23 answers

My 5 Year-old Needs Glasses - Any Tips on Getting Him to Wear Them All the Time?

I took my 5 y/o son to the eye doc. earlier this week and it turns out he needs glasses - he has a severe astygmatism in one eye, aka "lazy eye" (it is not obvious to look at him) and requires a very strong correction in one eye. The other eye needs mild correction but she thinks that is probably mostly from overcompensating for the very weak eye.

Right now he is excited about getting glasses. My hope (and the doc's theory) is that the world will look so much different/better with his glasses that he will be motivated to wear them. He is developmentally delayed by about 18 months and does not really understand logical arguments for "needing" to do things. I took him to be fitted yesterday and, thankfully, he loved the idea of glasses - especially the Power Rangers styles.

Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions about keeping him motivated to wear them once the newness wears off would be greatly appreciated. If the glasses don't make a major difference within the first two months she will probably have to patch the good eye - I think the "looking like a pirate" game will get old quickly with that so I really want to give the glasses the best chance possible to help correct the weak eye.

Thanks! H.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for the fabulous input, support and ideas. We incorporated many suggestions when we picked up Riley's glasses. Thankfully he is wearing them willingly! I believe that what was suggested is what has happened...he sees so much better with them on that he wants to wear them! PHEW!!! Two or three days after he got them he walked into the kitchen in the morning and asked, "where are my glasses?"

We've already managed to lose them once, but they did reappear. Thankfully we got a back-up pair so he wasn't without them. When he does want to take a break, we're letting him, but we're trying to do it for a specific task so there is an end point. I think one of the best suggestions we incorporated was having him sit facing me when we picked them up so he was looking at my face when he put them on for the first time - the look on his face was priceless!

He looks like such a little man in them...but I believe it is making his world so much better. I can't help but wonder how many of his sensory challenges were made worse by his undiagnosed vision problems!

Thanks so much again to all of you who shared your experiences - it really helped!!!

~H. & Riley

Featured Answers

My daughter was six when she started wearing glasses, and I never had a problem with her keeping them on, because she sees so much better with them on.

Be careful where they are put when they are taken off. Another daughter of mine took hers off when she read, and put them on a low table next to her. The puppy chewed them up. They were under warrenty and replaced for free. She left them on her bedside table once and the puppy climbed up and chewed them again. We had to pay to replace them this time.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is who is 3 years old just recently had to get glasses due to a form of lazy eye. I was very worried as well as to how he was going to do with them. Well from the minute we put them on him we never had a problem. I think when he realized how much better that he can see with them, he does not mind wearing them and likes them. I think you won't have a problem.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

My daughter got glasses when she was two for the same reason. She's had them nearly a year now, and wears them on her own for the most part - and will always put them on when asked. I too wear glasses, and she doesn't like it when I put my contacts in, she wants to be like me I think. The first pair is the worst - they got broken many times over and she had the cable temples - never again. She got a new pair after 6 months, these have held up far better. Buy the insurance though - it will prove to be well worth it!

I would just make it clear there isn't an option to not wear the glasses. You bought them to help him see better, and he needs to take special care of them so his eyes can be strong. Eden is three now and has proven she can take care of them well - now if I could just keep them clean!

1 mom found this helpful

I went throu that with my son who was 7 at the time he needed glasses back then it wasn't cool to wear glasses , they would call him a nerd a dork etc. Kids are very cruel creatures of god, but they do have a sensitive side too, keep telling him how handsome he looks in his glasses praise him for wearing them, tell him he will have the best eyes he can possibly have by wearing them. Make a chart, or something for every day he keeps his glasses on give him a reward see how that works. Take him to a movie, etc i think you get the picture, good luck & by the way my son still wears his glasses he is 36 years old now !!!

1 mom found this helpful

My 9 year old has wore glasses since she was 5 too.. Once she realized how much better she could see with them it was a no brainer she keeps them on all the time. One nice thing about getting them that young is that the other kids either dont notice that they have them or they think its neat so there is no teasing like there is when they are older. I wish you good luck and hope it all works out for you and your son.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H.,

I would suggest getting a band to use with them at least until he gets used to wearing them all the time. It would be harder for him to take them off by himself.

My son started wearing glasses since he was 6 months old, so I never had the problem of having to make him wear them since at that age he couldn't freely take them off by himself. I did use the band for his though so they would stay up and not fall off. He needs his for extreme far sightedness. He also has nystagmus.

Also, we started this saying: "If they aren't on your face, they are in their case". We had a problem with misplacing them. One time they even happened to find their way into the trash because he laid them on the table by the trash and it fell in.

L.

