Open thread: struggles

We haven’t had an open thread in a while.

Some kids use glasses as teethers, some hide or break them, some fight patching tooth and nail, and some of us struggle with the changes that glasses and vision problems can mean for our children, or with rude comments from strangers.  What are the biggest struggles you’ve dealt with in having a child in glasses (or contacts, or patching, or other vision problems)?

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34 responses to “Open thread: struggles

  1. I love this site. I’m in Ireland so a lot of it isn’t relevant to me, but it is a great resource for everyone worldwide who has a child with glasses. For us the biggest issue is Sean leaving his down somewhere and forgetting about them. We’ve lost 3 pairs this way. I dont think I ever stop asking where his glasses are. But in general he’s really good.

    Now patching… we start that next month, I think that will be an issue for us.

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    • Keeping them on was job #1! It was excruciating with our first child, who was actually afraid of them. We had to give her a sticker for every five minutes she kept them on. By about age 3, she was asking for them when she woke up in the morning. She’s nearly 7 now and doesn’t even remember a time when she didn’t wear them. Her little brother was a lot easier — monkey see, monkey do factor. 😉

      Patching was a struggle for us too. Our kids had skin reactions to the stick-on patches (the Ortopads were gentler but fell right off) and it was hard till we discovered cloth patches.

      And then keeping track of the glasses — another problem I’m sure you have all experienced!

      Lately, our biggest difficulty has been in dance class and activities… DD’s glasses are heavy metal frames (Menizzi brand, very fashionable and she loves them) and have scratched her face a few times. We definitely should have gotten her a safer pair for active sports and dance. Our optician is trying to talk us into sports frames but DD is resisting (they are not fancy). As DS (4) gets more into soccer and T-ball, he will definitely be wearing sports frames, he has no aesthetic objection to them at least!

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  2. We have had to deal with the rude people. The worse was when a little boy about 7 or 8 called her a retard. My concern is that she will be starting Pre-k this fall and if children make fun of her she might not wear her glasses.

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    • Arismom, that’s awful! We haven’t had any problem with our daughter in preschool, in fact, a couple of the kids have asked their parents if they can have glasses. We’ve had a few strange comments – usually asking if they’re real, one person asking if they were Sarah Palin glasses (what?!?) – but none that were too mean. I think the teasing comes later, and I’m hoping that it’s not too bad. There was a study a few years ago that found that school-aged kids don’t think other kids in glasses are unattractive or less athletic – just that they’re smarter.

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    • I agree with Ann – that’s absolutely awful! Aubrie was in preschool last year and we had no problems at all. She had a few kids want to touch her glasses, but the teachers were excellent about halting that behavior. So far we haven’t had any issues, but I too dread the adolescent years where the meanness comes out. I’m hoping with the trendiness of glasses now that we won’t have that problem.

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  3. I agree with keeping the lenses clean… and we just had our first “moment” today – DD fell at day camp today and banged her head – and glasses! – on the play structure!! I was greeted by the counsellor at the end of day asking “Were her glasses bent when she came this morning?” Yikes!! So, our first trip back to the store to have her glasses straightened tonight!!

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  4. Definately, the biggest issue with my son’s (aged 2) glasses are the fact that we are visiting an optical dispenser at least 2 or 3 times a week to fix them. I think I need to do a course in optometry so I can fix them myself. Whether it be soldering the arms back on, replacing lens’ that he has pulled out and put somewhere or replacing the rubber bits on that fit around his ears…it goes on and on….No doubt in the next week, we will have many a pair of broken glasses as tomorrow we start full time patching, the first thing I know he will lash out at is his glasses, usually by pulling them off and throwing them at a wall….We have ordered 2 new pairs in anticipation!!!

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    • Hang in there. Have plenty of distractions handy. Picking up little items …coins, etc. Perhaps enlisting his aid in helping you find something that is ‘lost’…anything to take the attention away.

      Oh..and keep the pieces to practice. you’ll be expert in eyeglass repair in no time 🙂

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  5. I think for us it is the “hassle” of them sometimes. There are times I admit when I would love to not have to put them on Paris, check that they are straight, check that they have not fallen down her nose. Check where they are!! However, having said all that, it definitely does get much much easier over time. They really are a non issue now a year and a half on. We also do patching two hours, which seemed impossible when we started and is now such a routine we don’t even think about it anymore. My real ongoing concern of course is her vision and hoping that her script remains stable. Paris has never ever had any derogatory comments about her glasses at all, only compliments thankfully. GeorgeB is right you do become an expert in repair!! I think the biggest thing to remember is that it does get easier!!

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  6. most definitely keeping the lenses clean for my two year old and having them fixed. we literally go to the place we bought the glasses at least once a week to have the fixed…straightened, tightened, adjusted, you name it. its so frequent that she now points out the “eye doctor” every time we drive by. but thank goodness she is great at keeping them on. and she just figured out how to put them on by herself now too, whohoo!

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  7. When Zoe first got her glasses, the struggle was to keep them on her, but also I really struggled with being patient with her and not forcing it. She got her glasses on Dec. 26 and I wasn’t going back to work until Jan. 2, so I was certain she’d be totally fine with her glasses by then. Ha. When it became clear that she wasn’t going to be a total champ with her glasses by then, I got really worried about sending them with her to daycare, and that just made me more impatient, and made the whole thing into a power struggle. She did eventually take to the glasses, probably in part because I calmed down a bit, too.

