57 answers

Appropriate Punishment - 5 Year Old Lost Glasses

My daughter (who just turned 5) started wearing glasses at the end of March. I made it very clear to her that whenever she is not wearing the glasses they must go into the case on her bathroom counter away from her younger sister. On top of that rule we also made it a rule that she only wears them when she is at preschool. She takes them off when she gets home and puts them directly in her case. Tonight she came to me and told me that her glasses case was empty and she couldn't fine her glasses. She did not have preschool today so she didn't wear them today. She came home with them yesterday because she went home and put them in the case. We have scoured the house for them. Checked every thing in all the rooms. The only room we haven't checked is her sister's room because she was already asleep at the time we were looking. I will check with the preschool tomorrow just to make sure they aren't there. We have already told her that if the glasses aren't there she will have to look around the house until they are found and that she will get no desserts until so. I want to impose how serious this offense is and to make her understand. Should I take a favorite toy away? What should I do? And if the glasses never show up how long does the punishment last?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I appreciate all the advice and comments everyone has made and I have taken them to heart. Per her Doctor's recommendations she only wears them at Preschool because she is far sighted and her vision is still changing a lot. A lot of you also wanted to know if I wear glasses. I do and I have since I was 3 years old due to some serious vision problems - I can be considered legally blind without corrective lenses. After speaking with my Dad (I called him to get suggestions on how they kept up with me wearing glasses I found out that I never really had a problem losing them - only wearing them at school - I preferred not too) I do disagree in part that there should not be any punishment whatsoever. I think a small punishment will help her to learn accountability even if she doesn't understand it fully at this age. I think that there should be something to reiterate the importance of keeping up with the glasses but we will change our routine so that the glasses stay in a different place and I have majority control over them. What I said to her was said in a moment of frustration - I hope everyone can sympathize with that. I will definitely edt the punishment. I do plan on sitting down with her and calmly explaining my feelings with her over losing her glasses and apologizing to her to help her understand. We tried to retrace her steps yesterday and today without much luck. It didn't work out real well. Her sister is 2 and can't reach the countertop where the glasses are kept but they do place dressup a lot and share a lot and I'm afraid that is what may have happened to them. I will edit tomorrow after we have checked her other room and preschool to follow up on the search.

Featured Answers

You know what, we all lose things. I've lost glasses! In fact, that's the reason I'm not wearing them right now. You should commend her for being honest with you, and coming to you and expressing they were gone. I'm not a softie, at all...but I think it's kind of ridiculous to punish for this. What if you were scolded every time you lost something? It would feel pretty silly, right...

17 moms found this helpful

I am confused why she doesn't wear her glasses at home. If she needs to wear them all day at pre-school doesn't that mean she needs to wear them no matter where she is?

And losing glasses is not punishable, at least not at that age. My son has worn glasses for 16 years. When he was younger it was my responsibility to keep track of them because I am the parent. Now that he is in high school it is his responsibility to keep track of them, but honestly I doubt we would punish him if he lost them. He's never lost his glasses, but has severely damaged the them to the point they had to be replaced. We never punished for that because it is part of wearing glasses.

Explain to her that if she takes them off she needs to give them to you or put them in the exact same place every time. Sixteen years later and my son still puts his glasses in the same spot every night. Make it a habit, part of the routine, and they are much less likely to get lost.

14 moms found this helpful

"She came home with them yesterday because she went home and put them in the case."

If she put them in the case, and now they're gone... WHY should she be punished for doing as she was told? WHY would she be punished for her younger sister stealing her glasses?


- Younger sister wants them (or you wouldn't put them where you think she can't reach)

- Older sister put glasses where they belong

- Glasses disappear (and neither you nor Hubby nor older sister moved them)

= Younger sister got creative and got the sparkly glasses she's been coveting

2 year olds DO climb. They DO drag chairs/boxes/toys/balled up laundry/etc to where they want to reach and stand on them. And they DO take their step-up away with them (or adults snag the step-up without realizing that's what the pile of towels/ princess castle/ daddy's shoes/ etc were.