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same story with my five year old daughter. She got them back in october right before she turned 5. of course they are bright red. she loves them and loves all the attention that everyone says about how they look on her still today. some people at chruch are still just noticing tht she has them and she has worn them every day since receiving them. of course we stop in on a regular basis to tighten, adjust, and check for repair. by all means get the 25.00 warrenty coverage if your doctor offers it.
good luck!
K. B

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H.,

How does your son feel about superheroes? You could point out to him that Superman's alter ego, Clark Kent, wears glasses and Cyclops from the X-Men has to wear special glasses all the time.

1 mom found this helpful

We let our son pick out his glasses, he was able to ask questions while we were at the eye docs also.

Knowing he had to get used to them, we let him take them off when his ears hurt or his eyes were "sweating" we were good with letting him take time with them off when at home, but reminded him that he was supposed to wear them all the time.

He is now 6, almost 7 and does very well with wearing them all day. We sometimes have to remind him to put them on before school, but he has at times reminded us or had them on before walking out the door.

We got the ones with the hooks behind them (so the ear pieces go around his ears), that way I knew they would not fly off while in the playground at school. They are also the kind your can pretty much crunch into a ball and they bounce back to their regular shape...very good deal on that one as my other kids have gotten a hold of them!!

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

My 3 year old son was was diagnosed with a "lazy eye" late last year, like your son his is for the most part unoticable. My options were either drops or a patch along with glasses. I felt with my son that would definitley not keep a patch on, so we opted for drops. The glasses for my son were suprisingly easy for him to get used to. I had decided to start out by telling him that he could only watch TV with the glasses on. My son, who watches a bit too much TV I think, had only asked a few times to take the glasses off, but after explaining that he couldn't watch TV he dropped it. If I can help any further please don't hesitate to ask. S.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was six when she started wearing glasses, and I never had a problem with her keeping them on, because she sees so much better with them on.

Be careful where they are put when they are taken off. Another daughter of mine took hers off when she read, and put them on a low table next to her. The puppy chewed them up. They were under warrenty and replaced for free. She left them on her bedside table once and the puppy climbed up and chewed them again. We had to pay to replace them this time.

1 mom found this helpful

my son has the same problem plus he also has nystagmus, which is correcting finally, he's had his eye problems since he was about 4 months old and he is now 5 1/2 years old. Unfortunately, the suggestion of patching wouldnt work and his doctor suggested glasses but only occasionally for reading and doing projects. My big worry was how my son practically sits on top of the tv to watch it and the ophthalomogist gave me a reassuring answer saying it wouldnt hurt or make his eyes worse he said it would actually help. I dont know who you see but I highly suggest CHOP if you ever need another opinion of things. Only problem is you have to go to another place to get the glasses since they dont offer them at the specialty care center.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is now 4 and wears glasses. My suggestion would be to spend some money on the glasses. We got a pair that was covered by my insurance and he crunched those up pretty quickly. He's all boy, and they were cheap. We are waiting on a pair that are titanium and hinge in 4 places. I've never seen themed glasses though. If we could find a transformers pair, he would probably never try to take them off. He was so cute when we first put his glasses on him. He looked through them and said "Wow mommy! I can see very big!"

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure you talk with his teacher so that you and the teacher are both making sure he wears them. My daughter had just turned six when she got hers(lazy eye as well)and I made sure that the teacher was aware. The teacher made her wear them each day (except at lunch, recess and gym class). She wore them at home to read, homework and TV. She hated wearing them after awhile but I just kept reminding her that if she wears them now she won't ahve to wear them later and she hated it but she did it. I also gave her rewards when she really resisted. (like if you wear them for the next two hours you can mleave them off the rest of the night(usually by then it was close to bedtime!! or maybe a snack if bedtime wasn't that close by)

I am happy to say that it all paid off, she no longer requires them at age 8.

Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H.,

I am not sure where you are located but in Harleysville, there is Harleysville Eye Associates and I think that there is an office in Valeey Forge too, Its inside of the eye associates but we are called Binocular Vision. I am a vision therapist there and I work with children just like yours. He should still get his glasses but what we do is do different activities with his glasses plus other glasses that change from session to session. I have only been there a short time but mostly all of the children have development problems and you do and will see a difference in how much he talks and in his school work. Your child seems to very well fit everything that we do . If you have more questions or are interested you can let me know.

1 mom found this helpful

H.,

I don't have kids with it but I do have that same thing scince I was your son's age. It is going to take some work because my mom had to remind me to wear them along with the teachers. Here is what my mom did with me she got the teachers to say how nice they make me alot of praises and rewards for wearing them not toys or money just high 5's and my fav foods for dinner stuff like that. I also did eye patch along with glasses. I wish I could give you more helpful tips. I hope your son's eyes get better then mine because I still have problems with my eye.If I can think of anything else I will pass them long.Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H., my son also has lazy eye. He started wearing his glasses at age 4. When he first heard he needed glasses he argued with me. He told me he didn't need glasses. He told me he could see just fine. But once we put the glasses on him, he could actually see. It almost made me cry to think that he had gone through life not seeing anything clearly...everything was a blur. I felt so guilty that I didn't notice it. But my pediatrician never told me to take my son to an optometrist for an eye exam. I didn't know that children should be checked at 6 mos of age for eye problems. They don't tell you those things.

