20 answers

Emotional and Behavioral Changes in My Son Who Just Started Wearing Glasses

My 5 year son was recently discovered at his eye appt. to be extremely farsighted and therefore has to wear glasses. He expressed a lot of anxiety, fear and sadness about them saying that he didn't want to be different and didn't want other children to tease him, etc. We have done just about everything the experts have suggested in helping children adjust to glasses and he seemed to be doing fine with them the first few days. His classmates at school said he looked "cool" in them because the transition lenses we got made them look like sunglasses when outdoors. He seemed to be feeling happy about the positive comments he had been receiving so we thought that the worst was behind us. One thing to mention is that my son is what would be considered a slow to warm up or shy child. According to his teachers, he has always been very well-behaved at school and always quick to follow directions because he just loves school. While reserved and quiet at school, he is very outgoing and verbal at home and easily redirectable should misbehavior occur. What we have all noticed these past two weeks since he's been wearing his glasses is that has not been listening to us very well at home and has really been testing limits. His teacher has also mentioned to me several instances of silliness, not doing his work right away when asked and not listening. We are all very concerned because although he is continuing to say that he is sad and does not want to wear his glasses, he is increasing in these new naughty behaviors. I am suspecting that they are a manifestation of whatever feelings he is having about his glasses but we don't know what to do. We don't want him to get in trouble at school and fall behind in his work. He happens to be the youngest in his Kindergarten class and we don't want him to stop making the excellent progress he has been making. We also don't want his self-esteem to suffer and are desperate for some advice. Has anyone had to deal with similar situations and what worked for you? Thank you!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for such wonderful advice and insight into what was going on with my son. I am so happy to say that the phase he was going through in response to wearing glasses for the first time has ended and he appears to be comfortably adjusted to them without any difficulties. His teacher just told me yesterday that the silly boy is gone and he is back to his old self of being a wonderful listener and well-behaved so that's one thing less to worry about on top of all the hundreds of things that we worry about as parents! Thank you again and blessings to the wonderful moms who jumped in to help! You were such a Godsend! This site rocks!

Featured Answers

Hi N.!
I have not experienced this with my own step kids, but when I had to get glasses, my mom helped me cope with showing me good people wearing glasses. Superman and Spiderman both wear glasses when they are incognito! My mom basically searched magazine racks and photo books (internet was not around when I was a kid) and pointed out how distinguished the stars and such looked while wearing glasses.

As for the attitude change, I cannot help you, but perhaps help with his self esteem, which might help in the long run!

1 mom found this helpful

i have not had to deal with just wearing glasses... but when i hear he is the youngest in his class that sent up red flags for me as my dauughter was too... she did very very well keeping up until 3rd grade when her reading and multiplication tables just could not keep up with the others... dont rule out holding him back. i wish i had done so even though she was doing well in K.
it is so much harder to hold her back now in 5th grade...

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I've been in the optical industry for 15 yrs:

Congrats on diagnosing your son and getting him glasses as a mom with a daughter who is deaf in one ear(found at birth with infant screening)the statistics are that 10% of all children have an undiagnosed eye disorder and we should be having our children tested before they start school and by someone more qulified than a pediatrician. The ages of 3-5 are very important in our childrens learning and self esteem and it is important that all their senses be at their optimal.

I have seen many new children who get to REALLY SEE for the first time go through an adjustment period. Many suddenly can see all of life that they have been missing. Your son may have been shy before because he couldn't see many things and maybe if in a classroom setting sat there hearing the teacher talk about stuff but didn't really see what they were discussing(I don't know how severe your son's eye correction is). As another mom said he may be going through a phase he would have without the glasses....or now that he has glasses he is more confident to express himself.

I would recommend putting the glasses in his cubby during recess(if his RX is a strong one then investing in a pair for sports and recess with safety in mind is a good idea).
When he gets a little older and can handle contacts(needs dexterity) I would recommend doing the one day contacts(no cleaning(children are not capable of keeping them healthy) and maximum oxygen to the cornea these will be great for sports activities and can be thrown away after each use.

There are many great optical shops now that specialize in childrens eyewear. Make sure you get a great fitting pair and that he will be growing quickly...also something durable for your little guy with memory metal is ideal. If he picks them out with your help he will learn to love them especially if he can see and participate beter in life.

Good luck with your little guy!