13 moms found this helpful

More Answers

She's five. She's not a teenager. Glasses are HARD. You have to just understand that she doesn't have the mental development to get this right all the time.

You can be mad all you want, but punishing her isn't going to make her brain develop any faster.

It is YOUR job to check with her every single day, in the morning and when she gets home from school. She is too young to do this by herself.


20 moms found this helpful

First, if she has eyesight problems, then why is she only allowed to wear her glasses at preschool? She should be wearing them all the time lest her eyes weaken and she gets headaches.

Also, she is 5. Punishment over something like this is pretty odd. This was an accident. To punish harshly is a jab at her self worth and she will feel it, especially if you continue this emotion controlled method of punishment, she probably already feels bad about it. Also, she was truthful, that should be encouraged. Punishing for an honest mistake in which she was being truthful will likely backfire.

She is a preschooler in charge of glasses, a medical need. Would she also be in charge of taking a daily medication if she had one? I think it is more the mother's responsibility to make sure she is keeping up with them and keeping them in a safe place. She is learning responsibility. Give her tasks to build an allowance to help pay for another pair.

Maybe you should punish yourself for your neglect of the issue and get rid of your favorite toy and no desserts either?

Hell, I'm 30 years old and I lose my glasses all the time. (I'm really not trying to be rude, really, I've just had a very, very long day :)

17 moms found this helpful

You know what, we all lose things. I've lost glasses! In fact, that's the reason I'm not wearing them right now. You should commend her for being honest with you, and coming to you and expressing they were gone. I'm not a softie, at all...but I think it's kind of ridiculous to punish for this. What if you were scolded every time you lost something? It would feel pretty silly, right...

17 moms found this helpful

Do you wear glasses??? IF she needs glasses she should be wearing them...all the time...I wear glasses, if I don't wear them I get head aches. She sounds super responsible for coming to you and saying they were lost...she is 5...you should be helping her daily with checking to make sure they go where they need to...I agree teaching children to be responsible is important and yes glasses are expensive...but you dropped the ball. I would not punish her at all, just talk to her about the importance of taking care of the glasses and to be more careful next time. Heck...I am an adult and I misplace my glasses from time to time.

17 moms found this helpful

Um... my initial reaction to this isn't a good one.

Don't punish a child for misplacing something unintentionally.
Display some compassion. Let her know she's not alone in
this situation, and that you, as her mother, are going to help
her figure out where they got off to. Do you want her to hide
things from you in the future, or do you want her to trust that
mistakes will be handled compassionately, and that she can
rely on you to help her out?

I hope her glass show up and she's not being punished any
longer as soon as humanly possible.

I would suggest you check the younger child's room. Just in
case. It would be a sad shame if the glasses turned up hidden
in that room and the older daughter had gone punished for days
for something she didn't do.

Best wishes-

16 moms found this helpful

She should not be punished for this. Blame and be upset with yourself for not keeping up with them, you're the adult and should be the responsible one. Just buy her some new ones and forget about the lost ones. If they turn up then that'll be good, if they don't turn up then at least YOU have learned a very valuable lesson about keeping track of your preschooler's much needed eyewear and you have now learned the need for a spare pair. Oh, and I also wear glasses and lost a brand new pair less than a month after getting them almost six months ago. Fortunately, I always buy two pair as well as contact lenses. (I often misplace those. Lol)

16 moms found this helpful

Get some insurance on future glasses and remember she's a very young child. I lost my glasses on a picnic when I was just about 7 or 8, I felt terrible because I knew how much my grandmother had to pay. I'll bet your little one feels bad too. Do you punish yourself when you lose something of value or do your forgive yourself?


16 moms found this helpful

Oh my. Not a punishable offense. Do you wear glasses? It is very easy to
misplace them. I wear mine all the time and sometimes I misplace them
when I take a shower etc. I have lost a pair or two in my life. I am sure
she feels bad enough. She is also just five. Cut the baby some slack!!!!
My son was in glasses from 2 yo. Let me tell you about lost glasses. He
would take them off and hide them. We did not always find them. I f he hid
them outside, sometimes they were ruined. It is what it is. No dessert and
a toy taken away. Absolutely not.

16 moms found this helpful

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