Young Kids’ Eyeglass Stigma

Do you recall the first time you ever had to go have your eyes examined and discovered that you needed glasses? Now imagine being a young child and going through those emotions. Recently one of the employees here at ShopCLE took their 8 year old daughter to her yearly eye exam.  In the past, this visit was uneventful and usually ended with the doctor just saying that she’ll see us next year.  This year’s visit had a different ending.  After a longer than usual exam,  Carl was summoned into the back offices and was told that his little girl was going to need glasses!  Carl didn’t know who was more shaken; himself or his young one.  There were no early warning signs that usually signal a need for glasses.  No headaches at school, no complaints that she can’t see her school work or the blackboard.   There was no squinting of any kind.  So this did come as somewhat of a surprise to him.    Carl could see that this was really bothering her and he was already rehearsing the lines to tell her how it was going to be alright.  She didn’t want to be “one of those kids” that wear glasses in school.

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So, what’s a parent to do? Like most parenting challenges, this is not something you were prepared for.  But, natural emotions and instincts will surely result in an easy transition. Of course your first action will naturally be to assure your child that they will look terrific in a new pair of glasses.  Perhaps she can peruse some magazines to see what glasses look good.  Hopefully, she will see one of her idols sporting a pair.  This of course will generate some confidence as well as an uplifted spirit.

Make picking out the glasses a fun event.    It is something you can do together to make it a special event.  Perhaps a lunch or dinner after the exam and purchase will make the day more memorable.  Put the date on the calendar and treat it as something to look forward to.  This will invoke feelings of excitement as opposed to dread.

There are many interesting accessories that will add some fun and enthusiasm to the shopping experience.  A colorful case or holder to proudly display her new purchase could provide some much needed confidence.

In the end, what your child is going to need most is your support and reassurance that this is not a disaster nor does it warrant the heartbreak.  With millions of young ones wearing glasses, your little one is not alone.

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Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

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