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Kids and Glasses

Posted by Patience on May 29, 2009 at 7:00 AM in health
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i can see

We noticed Josiah could barely see the television the other night during a family movie . He was squinting and asked to borrow Jorge's glasses for just a second. "Everything is so much bigger and brighter!" he said.

The next day I found myself will all four kids at the eye doctor's office. Poor Josiah, it was quite a scene. After waiting almost 30 minutes to been seen, the doctor ushered all five of us to the tiny examination room. It was just too much excitement for the peanut gallery to be quiet.

"You're doing great Josiah!" Lucy kept saying.
"Josiah, are you a little bit embarassed you are gonna need glasses Josiah? It's o-kay!" Jack said on repeat.
"F, Y, T, Z!" Lucy kept yelling in an attempt to help Josiah get the right answers. I think those are the only letters she knows.

After eye drops and even more tests, the doctor asked how he has been doing in school because it was a pretty strong prescription for the first time. My straight A guy has managed to make it in his fuzzy world. When all was done, we went to pick out frames. He picked the most rad pair. I love how funky they are. He asked if we could go to Chick-Fil-a to celebrate while we waited for his prescription. We toasted to a new world of everything becoming bigger and brighter.

On the way home he asked me what it meant to be a nerd. I could see the wheels turning and anticipating what might be waiting for him at school the next day. Part of my heart was in my throat as this is one of those moments where you have to walk beside your child instead of in front to protect him. We talked about how the word "nerd" can be mean but how in the end nerds rule the earth. We discussed all the super heroes with glasses. He smiled. I listened as he made his plan for less than positive responses and found his way to embracing this new part of himself.

All in all school went well, a few comments that were not the greatest but nothing terrible. He seemed proud and just fine. We even went to our neighbors for a popsicle party to show off the new lenses. I think we are all seeing a whole lot more.

If you wear glasses, do you remember your first pair? Any advice for navigating this change?


Anne writes...

Oh Yea, seventh grade, which was the absolute worst age anyway. But, Wow, I could see, and there were actually leaves on those trees out there. That was really cool, but I didn't tell anyone about the leaves, because afterall they already knew they were there! Josiah looks great in his new specs, and he's got the greatest fam in the world to support him :)

Jenna writes...

Josiah looks awesome! and the article is great. I love reading about all the Mommy stories from all of you! Y'all are the best. We'll have to get a picture of Kira and Josiah together in their ultra cool specs!



Amy writes...

he looks fantastic! so handsome, Josiah. wish I had words of wisdom from personal experience but I don't. what I do see though is more kids wearing glasses these days, and some very cool frames they've chosen. maybe they aren't as terrible as they were in the 70's?

"nerds rule the earth". classic!

Gina writes...

I do remember getting my first pair of glasses. On the drive home I kept telling my mom that "the trees have LEAVES!" It was very exciting.
I also remember feeling a little nervous about image, but all was okay.
I think Josiah looks very handsome and I look forward to telling him that in person.

Heather writes...

The glasses look great! Go Josiah!

I got glasses in second grade and I remember being astonished that stars really do twinkle. I was so happy to be able to see well that any comments have long since faded into oblivion. I honestly don't remember any negative comments from kids. Being able to pick my new glasses myself was huge in getting me to like them, and since prescription strengths change so much during childhood, I usually could count on picking out a new pair the next year.

Amy writes...

My oldest Zac got his glasses at 5years old and last year when he turned 8 we got him rec specs that he never takes off. He looks so cool in them. Josiah has a soulmate in Zac!

Courtney writes...

I remember my first pair, I was in 5th grade. So many other kids had glasses in my class, it was almost a right of passage. The few comments on the school bus were mitigated by the fact that I could finally see clearly again. After a week people stop noticing you have glasses. And I'm a total geek who works in an engineering firm, I can back up your comment that nerds rule the world.

kelly writes...

ironically, as a child with 20/20 vision and perfectly straight teeth, i LONGED for both glasses and braces and would pop the glass out of reading glasses and fashion braces out of aluminum foil.

imagine my delight when, as a young adult, my vision inexplicably worsened and i needed to get glasses! i have loved picking out sassy frames and donning the much-longed-for specs over the years.

and as if it couldn't get any better, i ended up marrying a man who LOVES it when i wear my glasses, saying they make me look S-E-X-Y!

hurray for glasses! i'll take being a saucy nerd over an everyday girl any day of the week! long live nerds and their nerdalicious love!

you can tell josiah that his coolness, in my book, just increased by 100%. welcome to the club, josiah!

