Parenting Crisis: The Kid Needs Glasses

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parenting crisis

A recent routine eye test revealed that our 9 year old needs glasses, and it’s causing a full blown parenting crisis. It’s been two months – we’ve begged, pleaded, talked logically about eye health, talked about fears and why glasses are such a big deal, and about taking it one step at a time. And finally after taking some time to absorb the news, we started visiting stores to look at frames.

There have been tears. During the eye exam where we found out that my son needs glasses for distance, little boy blue had a breakdown that lasted on and off for hours. Every time we talk about it, there are more tears.

He is consumed with anger over this eye prescription. Anger at me. Thinking that I am a bad parent for making him actually get the glasses. Anger at the optometrist. Saying all the bad words in his head out loud, screaming them at me. He’s actually asked for a second opinion.

There have been many many conversations. He doesn’t like the way he looks wearing glasses. Also in my 9 year old’s head, wearing glasses equals the loss of all of his friendships at school. In his mind, nobody will like him anymore if he has to put on glasses even if it’s just to read the board once and a while. We have talked about strategies to deal with this but he is convinced of this catastrophic truth.

The poor kid is blinking and squinting by the end of the day; his eyes are getting tired from straining. What I would like to do is get the glasses and at least have him wear them at home to watch television. But he is determined to fight this all the way.

I honestly don’t know what to do. This last visit to a store resulted in a nasty outburst of anger on the way home and I feel defeated over something that I have no control over.

I am way over my head on this one.





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8 thoughts on “Parenting Crisis: The Kid Needs Glasses

  1. Buy them online from Clearly. Leave it at that.
    Your son will eventually come to the conclusion that it’s for his own good – offer no sympathy when he complains of headaches, falling behind in class, not seeing friends at a distance, and so on. Emphasise at every opportunity what he’s missing.
    He’s old enough to learn about truth and consequences; you’re old enough to step back.

  2. wow that is a very strong reaction. So. what has he heard either at school or at home that is negative about glasses? Who is causing this reaction? My 8 yr old had to get them too as she was in a terrible state vision wise. Was totally okay with it..picked her frames and that was that. I do have to remind her some days to wear them..but no complaints… Is it because you have complained about wearing glasses? Just trying to think about why he would be so upset

    1. It must have been something at school because he is convinced his friends at school won’t like him anymore if he has to wear glasses. It’s a rough tough world on the playground apparently.

  3. Lori, I wonder if he has any friends who wear glasses? Or if there is anyone he looks up to who does? I don’t know how this came to be, but I actually have the opposite challenge. My girls have it in their head that wearing glasses is the ultimate cool, and they are purposely trying to ruin their eyes so that they can “need” them. They get 3d glasses from the movies, and cheapos at the dollar store, punch out the plastic lenses and wear the frames.

    I know that doesn’t help you much…. maybe if we hung out, their enthusiasm might rub off on him 🙂

    I hope he comes around soon.

    1. We’ve kind of given up for the most part for now since his eyes are not that bad yet. Some days I think I am the mom of the most stubborn boy in the world. Thanks for the support my friend!

  4. Hi, I just found your blog after searching about my 10yr old needing glasses and he’s really upset about it. Says he doesn’t have a vision problem but it’s clear he can’t read things far away. He ended up in tears and refused to finish a quick eye exam at the dr last week.
    How did things turn out with your 9yr old?
    Any tips?

    1. Hi Bethany. it’s been a journey. We ended up getting contact lenses to start Grade 6 which greatly improved the situation although that is really tough with such a young kid. It’s not easy, but every school day in the morning, I put the contact lenses in his eyes (oy!). However, our son had a couple of incidents before that where he got hit in the head with a ball and we think it’s probably caused by his vision issues. I wish that hadn’t happened, so my advice is be patient and be firm about taking care of the vision. It wasn’t until we put our foot down and really insisted he get the eye exams and pick out a pair of glasses that he went along with it. It seems to be a tough age because of feeling very self conscious about how they look and what other people think. Also I agreed if he wants to do the laser surgery when he’s old enough (probably 20?) we will do it.

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