…only the teachers.” Zoe’s brought this up a couple of times recently. She hasn’t been upset per se, but she does seem to notice it a lot more. I usually run through my list of kids we know in glasses out loud, but none of them are kids that she sees on a regular basis, so that doesn’t seem to reassure her.
Zoe got her glasses so early that it never really occurred to me that this might eventually come up. When she got glasses at 14 months, we didn’t know any other kids her age in glasses, but she was too young to really make that connection. Plus, nearly everyone in her family wears glasses, so I think it felt like a completely normal thing. But as she’s grown, her circle of friendship and people she’s aware of has expanded, and she differentiates now between family, and adult friends, and her friends her age. A lot of people in those first two categories have glasses, but very few in that last category. This came up again in a thread on the facebook group, and I was struck by the fact that three of us with kids around the same age were noticing a slight change in their attitude towards their glasses. Thankfully, Zoe still wears her glasses with no problems, and right now, as long as she just keeps pointing it out as a difference between her and her friends, without judgement, I think I’m going to leave it be. All kids are different, and I think it’s important to learn that differences are not necessarily good or bad, they’re just different.
But I do worry that the day will come when it she starts seeing them as a bad thing, and I’m not entirely sure what to do when that happens. I’d love to hear whether anyone has had their child starts to see their glasses in a negative light – I’m not talking about a phase when they simply won’t wear them, we’ve been through those – but rather when they are tying their glasses to their self-esteem, and not in a good way. What did you do in those cases? Or, maybe it doesn’t need to happen, are there things we can do now to help reinforce that glasses really don’t have any bearing at all on whether a person is good or bad, or nice or attractive or mean or anything else?
Normally, I would turn to books, but I find myself annoyed at a lot of the books about kids in glasses that focus (no pun intended) on the fact that the kid’s friends laugh at their glasses, or the kid hates how he or she looks in their glasses. If she was just getting glasses, I think she might relate, but I’d rather not reinforce the idea that glasses are taunt-worthy if I don’t need to.
Or maybe I’m over-thinking it. Nearly everyone goes through a time in childhood when there’s something they don’t like about themselves, and if that thing for Zoe is her glasses, well then there are worse things to be upset about.