Frame and fortune

DONNELLE BELANGER-TAYLOR
Last updated 10:01 26/07/2012

I am dreadfully short-sighted. I never caught a ball until I was seven, soon after I got my first pair of glasses. The day we collected them, I walked outside and said "Trees have leaves." I knew they did, I just hadn't expected them to be so... distinct.

Since hubby is short-sighted, too, we naturally kept an eye out for any signs of it in our kids. Our eldest regularly pointed out things I couldn't see even with my glasses, so we decided it wasn't a problem.

GlassesThen, earlier this year, he started getting regular headaches. We took to him an optometrist, where he was diagnosed - much to our surprise - as long-sighted. He got glasses for reading, computers, and other close work, and the headaches vanished.

He's the same age I was when I got glasses, but the difference is that I had to wear mine all the time. His are on-again, off-again, and it's the off-again that causes problems.

We were thankful that we'd got a 2-for-1 deal when one pair disappeared after a week. He'd been reading, went outside with them on, took them off somewhere, and... *poof*. We hunted everywhere, but couldn't find them. He got a talking-to about being careful, and we specified a place for him to leave them.

It didn't work. He'd forget to take them off when he finished reading, leave them in the oddest places, then forget where he put them. I suppose leaving them in the birdhouse was more careful than leaving them on the ground, but he's lucky we found them at all.

One day he came home from the neighbours' house without his glasses. It was dark when we realised, so hubby went with him. It turned out that his mysteriously missing pair were there, too, for six weeks!

A week later, the newly found pair were ruined. He'd worn them out to lunch at One Day School, left them on the playground, and they'd been stood on. Several times, by rampaging rhinos, by the look of them. Possibly rampaging rhinos doing the rhumba. Rigorously.

They were reduced to a scratched, flattened tangle... in several pieces. They were absolutely beyond repair.

Stern words were spoken. We ordered a replacement pair with a flexible, bendable frame. He promised to be more careful.  

He'd had his new glasses for one day when hubby found them on the floor in the hallway, with a scratch on one lens.

I don't know what to do, really. He's not malicious, just forgetful, but it's an expensive business. I could do the ultra-chic glasses strap (in fluoro-green with clear plastic loops, for true 80s-child-nostalgia), but he'd probably bash his glasses into things if they were hanging around his neck. Although, adding an extra step to taking them off might make him more conscious?  

Worth a try, I reckon. Any other suggestions? Commiserations?

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25 comments
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MJ   #1   10:12 am Jul 26 2012

Maybe allocate them a place that they live? And they must go back there each time he takes them off before he moves onto the next adventure.

Works for my hubby who consistently loses keys, wallet, phone etc.

Emma   #2   10:26 am Jul 26 2012

I had on-again-off-again glasses as a child, so I can sympathise both with your eldest and with you! I remember jumping off a piece of climbing equipment, feeling my glasses fall off my face as I jumped, and the sickening feeling of knowing that I was going to land on them and there was nothing I could do about it....

Mum tried a glasses strap, but I was NOT going to put up with that - I hated the way I looked. In the end, Mum found that confiscating my pocket money was the best way to make me think before I just put my glasses down somewhere. Obviously that wouldn't work for all kids, but it was the punishment that worked best for me.

Shazza   #3   10:39 am Jul 26 2012

Lasik.

Joking.

Hmmm, tricky one. I have a problem with leaving my glasses around and I'm 26 and only moderately absent minded. Really the only idea I can think of is rewarding him for successful taking care of them? I.e. a new book if they survive X amount of time? Not very imaginative I know but I'm stuck. Plus it's what I do for myself as motivation to remember to take the pill everyday. (Don't mess it up for one week and you can have a starbucks chai latte.)

my 2 cents   #4   11:00 am Jul 26 2012

We made a 'holster' on mr 5's belt when he was adapting to his on & off again glasses requirement. He was mad about weapons & guns, and we attached his glass case to his belt (had to be vertically done of course) and he was more than happy to whip them out, then back in.

He had this for a few months before the action just became normal to him, and his glass case naturally came off the belt.

skye   #5   11:39 am Jul 26 2012

If you have his prescription, you can buy cheap glasses on the internet, eg http://www.zennioptical.com/#/?gclid=CPSU9v_-tbECFYQGRQodezAAUg

Hopefully it is just a learning curve for him, getting used to doing something new & different.

Also, everytime you catch him doing the right thing with him, no matter how small, comment on it & say it makes you happy. It will help him get good habits fast :)

Love my 2 cents idea as well.

Alice2   #6   11:49 am Jul 26 2012

Maybe one of those 'sport' straps (the neoprene ones that are just long enough to go round the neck) would be better than the long, hanging, swinging string. Still gets the 80s/90s nostalgia cred, without the potential for damage.

More expensive, but also more adaptable would be multi-focals, with the top section of the lens having no magnification. My Dad has these after he put his reading glasses down on his chair & sat on them when he returned (three times - see, it's not just 7 year olds who can be dozy!). Now he just wears his glasses all the time - bottom section has a short focal length for reading, middle is set for computer use & the top is non-magnifying for walking/driving/general life.

Ruby J   #7   12:23 pm Jul 26 2012

Our boy had glasses at about the same age that he was only supposed to use when reading / at the computer / anything that required close up work, but were to be taken off when he was running around outside. He couldn't be bothered so just wore them constantly, and 10+ years later, he hasn't had any long term issues.

Daniel   #8   12:48 pm Jul 26 2012

I don't wear glasses, but I'm the kind of person who's constantly losing other things; what works for me is to keep each item (keys, cellphone, wallet) in one particular pocket, so when I'm not using it it goes there and nowhere else.

Mel   #9   12:54 pm Jul 26 2012

I got my first glasses at about age 10, and I got sick of the on-again-off-again, so I spent a lot of time not wearing them when I should have! So be careful he doesn't get into that habit either :)

PollyA   #10   01:50 pm Jul 26 2012

My 10 year old son got glasses for short-sightedness when he was six. Again he didn't need to wear them all the time but has chosen to and has never lost them (damage is a different story!).

Maybe the answer is to see if he will wear them all the time. If they're not designed for that, could you get graduated lenses so he could wear them all the time? Does your optometrist have any suggestions?

Best of luck!


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