I see a lot of comments and questions from parents with kids just starting out with glasses wondering if they should use bribery to get their child to wear their glasses, or feeling guilty for bribing their child.  I’m betting that a lot of us used bribery in the beginning to help our children get used to their glasses.  Once your child sees (pun intended) what their glasses do for their vision, most will wear their glasses without extra encouragement.  It’s just getting them to that point that’s the trick.

So how about you?  Did you (do you) use bribery to get your child to wear his or her glasses?  If so, what have you used?  If not, what other strategies did you use to encourage your child to leave the glasses on?

5 responses to “bribes?

  1. My son was only two years old when he started wearing glasses. I did a little bribery, if you want to call it that. Maybe I like to call it “something to look forward to.” Anyhow, my son really enjoyed paints and crafts. At that age he did not use a great deal of art supplies meant for older children. So, I went to Walmart and bought him some paints, foam stickers, and new colored papers. I told him that if he wanted to use his new art supplies he would have to do it with his glasses on. This worked out really well because I think he could even see that the glasses helped see better while he did his art work. After he was done creating his art work and praised him a LOT for wearing his glasses and making such wonderful pictures. I then had to encourage him to keep wearing his glasses if he wanted to make more art work later. Eventually he grew to really love his glasses. He has always been very proud of his glasses and when he started preschool he even made a point to educate the other curious children why he wore them. “They help me see!” is what my son told the other kids. My son is now 5 years old, wears bi-focals and even started patching. Patching has become a new challenge, but he’s doing really well.


  2. I think people may confuse rewards with bribery. When a 2 year old doesn’t undersand what is going on, we as parents must pull out all stops to make sure they have on what I consider a necessity. It irritates me when parents say, “Oh, ____ (insert name) should be in glasses, but just doesn’t like to wear them” There were times when we had to say “When you put your glasses on, you are showing my that you are ready to go to the park (or any other fun place)” We also celebrated wearing glasses for 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year with a trip to the ice cream shop for a yummy treat. Some people may consider this as bribery – OH well. My now 4 year old wears them and understands there importance. They have just become part of life =)


  3. Makenna was only 16 months old when she started wearing her glasses…so bribery wasn’t really an option because she was so little (believe me, if we were starting glassed now at 2 1/2 I would be ALL over the bribes!). I believe seeing a book for the very first time is what helped her make the connection that the glasses were not all bad…so we worked with her to keep the glasses on just long enough to notice the pages…and then slowly she left them on for longer periods and by about the third day she was wearing them full time. Her vision is +10 and +9 though so it was actually easier I think because of this, the glasses made such a drastic difference that she started to like them!


  4. Ferris has been wearing glasses for one week and it’s going pretty well. He is 16 months old today and still takes them off several times a day but no longer fights us when we put them back on. It helps to put them on when he is looking at a book or something else close up – like food in his high chair- so that he sees the difference in his sight immediately. Also, someone on this site suggested going outside and that made a huge difference in the first days when one of us had to hold down his arms while the other slipped the glasses on and he would cry, which was awful for us.

    I would happily bribe him with a non-food bribe if it would work but we do say “You have to wear your glasses to see the book, or to go outside etc” before we put them on. And we give lots of praise for wearing them.


  5. Bennett was a year when he started to wear glasses so I think the concept of a bribe would have been lost on him. We did a lot of distraction (going outside, messy fun projects) to keep the glasses on him. And when he needed to start patching at 4 years we did offer him “incentives” for keeping it on, like a fun DVD from the library or time on the iPad. (Which our doctor later said was really great, because the fine detail and interaction if the iPad was forcing his eye to work even harder.)


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