When the eye doctor says your 2-year-old needs glasses, your first reaction might be, "Yeah, and how much duct tape will I need to actually keep them on his head?" Fortunately, children's eyeglasses sport some special features that help them stay put without extraordinary measures. Spin the eyeglass scenario carefully, and your 2-year-old may even cooperate and wear them willingly -- especially when he realizes how much he can actually see.
Use a specialist trained in fitting children's glasses to find the perfect pair of specs for your 2-year-old. Kids' glasses aren't the same as adults' – the nose bridge has a different shape for the tiny, undeveloped toddler nose. Kids' glasses are often lightweight plastic, too, which will feel more comfortable on a little face and resist breakage from your rowdy toddler. When the glasses fit properly and feel comfortable, it's more likely that your 2-year-old will adapt and agree to wear them.
Hype it up, big time. It's vital that you get your tot excited about wearing her glasses. Talk about how much the glasses help her to see. Look for real-life examples of people she knows who wear glasses. If Mommy or Daddy wears glasses, make sure you point this out to your 2-year-old.
Put the glasses on your toddler and tell him how great he looks. "Handsome" or "gorgeous" might be words you'd use to describe your 2-year-old. If he balks, explain how important it is to follow the doctor's instructions and wear the glasses.
Provide encouragement, if necessary, to get your 2-year-old to cooperate. Optometrist Dr. Burt Dubow recommends bribing a little kid to keep the specs in place. The Children’s Hospital Cleveland Clinic suggests easing into the glasses-wearing routine by having your kid put them on for a couple of hours and then take them off. The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus tells parents that it may be helpful if the doctor prescribes special eyedrops to help during the adjustment period.
Use positive reinforcement to encourage cooperation. Whenever your little one wears the glasses happily or cooperatively, make a big deal out of it. Praise her lavishly and tell her how proud you are of her for wearing her glasses. Positive reinforcement gives positive attention when your 2-year-old does what you want her to do – a very effective way to encourage more of the behaviors you want.
Take your child back to the doctor if he absolutely refuses to wear the glasses. It's possible that they aren't comfortable or are hurting him and they need some adjustments.
Try an elastic strap on the glasses if your tot is running and jumping around. This can help keep the glasses from falling off.