Anyway, my son never took his glasses off except to take a shower/bath or sleep. Our biggest problem is keeping them clean and getting them adjusted because he is all boy and he beats them up pretty bad. My suggestion is if you can afford it, get a spare pair. Also, in the first few days/weeks the glasses may irritate him. He may get headaches, red marks behind his ears, on his nose, etc. If he complains about the glasses just let him take them off for a few minutes. It's not going to hurt him to take them off for a few minutes. I think once your son sees the world more clearly he won't want to go without his glasses.

1 mom found this helpful

I am over 50 and have been wearing glasses since I was 3 for the EXACT same reason (excpet in the 50's calling someone "cockeyed" was an acceptable thing!)

I can't tell you how to get him to wear them, I can just tell you that there is no place he will not hide them. The best spot is deep, deep, deep into the toybox.

Alright, I guess I would suggest showing him people of really cool people wearing glasses (Johnny Depp comes to mind) and telling him how cool he looks, too.

Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H.,
My oldest son, Dylan, who is 13 now, needed glasses at the age of 4. He did wonderful with them. I never really had a problem with him not wearing them all the time until just recently??? Go figure! It just became part of our normal routine in the morning and then we would take them off and put them in the case on his dresser every evening before bed. Even when he started school, he never really had a problem with them except for an accident on the playground. The biggest problem I had was keeping his younger brother Karsyn, who was just a little over a year at the time from pulling them off his face. But, you shouldn't have that problem! Good luck anyway. You'll see, he'll surprise you!
C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H., I had the same eye issue - lazy eye - your son has, when I was little and my girldfriend's daughter has it as well and was just diagnosed about a year ago. So here is what I would say, having had the experience personally and with my good friend's daughter. Every time I see a child with glasses, I ALWAYS compliment them. I would encourage you asking your close friend and family to do that. He will think he is cool - which of course he is, since he now is one of the cool ones that GETS to wear glasses:) If the patch comes into play, my Mom used to draw cool pictures of a HUGE open eyeball and I thought it was funny and silly:) Let him get creative and decorate his cool patch. I know my girlfriend talked to her daughters teacher about the patch and how her daught was a little sensitive about it. Well, the teacher came up with a great idea - all of the kids, on the first day she came in with the patch, wore a patch too, so that she wouldn't be the only one when she first came in. She felt better and she smiled:)

I hope these few things help you! Best of luck and if I can be of any more help, don't hesitate to contact me:) Take care - G.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H. I have a now 8 yr. old who needed glasses at the age of 7. She was very excited at first and wanted to wear them all the time and after the newness wore off I had to constantly remind her to put them on.So in order to get her to keep wearing them I started a reminder/reward chart.When she would remember to put them on she would get a smiley face and if she went to long without putting them on she would get a sad face. I kept it on her room door so she would see it before she left her room. We worked it out that if she received a certain amount of happy faces by the end of the week she would get a small reward and if she had a lot of them by the end of the month she would get a outing of her choice. Knowing that something exciting was waiting at the end made her want to put the glasses on.I don't know if this method will work with your son but,hey its worth a try..What kid doesn't like rewards.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is who is 3 years old just recently had to get glasses due to a form of lazy eye. I was very worried as well as to how he was going to do with them. Well from the minute we put them on him we never had a problem. I think when he realized how much better that he can see with them, he does not mind wearing them and likes them. I think you won't have a problem.

1 mom found this helpful

HI there wow this is so familar to me...my son developed a crossing of both eyes at about 14 months old we took him to the eye doctor and he of course needed glass one eye was worse than the other, believe it or not he will take to his new glasses pretty well, i remmember when we got his glasses..i sat him on hubbys lap and he was facing me and i put the glasses on and the look of amazement on his face because of what he could see (i guess everything was a blur to him) and he liked them right away because he could see things, the patch thing never worked for my boy if we put it on him, he would close his good eye and refuse to do anything, my son is 5 years old now and the first thing he wants as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning is his glasses i hope this was helpful tc S.

1 mom found this helpful

My son got glasses at 3 years old. What worked for us was to wear them a little at a time and then build up to all day. We started at meals and then did meals and tv and then continued to add on. Ryan also enjoyed stickers for wearing them. He got to the point where he knew he saw better with them and asked for them.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure you have a 2nd pair. Also hopefully you bought the insurance for if it breaks. Also when they are young eyes change frequently so might need to get them rechecked 6 months instead of a year.

1 mom found this helpful

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