    As others have mentioned, our big struggle now is keeping the glasses clean, and also keeping track of her sunglasses and switching between the two when we’re going in and out all the time this summer. I keep forgetting to send them with her to daycare.

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  8. Bennett got glasses when he was a year old so the main struggle was keeping them on him, then it was the breakage. I think our record was three pairs in less than 24 hours, one pair being deliberately broken as we drove away from the optical shop after a repair. Sigh… We still get broken pairs now but it’s never deliberate and the sports goggles have been a HUGE help for playground time, adaptive PE class, etc. We also have a drawer full of bent but useable back ups for emergencies. Now that more of his peers are in glasses we don’t get the comments from strangers as often, but that was frequent when we had a one year old in glasses. We’re finally, finally having fewer battles over patching but it will always be a frustration for him. Bennett’s struggling with his extreme light sensitivity, it makes outside play (or even inside play in a bright room) really hard for him even with hats and sunglasses and I feel bad for him because he says the light hurts his eyes so he just cowers. I think my biggest struggle now is the unknown – fearing the continued vision loss, figuring out the best ways to help him adapt, and not knowing what the future holds for his ability to see. Okay, so my list got long. 🙂

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  9. I agree that keeping the lenses clean is difficult to do. I’ve noticed that adults notice the glasses more than the kids do but the kids really notice the patch and usually ask about it or just make mean comments. Its hard knowing that he will soon start to understand clearly what they are saying.

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  10. When Emma first got her glasses our struggle was her getting used to them. She was rather self-conscious when wearing them and didn’t like to wear them out of the house. It took her a little while to feel comfortable in them.

    Now, like a lot of others, our biggest struggle is keeping them clean! I am constantly amazed at how dirty they can get and she never complains. And I find it more of an issue now keeping track of them, especially when she’s in and out of the pool so much.

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  11. Ive also noticed that adults notice glasses more than kids Darlene. Paris can be wearing her patch for the firs time in front of her little friends and they dont even seem to notice! or mention it! None of her friends have ever mentioned her glasses!

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    • I’ve noticed this too! Aubrie goes to daycare one day a week & spends the other 4 with her two grandmas. I was worried that daycare would be an issue, but for the most part no one noticed she wore glasses except the babies – they love glasses 🙂

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      • Yeah, the babies going for the glasses is tough. Zoe loves babies, but gets really upset when one grabs for her glasses, which happens all the time. In fact, the only time her glasses have been broken, were when a young toddler at daycare tried to grab them off her face. Those two things might be related, now that I think about it.

        With a new baby on the way, I am worried that Zoe will freak out the first time her baby sister makes a grab for her glasses. Then again, I figure there will be plenty of other ways they’ll both torment each other, so this will just be one more drop in that bucket. 🙂

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  12. Paris also gets very upset if a younger child pulls at her glasses. She will say “dont touch my glasses, they are very special”!! lol.

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  13. 1) Losing them (my 9 year old son!) more than breaking them now..

    2) The comments – my 5 year old daughter who wears glasses and patched for a year, now patching again. Within 15 minutes got called “One Eye” from a child. She actually does better when kids make comments than when adults do. But the comments are ENOUGH!

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  14. Late to post but wanted to chime in: Our biggest struggle has been breakage! When does a two year old learn to be gentle with her glasses? Tonight we are picking out her sixth pair in 8 months. I *wish* our biggest hassle were keeping the lenses clean.

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      • Yes, I totally agree! Now that my youngest is 4, it’s Mommy who accidentally breaks his glasses, not him 😉 (Boy, did he think that was hilarious)

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    • Ugh, Heather, that’s awful! I know we’ve been very lucky that Zoe was usually pretty gentle with her glasses. I hope the breaking stops soon!

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  15. I believe our biggest challenge will be starting tomorrow…My son, Reid is 3 1/2 and we have to start atrophine drops as he is fighting the patching. Bribing, threatening, everyone wearing one, playing pirates or what-have-you, heart-to-heart talks….nothing is working so now we have to do this. I’m scared because it’s essentially going to be taking his vision away and our day to day is going to be tough. What I’m really hoping is that the drops will become a bargaining tool to use the patch and we’ll be able to go back to that. Wish us luck. Fun stuff.

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    • Good luck, Kristina! I know a lot of people here have been through so many struggles with patching and eye drops. I know it’s not easy.

      Keep us updated. And good luck again!

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  16. Hi, 4year old just started Atropine. Today will be day 2. The hardest part was having to hold her down to put in the drop. I felt horrible,but she has told me she likes the drop better than wearing a patch.

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  17. Kristina, it’s great that he is patching. We did 3 days of drops and Ari did fine. I really thought she would have preferred the patch. Was I wrong!

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  18. Still patching! Woo hoo! It’s the small victories! LOL! We’ve been increasing the time each day and he’s up to 5 1/2 hours now! I find the busier he is he seems to forget about it! Still haven’t even opened the bottle of atrophine yet!

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  19. Up until yesterday it was going well. I noticed that her heart rate was elevated. So I will be contacting the PO on Monday and just monitoring her.

    I am so glad to hear your son is patching. We just might have to give that another try.

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  20. My struggle is that I am having to put glasses on my 6 month old little boy… do I get a strap? or no strap. Do you work you way….like he wears it an hour a day and each day add 1/2 hour until he wears them full time? It’s all a bit overwhelming as my DD didn’t get her DX until age 2 (she is farsighted and so is her brother…whereas my DH and I are nearsighted). Thanks for any tips for baby wearing…

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