Many, many decades ago, my mother was informed by a teacher that I might need glasses. Being that wearing glasses was social suicide in junior high school, the last thing I wanted to do was wear them. So, quite against my will, my mother took me to the optometrist and I was fitted with the largest, ugliest glasses on the face of the planet. I hated them! I started getting into the habit of leaving in my locker at school in the hopes they would get lost forever. Finally, while playing outside one day, I tossed the awful things down a ravine, effectively losing them for good. My mother was less than keen on the lost glasses excuse.
Recently I took my daughter for her obligatory Kindergarten eye examine (mandatory in my state) and my son was so jealous that he demanded to have his eyes examined. Since the eye doc was able to take him right away, I thought it was a good idea, especially since I have never had his eyes examined prior. Well, as soon as he hopped up in the chair and the exam began I knew his eyes were not in the 20/20 range that my daughter had just shown me!
My poor son could not even get pas line two! I can't believe he never said anything to me about his ability to not see the blackboard at school. It turned out that indeed my son did in fact need eyeglasses. But he would only need them for distance. He at once started to pound his fists on the chair, stating to me that he was not getting glasses. I felt so bad for him , he was clearly very upset and he started to cry. I ended up leaving the facility due to his frustration at getting glasses.
I spoke with him once we got home about any of the issues he may have with this new phase of glasses wearing that he will be entering. He stated to me that no one would like him anymore. I told him that he would look brilliant and all his classmates would think he was smart. My son looked at me and simply said, "Mom, I'm already the smartest one in the class, how much smarter am I going to be with glasses on?" (good point dear son as I frantically thought of other confidence boosters). I pointed out other classmates who had glasses, but dear son just rolled his eyes at me. I knew glasses would make my son appear different to his peers and he is already 'different' since he is so far ahead of all his classmates academically and in the schoolyard jungle, different is a very bad thing.
My son holds his 15 year old cousin in high regard so I quickly let him know that said cousin also wore glasses in 2nd grade, but now wears contacts. My son then started to come around a bit more and I just let it be. About an hour later he came up to me and told me his eyes hurt and that he thought we should go pick out a pair of glasses now. Unfortunately, the Dr's office was closed at that time but I promised we would go first thing in the morning.
The next morning we went to the same facility but my son was fixated on a pair of glasses that had the magnetic sun glasses for $250.00. I told him they were too expensive and that we should keep looking. We drove to another facility and hit the jackpot. Large array of glasses for my son to choose from. I let my son pick the frames that he wanted to try on (but I did have the final say). I think it makes the difference in the way he views himself with the glasses on. I actually liked what he picked anyway. When I got my first frames, my mother chose the ones that she thought would look good on me…unfortunately, I did not. What I may think is ‘in’ may be what is "cool" in my son's world.
The plan of action was that my son would wear the glasses at home until he was used to them and then he would transition to wearing them at school as needed. He now ask where his glasses are when he watches television and he is slowly wearing them at school. He is still embarrassed and hides his glasses at school (which is really enduring because I am quite sure his classmates notice him wearing his glasses, but I will continue to let him think they don't). I don't want the wearing of the glasses to interfere with his self image. The last thing I want to do is turn this into more of a major issue than it has to be. Instead, I focus on helping to boost his esteem. I compliment him on the way he look when he wear them and when he take them off.
My son is wearing his glasses once he found out that wearing them is not the end of the world. Not only does he realize the the glasses help him see, but they are also an enhancement to his wonderful face! Which I tell him every time I see them on his face!
Among the "cool" kids who wear them: child wizard Harry Potter, Chuckie on Rugrats and Eliza on The Wild Thornberry's. Suddenly glasses for kids are hip, just like braces, which we will be phasing in soon enough in my house I am sure.