. Have a "getting glasses" party
This is a fun idea that works well with younger children. You can make a big deal about them getting glasses by throwing them a "getting glasses" party. Invite all of their friends and be as creative as you want. The goal is to help your child feel excited about this new change in their life.
You can buy an assortment of colorful fun glasses that everyone can wear during the party, or play pin the glasses on (your child's name), similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey. It works by having a big picture of their face taped up and taking turns trying to stick paper glasses on it while blindfolded.
6. Give them a cool pair of sunglasses to go with their glasses
Wearing glasses doesn't seem so bad when it comes with a rad pair of sunglasses. You can find all kinds of kids' sunglasses in every color and with many characters on them. Let them wear these while in the car or around the house. This will help make wearing regular glasses a much more normal part of their everyday life.
7. Let them decorate their case
Kids leave things lying around everywhere, and glasses aren't going to be any different. A case can be your best friend as a parent. It will save you lots of trips to the store to get the frames straightened.
And if you have young kids with glasses, you can let them decorate their own case with stickers and markers. Again, this helps give them more control and helps them feel excited. You could even give them their case as part of their "getting glasses" party.
8. Explain how glasses help protect their eyes
Teach your kids that glasses are like a shield for their eyes. Help them realize that glasses will help keep dirt and other things from getting in their eyes.
Many lenses can also help protect against the negative effects of staring at computer and mobile screens — which kids often do.
9. Wear your glasses with them
Break out your old spectacles and take a break from your contacts during your child's first few days of wearing glasses. This will show them that you care and want to be like them. It's even OK to be sneaky and put your contacts in after you drop them off at school, before heading to work.
Do these things and you'll be sure to save the day while helping to avert any mid-childhood crises!