PatienceAuthor Profile Page writes...

So glad to read that nerd love is so alive! Thanks for all the stories friends!

Amber writes...

I got my first pair of glasses when I was 11. I don't remember it being a really big deal, but I only needed to wear them in class in the beginning. By that age lots of the other kids had them already.

The eye doctor told me my 4-year-old is far sighted, and is suggesting she might need glasses for school. 5 or 6 seems awfully young, though. I can imagine lots of lost & broken pairs of glasses. On the other hand, her far-sighted father had a hard time paying attention in school when he was young and I wonder if his vision had something to do with that.

jen@odbt writes...

My son first got glasses a year ago - he was funny when he first put them on...reading all the street signs. He did not take them off and he didn't even have to wear them all the time. Glasses today are nothing like when I wore them in grade school - glasses are cool these days. Glad he's taken to them so well.

Jess writes...

Nerds do indeed rule the earth!

I didn't wear glasses as a child, but a boy that I had a crush on in elementary school for three (!!) years wore glasses, and I adored them. He rocked 'em just like Josiah.

Great frames on a gorgeous kid!

nancy writes...

My sister got glasses at 2, I got to wait until I was 5, I think my other sister was 5 or 6. I hardly remember a time when I didn't have them, so I have no words of advice.

I do have this though, that I love. My mother, now 81, will still stop any child in glasses and gush about how beautiful or handsome they are in his/her glasses and how all HER children wore glasses too and she thinks he/she looks FABULOUS! It's one of the things I love most about my mom.

Professor Iris writes...

My son Jason was 14 when he got glasses. When he got told he needed glasses, he started to bawl right there in the eye doctor's office. The poor eye doctor, lol. "I NEED GLASSES!?" he shouted. "I want a second opinion!" Thankfully, the eye doctor had seen plenty of these tantrums (And even worse ones!) so he didn't mind.

We went to pick out the glasses, and this is probably why Jason still won't wear glasses to this day. He found a rectangular black pair that he liked, but I thought round oval glasses would look cuter on him so I made him get a pair of green oval shaped ones. He hated them; you could tell from the look on his face. Looking back, I should have let him pick out his own pair. I guess hindsight is 20/20 (No pun intended).

When we got the glasses the next day, he was VERY reluctant to wear them. I finally had to threaten to take away his playstation privilages unless he wore them, and so he did, scowling.

The next day was school. Before Jason left for school, I nagged at him that he MUST wear his glasses when there were notes on the board. Jason told me to shut up and stormed out of the house. In retrospect, I shouldn't have nagged about the glasses, either.

A year passed. Jason didn't wear his glasses the whole time. Then one day while we were having an argument, he snapped the glasses in half. He screamed that I was a control freak, and that if he had been able to get the rectangular pair, he would be wearing his glasses just fine. It was then that I realized the error of my ways.

The next week, I took Jason to pick out a new pair of glasses. He picked rectangular black ones. I really wanted him to get these brown oval shaped ones, but then I said to myself, "He's 15 years old, let him pick out the pair HE wants, not the pair YOU want."

That was the first step in the right direction. Now for the second. He wasn't wearing his glasses when we left the eye doctor's, but I didn't badger him about it. In time, I knew he would wear them. That night, I saw him wearing them while playing GTA San Andreas. I told him he was a good boy, and he smiled.

A week went by. Jason was wearing his glasses at school whenever he needed to see the board. I was proud of him, especially because he had overcome something he was very reluctant to do. That takes guts. So I decided to get him a Shetland Sheepdog, which he had wanted for a long time.

On the way to pick out the puppy, I said, "Jason, I want to apologize for how I approached the situation of when you first needed glasses. I didn't treat you with respect and that was wrong. It was also very myopic of me to force you to wear an ugly pair of glasses." He grinned at my lame pun.

2 years have gone by. Jason, Rosie (The Sheltie), and I are doing great. Jason is 17 now and he will only wear his glasses for school and when he is watching The Critic. But this is to be expected, due to all the agony I put him through. I am glad he wears them even that much.

In conclusion, I give the following advice to parents with children that need glasses:

-Let them pick out their own pair! I can't emphasize this enough. Children and teens are NOT going to wear glasses they don't like, period.

-Don't get upset if they don't want to wear the glasses as soon as they get them. Give them some time; it's a big adjustment. Never threaten or punish a child for not wearing their glasses; this will only backfire.

-Offer them an incentive to wear the glasses. For my son, it was a Shetland Sheepdog. If they are being offered something they want very badly, it will make wearing glasses all the more appealing.

Good luck to you all!


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