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What to Do When Your Toddler Needs Glasses

My three year old had his well visit check-up a few months ago. They did the normal hearing and vision screening, but explained that his vision screening showed a slight variation from a normal screening, and recommended a pediatric ophthalmologist. We had his appointment a couple months later and the ophthalmologist did the cutest child-friendly vision screening for kids who may need toddler glasses. They use photos of boats, cakes, houses and different animals instead of the typical letters because some kids at this age have a hard time identifying letters.

He did great and let the doctor do everything she needed, but I can only imagine that for some kids, this process may be a bit overwhelming or even traumatic. Our doctor, Cynthia Beauchamp (whom I’d highly recommend), said that with some kids, they have to do a couple of appointments in order to learn everything they need to make an accurate assessment on whether or not toddler glasses are needed.

And then the news: My dear son, my precious three year old, needs glasses! He is far-sighted and, frankly, has horrible vision, much to my surprise. I cried. But I didn’t let him see me (no pun intended) because I didn’t want him to think anything was wrong. It made me sad. I am truly so unbelievably blessed with a happy and healthy family. In the grand scheme of life, toddler glasses are but a small obstacle to overcome, but whether it’s a scraped knee, glasses, or nightmares, as mommas, it hurts our hearts for our children. I don’t want my son to have the inconvenience. I don’t want him to have his beautiful little face covered. I don’t want kids to ask questions or call him names. I don’t want him to feel “different.”

So if you are in the same boat, I have a few tips to prepare your child, and yourself, for toddler glasses:

  • Act excited: I am a big believer in allowing my children to see my emotions, but I felt it necessary to be extra positive with phrases like, “Wow! you are getting GLASSES?! That’s so cool!” I repeated these types of affirmations while we waited for his glasses to come in.
  • Let them choose: Let your toddler pick out what they want. We went to a youth optical store, Dallas Youth Optical that serves children only. They have a large selection (but not overwhelming) of toddler glasses, and I let my son pick out “whatever” pair he wanted (but let’s be honest, I gently guided him in the direction that would be best). There are plastic frames, wire frames, or a combo frame, which is what we decided on. Then, within those choices, you can pick oval or square lenses and any color you can imagine! Some have shapes or cars on the sides, some are solid—your (I meant, their) choice!
  • Name drop: Superman. Simon from the Chipmunks. Chuckie on Rugrats. Velma from Scooby-Doo. Where’s Waldo. Ralphie. Johnny Bravo. And don’t forget grandparents and teachers!
  • Get the school involved: Our ophthalmologist recommended having my son’s teachers help with the process. You know how your children magically listen to their teachers: cleaning up toys, taking naps, and sitting politely at the lunch table? Well, enlist their help! When a teacher tells them that they need to wear their glasses, for some unknown reason, they listen instead of the clash a parent and child may have. Teachers are there to help. LET THEM!

All in all, it’s going to be okay. We will all survive, just as we have with sleepless nights, temper tantrums, and stomach bugs! Good luck, momma! You and your kid can do this!

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Carly lives in North Dallas with her husband of six years, Will, her two-year old son, Mason and a 3-month old baby girl, Olivia.

When she isn’t busy getting her spirited toddler a yogurt or juice, or loving on her sweet infant, Carly enjoys spending time like a good ol’ Texas girl hunting or on a laidback patio having a nice glass of Malbec.  She is still amazed each and every day how it can be possible to love her kids so much.  Her claim to fame is her record book aoudad that she shot after a grueling stalk in the Panhandle.  If she isn’t outside playing with her kids, you can spot her at Target stalking up on clothes, diapers, groceries and all the “necessities.”

Before Carly settled into her role as a mom, she worked with the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee and Allies in Service, a Dallas-based nonprofit that helps veterans and military families. She also serves as Collin County Moms Blog’s Sponsorship Coordinator. 

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