10 Things To Do If Your Child Hates Wearing Glasses

10 Things To Do If Your Child Hates Wearing Glasses

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Written by Optometrist Megan Lafferty, contact us to book an appointment with Megan.

Wearing glasses can be a challenging adjustment for children, especially if they are resistant to the idea. Whether it’s due to discomfort, self-consciousness, or simply not liking the way they look, it’s not uncommon for children to show aversion to glasses wear. It has been documented that children are more likely to experience bullying as a result of glasses wear 1 and in Singapore it has been predicted that 65% of our children will have myopia (and therefore require vision correction) by as young as 11 years old 2 therefore many parents/ guardians may face this issue. However, there are several strategies you can employ to help your child adapt to and embrace their glasses with confidence.

1. Understand and Empathise With Their Concerns:

Start by having an open conversation with your child to understand why they dislike wearing glasses. Are they experiencing discomfort? Do they feel self-conscious about their appearance? By understanding their concerns, you can address them more effectively. Let them know that it’s okay to feel frustrated or self-conscious, and reassure them that you’re there to support them through the adjustment process.

2. Choose Glasses Together:

Involve your child in the process of choosing their glasses. Take them to an optical shop and make it a fun experience to find frames that they feel comfortable and confident wearing. Allowing them to have a say in the selection can increase their sense of ownership and pride in their glasses.

3. Positive Reinforcement:

Encourage and praise your child when they wear their glasses, especially during the initial adjustment period. Offer compliments and positive reinforcement to boost their confidence and emphasise the importance of why they are being asked to wear glasses and how it will help their visual health now and in the future.

4. Normalise Glasses:

Too often do parents say to the Eye Care Practitioner in front of the child “Oh no, are you really sure my child needs glasses, can they have contact lenses or laser surgery instead?” This already creates a negative connotation which can send the wrong message to the child. Try to help your child understand that wearing glasses is normal and common. Share stories of family members, friends, or even celebrities who wear glasses, emphasising that glasses are not bad but are a tool to help them see better.

5. Set a Routine:

Establish a daily routine that incorporates wearing glasses, such as putting them on after brushing teeth in the morning and taking them off before bed. Consistency can help make wearing glasses feel like a natural part of their day-to-day life. Speaking to the school teacher to help encourage wearing glasses can also help reinforce their wearing when you are not around.

6. Address Practical Concerns:

Your child could show dislike for glasses for practical reasons, for example the glasses are uncomfortable to wear or don’t fit properly. Schedule a follow-up appointment with the Eye Care Practitioner to ensure the glasses fit properly and they can make any necessary adjustments. It is also important to ensure your child is wearing the correct and most up to date prescription in their glasses lenses as this could be a source of discomfort

7. Be Patient and Persistent:

Adaptation takes time, so be patient with your child as they adjust to wearing glasses. Continue to provide encouragement and support, even if they resist initially. With time and persistence, most children grow accustomed to wearing glasses and may even come to appreciate them.

8. Compromise:

If your child is really very adverse to wearing glasses and you have tried all options, you could consider a compromise such as contact lenses for their visual correction. This could be for example, alternating days with glasses and contact lens wear meaning they do not need to wear glasses full time or do not need to wear for the specific tasks they possibly feel self conscious about. All patients considering contact lenses for children must be tested by an appropriate eye care professional for suitability.

9. Alternative Options:

Another option for children which is gaining popularity in recent years is Ortho-Keratology contact lenses. This involves the child wearing specially designed contact lenses whilst they sleep and does not require glasses to be worn at all during the day. All patients considering Ortho-K must be tested by an appropriate eye care professional for suitability.

10. Myopia Prevention:

As the rates of myopia are increasing dramatically worldwide, and in particular in Singapore,3 we should be considering ways of preventing the myopic degree from developing so our children may not require visual correction in the first place. Recent years have shown great advancements in this field which continue to show promise in reducing the rates of myopia progression and development in the future.
Helping your child navigate their dislike for wearing glasses requires patience, empathy, and support. By understanding their concerns, involving them in the decision-making process, and providing positive reinforcement, you can help your child embrace their glasses confidently. Remember that adaptation takes time, so be patient and persistent, and seek professional advice if needed. With your guidance and support, your child can learn to see their glasses as a valuable tool for clearer vision and eye health and feel more confident and comfortable wearing them.


  1. J. Horwood, A. Waylen, D. Herrick, C. Williams, D. Wolke. Common Visual Defects and Peer Victimization in Children. IOVS (2005) doi:10.1167/iovs.04-0597(https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2124148&_gl=1*5w4sem*_gcl_au*MTM0Njc2OTk0LjE3MTAzOTg3MTI.)
  2. I. Ng, W.T. Yin. Speech by Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Eye Health at the Opening of Singapore National Eye Centre’s Myopia Centre. Ministry of Health Singapore (2019) (https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/speech-by-dr-lam-pin-min-senior-minister-of-state-for-health-at-the-opening-of-the-singapore-national-eye-centre-s-myopia-centre-16-august-2019/)
  3. B. A. Holden, T. R. Fricke, D. A. Wilson, M. Jong, K. S. Naidoo, P. Sankaridurg, T. Y. Wong, T. J. Naduvilath, S. Resnikoff. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Epub (2016) doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.01.006 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26875007/)
  4. J. Cooper & A. V. Tkatchenko. A Review of Current Concepts of the Etiology and Treatment of Myopia. Eye Contact Lens (2018) doi:10.1097/ICL.0000000000000499 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6023584/)