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same trouble with my son who is 10 now and started wearing glasses in 1st grade. What worked for us was we would let him pick his glasses on his own. We allowed hime, with us in the waiting room, to go into the eye doctor's office by himself for his exams and he felt more like he was part of the decision about what he had to put on his face. He wears his glasses so much that he falls asleep in them. As for the behavior and the silliness change in class that comes along with be being the youngest in class he is feeling the need to make the older children notice him. My son too is the youngest in his class, he went from preschool at 4 to a private K class and was then allowed to skip regular K at a public school. He still has some silly moments every now and then at school and I remind him that if wants to continue to be a class with the big boys he needs to act like a big boy. Give it some time and allow your son to help make the decisions that he feels are going to affect hime with his daily routine. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My older son started wearing glasses full-time at age 3 and there were some significant changes with him, as well. His manifested in his potty training (he had been fully trained for 6 months and just started having tons of accidents). We were as patient as we could be and eventually it subsided. We figured that the main problem was that now that he could actually SEE (what an amazing thought, right?), his perceptions of everything were changing and he was way overstimulated. Sure enough, after a few weeks, maybe a month even, things went back to where they were or needed to be, at least. We also had the same concern about age -- he too is the youngest in his kinder and was in preschool, so I understand your concerns about that as well and being sensitive about his readiness and maturity. I'd say just continue doing what you're doing, it sounds like you really can't do anything more and just be patient. Evenutally, the super-stimuli he's experiencing will become his reality and he'll be able to better focus on those things he was focusing on before. Hang in there! And one piece of advice I have is that when his glasses get bent out of shape, don't even TRY to fix them, take them to get adjusted right away; we've learned the hard way, several times! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I remember when I first got glasses. I see small children walking from school and some do have glasses. He needs to understand that glasses help him see better. I was teased by fellow students when I got mine. Try an experiment, knowing he can't see, tell him what's better with or without. Have him look at a picture with words on it, and what his reaction is.Maybe he will understand the importance of wearing them. He needs to understand that there is no reason to get himself in trouble, his vision like other children just have bad vision at a young age. I have little cousins about his age with glasses also.
Maybe a story of bad teeth you gotta see a dentist to fix the problem will help him understand.

1 mom found this helpful


Yes, this is a common situation for children, especially at this age. They are learning how to handle differences. (*Also, in my experience, he may be dealing with general social/emotional issues related to being the youngest one in his Kindergarten class.)

I am passing your email on to parents who have a 5-year old boy with glasses in our Hummingbird preschool. They are great and I assume they will contact you. Good luck. Situations like this are not easy. Our hearts break for our children sometimes. If you wish to contact me again, I can share my experience as a mom with you about my children hitting bumps in the road like this (not about glasses.

Best regards,

M. Bostick

Director / Owner

A Children's Garden

610 East Dunne Avenue

Morgan Hill,CA 95037


###-###-#### w

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M.A. degree student @ Pacific Oaks College

Sant a Cruz Cohort

“ Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ ~ Albert Einstein

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, i have a child who had to get glasses and a nephew with childhood glaucoma who will indefinately loose his eyesight. All of this could just be a trial period for your son and just a coinsidence, but it could also mean other things. His not listening or misbehaving surprising enough may actually have to do with his hearing, i don't know if you've had it checked or not but this may be an issue. Eye problems be it vision or something else are also so sometimes gateway symtoms of other illness, i'd talk to his pediatrician to be sure. Most likefully it is a sign of his age and a test of how far he may be able to go with the excuse of glasses. Our wonderful children are way smarter than we ever give them credit for:) I wish you the best and hopefully it all comes to pass, let us know what you find out my prayers are with you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful

I can relate to your son! I started wearing glasses about the same time and then in the first grade they discovered that I had a lazy eye. In order to get the eye muscles to work in that eye they had to put a patch over the good eye. Oh yeah-I had to wear it to school. It wasn't considered cool either. The good news is that now that I'm older and my eye doesn't wander all over because my Mom followed through with everything I am totally greatful to her. I also turned out ok-even though I gave my parents a run for thier money through all of this. I picked fights, got kicked out of school for punching a kid that wouldn't stop calling me a pirate and many other things that probably worried my parents. They were very patient with me and explained why I had to do this, how I would benefit in the long run and that because of this I was special to them. I think the being my Dad's "Special Pirate Girl" really helped the most. Kids will pick on other kids for just about anything, thier name, thier hair color, you name it. Remind your son that those kids are being bad and that by being bad you get punished and people look at you differently. That helped me and is helping a lot with my four year old who has been hanging out with a much older crowd at the sitters. He has been trying out a few choice words and told me that I P'd him off the other day. Once I counted to 100 I explained to him why that is bad and if he continued with his bad behaviour I would have to punish him. I then told him that he has a choice-he can be his normal good self and I will keep spoiling him, taking him to gymnastics and other things, or he can be bad and spend a lot of time in trouble and in his room. I then left him to think about it for a while. In about an hour he apologized and said he chose to be good. Now, when he acts up I remind him of his choice.
I hope that helps! Good luck-boys can be a handful.

1 mom found this helpful

No, not exactly, BUT, I will hazard a guess. Now that your son's visual world has new limits, he may be a little disoriented. I would be very gentle in just re affirming the limits of behavior that you have always set for him. and DO NOT worry. If he senses that you are concerned or anxious he may be fulfilling a prophecy... assure him that all is well and there is a time for adjustment to any new thing and that you think he's DOING GREAT! and then when he's out of bounds, just gently pull him back in. I have four boys ages 15-24. I love little boys! All best to you! K.

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