Help!! DD is refusing to wear her glasses at school!

Sylvia - posted on 12/16/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My 9-year-old DD got her first pair of glasses in August. They're for distance vision; she's supposed to wear them at school to see the blackboard, the wall posters, etc. We discovered this week that she's been taking them to school every day since September but never wearing them, because she's afraid her classmates will make fun of her.

Note this has never actually happened; she witnessed *one* incident when Grade 5 boy in her class was teased because of his glasses (at least, she *says* it was because of his glasses...). That's it.

She's not doing so well in school this year. She admits she can't see the board, but she won't wear the $%$^* glasses.

DH, who also started wearing glasses in Grade 4, says we need to be supportive and let her deal with this at her own pace. I'm very upset because she's clearly falling behind in school -- I told her it's like saying "Hey, I think I'll join the running club! But first I'll tie my ankles together!" I understand how intense peer pressure is at this age, and how mean kids can be. (I was bullied relentlessly at school for 6 years, starting at exactly this age -- it just had nothing to do with glasses, because I didn't get mine until Grade 10.) But this isn't like deciding not to wear your favourite pants anymore because the popular girls said they're not cool; this is serious, and it's already affecting her learning.

Has anyone else had this happen with their kids? How did you handle it? I don't want to go straight to the nuclear option (that is, phone the teacher and request that she remind DD every day to put on her glasses), because it would be humiliating and mean. But I don't want this to drag on for too long, either, because I can see the bad effect it's already having...

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Jim - posted on 11/11/2013

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Teachers are a big influence on their student's, so it's good that she finally came up with the idea of having a day that everyone will be wearing glasses for a day. but really this teacher should make a point to wear her glasses while she is teaching even if she doesn't need them very much. Besides it won't hurt her eyes to keep them on anyway and should make the kids more confident about wearing their glasses.

Sylvia - posted on 01/27/2012

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Monica, our family is full of people who wear glasses (including several of DD's near-in-age cousins). That's one of the reasons I totally didn't see this coming.



Fortunately it all seems to have calmed down now...

[deleted account]

Is there seriously no one else in your family or friends or at school that wears glasses? We never had this issue with our daughter (she was in grade three) but my husband, myself, all four of our parents, our siblings and many of our friends all wear glasses.



Short of having people close to you, you could always find some celebrities who wear glasses...especially ones she might think are 'cool'. Google 'celebrity glasses' for images and you'll find tons!

Carol - posted on 01/19/2012

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It happened to me. Until I found how much I liked to wear glasses. But when it happened to one of my pupils at school (I'm a teacher) I taught him how to respond. He's not a 4 eyed kid, he weared glasses and the other kids were silly for make fun of him.



I guess it's a matter of self confidance.

Christiana - posted on 01/13/2012

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I have twin boys in 2nd grade, 1 wears glasses all the time. He has never had a problem with wearing them because he can see, he says "Nothing is fuzzy now." But his twin brother who only needs to wear them for reading is having issues too. Even though most of his friends and all of our family wears glasses he still says that it makes him look funny. I unfortunately fight with him every day about it, but it isn't something that I am even going to let go, because both of my Grandparents went blind, my son gets mad but he wears them. :( If your daughter is even as stubborn as him, you will probably have a long road. But I hope things do work out. When I got my son's glasses the Dr. said that they can do contacts for children, she would have to wear them all the time though.

Sylvia - posted on 01/06/2012

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Iiiinteresting...

The thing is, DD does know her glasses make a difference. She's perfectly happy to wear them at home when she needs them. She just has this hangup about wearing them at school.

She recently discovered that a good friend of hers -- who unfortunately is at a different school this year -- also now wears glasses for distance vision, and I hope that will help as well.

Jen - posted on 01/05/2012

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Good luck with that!!!



There was a good tip in an older thread about a 9 year old boy not wanting to use glasses:



http://www.circleofmoms.com/welcome-to-c...



The one about smearing a pair of goggles with mayonaise etc.



I don't' have time right now to see how that worked. Maybe it worked great, maybe it'll work for your daughter.

Sylvia - posted on 01/05/2012

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Jennifer, she did pick her glasses out herself and they're really cute (and purple, her favourite colour!). She does know that lots of people wear glasses, even some really cool people. I honestly have no idea where this phobia came from ... except, life is hard when you're 9 :P

She goes back to school on Monday, where presumably the saga will continue ...

Jen - posted on 01/04/2012

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Wow; just do a search in Google Images; of some celebrities your daughter likes, with the word "Glasses" after their name.

I searched "Demi Lovato glasses" "Selena Gomez glasses" etc..and every one I looked up had a few pictures of them wearing glasses. Some of them were the dark dorky 3D black glasses....

Some of them were creative in how many types of glasses they'll wear.

Jen - posted on 01/04/2012

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They have some really cute and cool eyewear frames now adays. If its not an issue; I'd suggest trying to find some she likes, that will look cool in her opinion.



Ones the kids at school will find cute or cool; rather then "Oh weird, nerdy!" or whatever.



I thought glasses were in. I"ve seen kids as little as grade 2 through high school kids who go to school with those big black 3D movie glasses. They just pop the 3D lense out and wear them like that. My 7 year old does that! She loves the nerdy big black frames. Maybe it would help to point out all the celebrities who go around wearing big nerdy glasses. I think Johnny Depp may have been the first; maybe. Justin Bieber does it...and I don't think he needs glasses.



She could start a new trend at school; even if she had a scrap book with a bunch of her favorite celebrities in it all wearing dorky glasses....and kept it in her school desk; or locker. Whichever she has.



Maybe posters of all the celebrities who go around wearing glasses as a fashion statement..Um..Joe Jonas does that. Is she too young to have known about him?



Selena Gomez....um....Justin Timberlake. Loads of others.



Edited out all the comments about contact lenses. :) i somehow missed the comment that she's not supposed to wear the glasses all the time.

Sande' - posted on 01/04/2012

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My 6 yr old son wears glasses now. We made it a big deal he picked Disney ones told his teacher he would soon have glasses and she told the class. they all help him to put them on for school work there is one other child that wears glasses to in his class so the teacher made them buddies they help eachother remember to wear their glasses during class and take them off before recess, lunch. PE ect. It also helped stop any teasing from other kids also he is only in 1st grade right now. hope all goes well for your child too

Christen - posted on 12/20/2011

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i started wearing glasses for the same reasons around the same age i understand where she is comming from but there is a small chance that her eyes will fix themselves if she infact wears her glasses. salso if she doesnt then when she is older she can get contacts. also glasses are "cool" now. tell her she is starting a new trend. also tell her to make her feel more confortable she could say something when or rather IF someone were to make fun of her tell then=m that its cool to wear glasses. wearing them and being able to see makes for a smarter child there by making grades better and going farther in life because of how smart her glasses made her. also tell her that of a child makes fun of her to tell the teacher and always make sure you compliment your child on how great they look in them and how she looks so much smarter. this should help with the boost of confidence issues.

Shawnn - posted on 12/20/2011

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How awesome! What a great way for the teacher to integrate the whole class into it, too! Let me know how that went...I LOVED the elementary ages...

Sylvia - posted on 12/20/2011

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Shawnn, you know what? It turns out there are THREE other kids in DD's class who have glasses but haven't been wearing them. (I knew it.) Yesterday afternoon her teacher announced that today would be "everybody wears glasses day" -- anyone who has real glasses (including the teacher) has to wear them, and everyone else has to wear whatever kind of glasses they can find (toy glasses, sunglasses, 3D movie glasses...). I'm looking forward to hearing how it went...

Shawnn - posted on 12/19/2011

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Oh, yes, Harry certainly does! And she's the right age.

I had to laugh at your reaction to being able to see the board. I had the EXACT same reaction! I was thrilled!

While I agree that she shouldn't have to remind your daughter in front of the class, a simple sign would do the same, especially since the teacher also wears glasses...it could be as simple as teacher touching the bridge of her glasses when your dd is watching. Another thing (just thought of this, my teachers did it for me) is to have teacher visit with her about the glasses. Something like "Oh, I see you have glasses now! How cool is that, to be able to see the things you couldn't! I really like wearing mine, and I'm glad to have company! " I was a little younger than your daughter when I got mine, and even though I really didn't have a problem wearing them, it did help my self esteem to have a teacher (wow, an adult that I really, REALLY looked up to likes my glasses!) tell me that they thought I looked good.

Anyway, I know the struggle...I only have one son who's a full time wearer, and the other only needs his for close work. I know he only wears them about 1/2 the time, mostly at home, because I nag him. The thing with his is that they're more preventive at this point, because my family has HORRIBLE vision problems, and most of us have been in vision therapy most of our lives. So, when he started having trouble with double vision up close, our therapist recommended readers. He was great while he was younger, but as he gets older, and his eyes improve (thank goodness), she told him that he didn't necessarily need them, but to keep them handy for days when he's tired. Guess I should just ask her whether we really need to keep them at this point or not...

Sylvia - posted on 12/19/2011

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Mel, I was just thinking today that I should point out to DD that Harry Potter wears glasses ;)

Sylvia - posted on 12/19/2011

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Shawnn, the thing is, she's not *supposed* to wear them all the time -- only for distance vision. The optometrist explained to us that it's not a good idea for her to wear them constantly and may actually accelerate the deterioration of her distance vision (the deterioration is probably inevitable, given the hereditary factors involved, but slower is better than faster). So I can't just make her put them on in the morning and tell her she has to keep them on all day -- even supposing this would work, which I suspect it wouldn't :P

She's certainly not the only kid at her school who wears glasses -- I can think of several off the top of my head -- but it is possible she's the only kid in her class who does. I don't know. Her dad and I wear glasses. Her teacher wears glasses. At least three of her cousins wear glasses. I honestly don't know where this fear of wearing glasses is coming from, except that she's 9, and 9-year-old girls are VERY hypersensitive :P.

If she'd got the glasses in the middle of a school year, I would probably have mentioned it to the teacher. But she got them in August. By the time school started, they were a fait accompli. I realize that this is partly my fault: when I got my first pair of glasses I was 14, and my reaction was not "Oh no! I have to wear glasses! People will laugh!" but "Holy cow, I can see the blackboard without squinting! Hallelujah!" It honestly did not occur to me that DD would refuse to wear them at school, since she seemed willing (if not wildly enthusiastic) to wear them elsewhere.

If I'd realized at the time of the student-parent-teacher conferences that she hadn't been wearing her glasses, I'd have brought it up then. But I'm not sure how you go about enforcing a highly context-dependent instruction like "put your glasses on whenever you need to see something far away" when the kid is at school and you're at the office. The "nuclear option" I refer to above is not telling the teacher DD needs to wear her glasses, it's telling her DD needs to wear glasses *and asking her to issue daily reminders out loud in front of everybody*. I have in fact already spoken to the teacher, whose response basically was "Well, *that* explains a few things..."

It's interesting that you mention giving the teacher the tools to do her job, because I had pretty much exactly that conversation with DD this morning -- "Your teacher wants you to do well in school, but she can't help you if she doesn't have all the information about why you aren't doing so well right now ..."

Mel - posted on 12/19/2011

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i was like that when i was at middle school i would not wear them i new that people would take the mick out of me the thing that changed my mind was a celeb was pictured wearing specks the next day i put thenm on yes i got the mick but that was from people who wher jellouis now i couldnt do with out my specks they are a part of me and i say to people who take the mick "go take a flying leap" try telling your child how pritty she look with them on show her some celebs wearing them in time she will reaise that specks are agood thing or what yuo could tell her to say is for eyes are better thn two it worked for me ive worn specks since i was 9 im now 31 if people dont like it well im not going to put down what i think of them you can prob idjmigene what i call them

Shawnn - posted on 12/19/2011

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My children didn't have a choice. They had prescription glasses, they wore them. Period.

You should be finding ways to boost her self esteem. We never let our kids be a victim. We gave them verbal tools to handle any situation. (never in a mean manner).

Is she the ONLY child in school that wears glasses? I doubt it. Talk to her teacher, explain that the glasses are necessary, and teacher will help you get her to start wearing them. If you have time, spend more time in her classroom.. If you're there, she can't take 'em off...

BTW, a change such as glasses should have already been mentioned to her teacher...it's not the "nuclear" option...it's common courtesy. Her teacher probably wonders why she's falling behind. You have to give her teacher the tools to properly instruct your daughter, one of which is "she needs to wear her glasses all the time".

Danielle - posted on 12/18/2011

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I was one of the kids that never wore her glasses. I've been wearing them full time since I was a teenager. I have no choice now because I can't see with out them at all.Just tell her that if the kids tease her have her tell this response "I can see much better you can."

Sylvia - posted on 12/17/2011

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Katherine, thanks, that's just how I feel -- clothes and shoes and hair are one thing, glasses (hearing aids, crutches...) are another.

She says she talked to one of her buddies on Friday and is going to talk to another one on Monday, so she'll feel like she has backup. The thing about rewarding her for wearing her glasses is that I have no way of knowing whether she did or not (I mean, I thought she'd been wearing them this whole time!) except to phone the teacher every day and check up on her :P I am planning to phone and speak to her teacher on Monday or Tuesday, just to alert her to the fact that this vision problem exists...

On the plus side, DD's new lack of clear distance vision appears to be helping her performance anxiety -- she did a great job at the school holiday concert last week, even though she couldn't find us in the audience without her glasses on ... :P

Katherine - posted on 12/17/2011

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If she is falling behind in school because of this it's serious. She needs to keep her glasses on only to read the board, remind her that. Maybe start a rewards chart and for every 3 days she wears them she get's to do something special or gets something special. I don't know what she likes to do but maybe that would be incentive?
If this doesn't work you are going to HAVE to go to the teacher.

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