General chatter - My 5 year old needs glasses...

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09-17-2010, 10:01 AM
So, my 5 year old needs glasses. He is having a lot of trouble accepting this (we just found out yesterday). My son cried for an hour after he found out he needed them. He also thinks that no one will like him in school now since he is not normal (no one in his class has glasses) and that his friends will make fun of him. What can I do to help him transition? My husband and I do not wear glasses, so we really have no idea. We told him that it is normal. A lot of people have to wear glasses, we even named people his age that had them (cousins). We also said superman has them and he can be like a superhero. I also told my son that it would make him look really smart and handsome. However, he is still upset about this. Any ideas??? Thank you!!!

09-17-2010, 10:31 AM
Hm - this is a tough one. One of my boys has been wearing glasses since he was about 3 (with an eye patch added in when he was younger) (actually so have I). There are lots of cute styles out there for kids so it shouldn't be as bad as it used to be. Have you considered talking to his teacher for help with his class mates? Can he wear them just in class to see the board/read and then not wear them outside at recess? That would probably help if it is an option. Another option is contacts - a lot of docs don't like to do give them to kids but it certainly eliminates the "different" aspect. Now that there are daily disposable contacts that has removed a lot of the hassle. My son is 19 now and has been wearing contacts since he was 4 but I had to advocate for him to get them. You may also find that once he sees how much better he can see with the glasses he won't mind wearing them so much.
I know all these things are so hard as a parent! It just breaks your heart when they are sad! Hang in there! Sending good thoughts your way!

09-17-2010, 10:55 AM
I had to get glasses when I was 2 and I'm told that I burst into tears when I looked in the mirror and said, "I'm not pretty any more!" So it can be tough to adjust; luckily, he is old enough to be reasoned with a little bit.

Speak with the teacher about his concerns, but honestly--I think that so many kids these days wear glasses that he will find there are others at school who are wearing them. And I second the idea of letting him leave them at his desk for recess (unless he needs them to see), because I was notoriously rough on glasses till I was 10 or 12.

09-17-2010, 11:01 AM
Poor little guy. I started wearing glasses when I was 6. I will never forget walking into my first grade class, and hearing this guy yell out to everyone.."Hey Frances got glasses!!!!" But the teasing only went on for a day, and then kids moved on. You should tell him that Peter Parker wears glasses..and then at night, he takes them off to become Spiderman and fights crime. Or tell him that Cyclopes from Xmen wears his glasses all the time!! And he has cool red lenses too!! Hopefully the kids won't tease him, and if they'll last a day. Or maybe they won't even notice he has them on. Talk to his teacher about it too.

Slim CB
09-17-2010, 11:24 AM
Get him some fashionable glasses so he won't feel so bad. I started wearing glasses when I was 8 and my mother got me these horrific looking spectacles that just made matters worse.

09-17-2010, 11:28 AM
I wouldn't recommend contacts for a 5 year old- they really need to be taken care of and if you don't use the correct ones you can hurt your eyes.

I started wearing glasses when I was about 10- it was tough- but really a lot of kids do have them. I switched over to contacts when I hit middle school- so around 13/14 years old.

I suggest allowing him to pick a pair that he's comfortable with- they do have some neat glasses out there for kids, specially the colorful frames. Whatever you do don't get those hideous frames that insurance covers- seriously my mom did that to me- it was mortifying until I got a nicer pair.

I found this nifty little guide for helping parents pick new glasses with their kids:

Maybe have a little party at home with the family, get a mini cake, make his favorite meal and tell him that if he's worried about being teased he just needs to not let the kids see he cares about the teasing. If he laughs with them but says something back like "hey well now that I have four eyes I'm going to be the SMARTEST kid in the class!" They'll back off- from my experience glass teasing doesn't last more than a day or two.

Also- don't make too big a deal of it- that might make him more subconscious- don't have the teacher talk to the class- but you CAN talk to the teacher and let her know just keep an eye out for your son cuz he's a bit sensitive about the glasses right now.

09-17-2010, 02:09 PM
There are lots of childrens books about getting glasses. I know my little 4 year old family friend is a huge Arthur fan - and there's an Arthur book about when he got his glasses called "Arthurs Eyes". Try a trip to the bookstore to find one of these (on Amazon there are a TON, from a variety of well-known characters, on this topic). It might help.

Thighs Be Gone
09-17-2010, 02:17 PM
My daughter--now 8, got them when she was 6 and in 1st Grade. She was a bit apprehensive but I explained that when your body needs something, it's healthiest and always best to give it to your body--whether it's medications, food, vitamins, water, GLASSES or whatever.

When we got to the eye place there was a SLEW of glasses to choose from. She spent probably an hour selecting two pairs. She is fine with them now and for the record, has never been teased about them.

09-17-2010, 02:52 PM
When my son got glasses at 5 yo, I was SHOCKED by the variety and stylishness of the glasses they have for children these days - nothing like the horrific, huge, ugly things I had to wear. They also have better compressed lenses, so they aren't as heavy and don't look as "weird." My insurance even covers a lot of really nice ones - we've never had to pay extra to get frames we like. My son never had a problem adjusting to them, and I never once heard anyone make fun of him. The first frames he got made him look like Harry Potter, and he loved that. When he started kindergarten, I think he was the only kid in his class who had glasses, and all the kids thought the glasses were cool and I heard many kids tell him they wished they could wear them, too.

09-17-2010, 06:02 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions!!! It has helped me figure out how to transition him. I really really really appreciate all the feedback. I plan on getting that Arthur book, because he loves that guy! I did contact his teacher early this morning to let her know about him getting glasses soon so that she could make adjustments (if he was too far away, move him closer, etc). I am not sure what I would do without you ladies, thank you again!!!

09-17-2010, 06:21 PM
If he is the only kid in his class with glasses, you might even see if the teacher might choose that book or another book about glasses to read to the class. Might do a lot if he starts getting teased (but honestly, I agree - there are so many cool designs out there that any teasing is likely to be short-lived).

09-17-2010, 08:37 PM
Let him pick out the glasses. This will empower him and even if you don't love the frames, it's more important that he does. My daughter started wearing glasses at a young age and her first pair were these hideous bright orange frames. She loved them. Today she is almost 19 and wears thick black frames that she swears make her look terrific. I still don't like her choices, but what do I know. :D

09-22-2010, 09:19 AM
Just wanted to give an update... My son is very excited about getting glasses now. All the suggestions were a lot of help!!!! I just want to say thank you again!!!! :hug::hug::hug: You guys are awesome! :hug::hug::hug: