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How Do You Get Your Two-Year-Old to Wear an Eye Patch?

Posted by Kristen on May 15, 2009 at 7:00 AM in health
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nate0513a.JPGThe news isn't horribly grim. It just isn't great. Nathan's lazy eye seems to get be getting slightly worse and the eye doctor wants him to wear a patch on it. Not a pirate patch but an adhesive bandage that seals off the light.

You are thinking, "play the pirate game!! Argh!!"

No dice. He doesn't care if pirates wear eye patches and are cool. He doesn't want to wear the eye patch.

We told him that it was special and just for him. It was something even his brother Ethan didn't have. You know, playing on that middle child syndrome. He didn't care. He doesn't want to wear the eye patch.

The doctor says so? Who cares?

I'm the mom and I am telling you to wear it? Nope.

Any child who will go out in public looking like this is certainly not going to give his mother's demands a second thought.

I bow to you, great Internet. The story on the street is that if this doesn't get fixed, he could actually go blind in that eye. No one wants to be the mom who made her kid go blind. Tell me what solutions you have to offer to get him to wear the patch for one hour a day, three days a week.

Help me please.


Earth_Mommy writes...

I am assuming you have already tried bribery? That great thing he really wants, if he wears the patch doesn't always work, though. *hugs* Good luck. And, hey, no guilt.

Doc reminds me of one I saw once, who told me I should make the oldest eat.!! Stupid doctors *makes disgusted sounds*

Bwin Poker writes...

start playing pirates games :-)

Heather writes...

Let him decorate the eyepatch? Let him pick out a fun handmade one (etsy, maybe)?

I'd probably go with Earth Mommy's suggestion of bribery. A small toy each week or so?

Becky writes...

I had a second grade student who had to wear an eye bandage. His aunt drew cool pictures on them with colorful sharpees and his mom said that was the only reason he wore them. I know a 2 year old isn't wuite as reasonable as a 7 year old, but it might work.
Maybe you could let him play a special game or eat a special treat that he can only have when he wears his eye patch.
Good luck!

Eleanor writes...

It's almost summer. Can the patch be worn under a really cool pair of sunglasses (even several cool pair - as in a pair for every mood so he has a choice). Or, does he like stuffed animals (or some other thing like that - even toy cars?) - his "friends" could all have to get eye patches (or headlight patches), too and he could take care of them. He could be king of the eye-patch wearers. From your descriptions, he seems like a very imaginitive little guy. That's all I've got. I'll be thinking about you 'cause this is tough!! (oh, I'm all for the bribery thing, too)

JL writes...

When it comes to doing things the 3 y.o. does not want to do around here, sometimes my kitchen timer works miracles. Of course, this depends on his mood, etc. But it goes something like: When the timer goes off, we are going indoors/When the timer goes off, we are picking up/When the timer goes off, Mama's kitchen is closing. You get the idea. I just saw these fake sunglasses at Dollar Tree whose lenses have guitars coming off of them. Maybe after Dad gets home, the whole family can have guitar time for 5-10 mins and increase time from there? Of course, patch included under glasses. Turn on some music and act silly. :) Good luck!

Cari writes...

My daughter has strabismus and had to wear an eye patch for a while to strengthen the weaker eye that was crossing. (She eventually needed surgery.)

I found that rewards really worked well to get her to keep it on.

Also, I would explain to him that one of his eyes is weak and he needs to wear the patch "just for a little while" to make it strong. Repeat frequently that the patch will make his eye strong. Even at two, children recognize that the word "strong" has a positive, desirable meaning. Then, it becomes more than a power struggle of whether or not to obey and wear the patch.

Good luck!

Susie Sunshine writes...

Crazy Glue.

Leslie writes...

I had to wear an eye patch as a child due to lazy eye. I remember doing all I could to get out of it. I eventually had surgery. I think bribery may be your only option here. I peeled mine off whenever mom wasn't looking.

Steve writes...

Definitely one of the most difficult parts of being a parent. There are those moments of opening when even a 2 yr. old is present with you and listening. You know him better than anyone. When you feel that moment, and they are rare for the most part, share with him your concerns, in the form of a bread crumb. If he picks up the bread crumb, try another. He has to be part of the solution, his own motivation. Until he connects to that he won't participate in creative solutions. Sorry, that's probably not anything you don't already know...

Jake writes...

If you have older children or relatives' children I suggest you ask one of them to wear the eye patch for a while. That will encourage your child to wear his. For me and my kids it's always about more encouragement. Good luck.

Lee writes...

My son had the same problem. However, every time he put on the patch, he would get an eye infection. The eye doc eventually suggested atropine eye drops instead. They dilate one eye and make it weaker so the weak eye must compensate. My son also had to have surgery, twice.

Jacquelyn writes...

HI! I just had to post to this. When I was a girl I had to wear an eye patch for many years. I did not have to wear it to school but all the rest of the time, including in Christmas pictures....I hated it of course. But now I am a mommy of a 16 and 3 year old and have some tough advice for you. Since you and I both know the magnitude of the importance of the patch here goes...figure out his favorite toy of the moment, put it up on a shelf that he can see until he wears the patch for the hour and repeat. When the time is up he gets the toy back. I know it sounds mean but I have used this trick here with my "strong willed" ahhmm, son and after the first time it really seemed to work, he knew I meant business with whatever the task was.

Jen writes...

Can you convince your oldest to wear one too? And baby? And mom and dad? eye patch party while eating ice cream?

laura writes...

i know this is very serious for you...but...i just can't get past the picture. it made my day - i love it!!!

as for the eye patch....this might be one for the doctor to have to deal with. bring him in, and let the doc talk this one out with him.

good luck!

jerry mcguire writes...

it shouldn't be hard we all love pirates

Poker Online writes...

even better just play the peter pan game with him. Good luck.

we had the same problem with our son Jim - we tried everything and what finally worked was getting all our family to wear eye patches "shiver me timbers!" it did the trick. The only problem now is that it's become a family thing to do and i can't get people to stop saying "Jim me lad" lol - oh well at least we dot him to wear the patch.

Russian Girls writes...

Try to just play a game of Winnie the Pooh .. is for young kids just

Excellent topics. I really like this topics, I found this from online that, each recipe has been tested and each one has come out perfect If not, they are not added to the site. All you need to know is how to make the perfect dishes.

Chris (New Zealand) writes...

My 2 year old requires patching for 2 hours everyday. This has been required for almost a year now. I tried everything mentioned on this site and more but eventually came up with a very simple answer that i am sure will work for almost everyone. Im annoyed it took me almost a year to work it out.

One day I saw a dog wearing a cone around its neck to stop it licking a wound. I applied the same concept to my 2 year (no I didnt make him wear a cone around his neck:)

I took a couple of thick mittins and safety pinned them to the sleeves of a long sleeved Tshirt. While wearing this contraption my son can play with toys but cant get his nimble little fingers under an eye patch to remove it. It works a charm. After 20 minutes or so he becomes so used to the patch that I can remove the mittined shirt and put him in more regular clothes.

Good luck with this. I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.

Nicole writes...

I have a two year old and she doesnt always listen to me when i tell her to do something but if there's one thing i know she listens to is just sitting her down and talking to her as if she were an adult. Just tell him that if he doesnt keep the patch on it may get worse and it could cause big problems. giving your child knowledge of what may happen may give him more insite on why your forcing this on him and trying to make him wear it. i have a nephew who only has 2 fingers on one hand and his mother and doctor explained to him why and now he doesnt care if people ask him about it or talk about it becasue he knows why he has it. i hope this helps but just make sure you get all off the facts and that there are no distractions when doing this. and bringin him to the eye doctor may help. you can also get him a real eye patch and go get him some "bling" for it. so he can make his own designs! i hope this helps

Unlimited Hosting writes...

It could definitely be worse.
Maybe get him some kids sunglasses instead?

Russian writes...

Good luck!

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