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Q: My 5-year-old daughter is getting glasses for the first time, and I'm worried that she'll feel different from her friends, or that someone will tease her. I want her to feel confident about herself. Any suggestions?
A: Lucky for your daughter, it's no longer uncool to wear glasses. Among the cool "kids" who wear them: child wizard Harry Potter, Chuckie on Rugrats and Eliza on Nickelodeon's The Wild Thornberrys. Suddenly glasses for kids are hip. (Need more proof: Lenscrafters even has a line of Harry Potter eyewear that comes with a case resembling a leather-bound Hogwarts School book.)
Still, there are things you can do to make getting glasses a positive experience for your daughter. Before she gets her glasses, read her some of the children's books listed on the next page -- all stories of kids getting glasses. Also, point out people who look good in glasses in magazines, on television and in the movies, so she knows she's not alone.
Here's a unique idea: One kindergartener I know had a party at school to celebrate the first day she wore her new glasses. The whole class made their own pairs with pipe-cleaners!
The point is to make your daughter feel special about her new look. Celebrate the day she gets her glasses and treat it as a special occasion to put a positive spin on the event. Your attitude is the most important influence on how your daughter will feel.
But before making a big deal about it, ask your daughter how she feels about getting glasses...she may not mind at all!
Glasses: Who Needs 'Em? by Lane Smith (Puffin) For ages: 4-8 This is the story of a sophisticated little boy who debates his need for glasses with his doctor (who argues that even space aliens and dinosaurs wear them!). Everything is fuzzy until the doctor sneaks a pair in front of his eyes -- and the skeptical boy sees that all these creatures really do wear glasses.
Luna and the Big Blur: A Story for Children Who Wear Glasses by Shirley Day (Magination) For ages: 4-8 Luna figures it's bad enough having a weird name; now, to make matters worse, she has to wear glasses! Or maybe she doesn't.... Kids will enjoy the mishaps Luna experiences when she decides not to wear her glasses. In the end, Luna's father helps her learn to feel good about herself.
Chuckie Visits the Eye Doctor by Luke David (Simon Spotlight) For ages: 4-8 Chuckie isn't seeing too well: he keeps bumping into furniture and sitting too close to the TV. So his dad decides that Chuckie has to go to the eye doctor for an eye exam! What's a frightened baby to do? Rugrats fans can find out the real story of how Chuckie got his first pair of glasses here.
Arthur's Eyes by Marc Brown (Little Brown & Co.) For ages: 4-8 A classic Arthur the aardvark story! Arthur's embarrassment about wearing his new glasses leads to hilarious havoc until he realizes that four eyes can be better than two.
Agapanthus Hum and the Eyeglasses by Joy Cowley (Philomel Books) For ages: 4-8 This little girl with a gigantic first name is a running, whirling, humming whirlwind, even with glasses. She learns that, "People who wear glasses have to be careful" because "the makers of eyeglases are not very kind to the whizzers and rushers of this world." So, in order not to sit on, squash or lose her glasses, Agapanthus tries to safeguard them, only to learn that even adults have such problems -- and solutions -- too.
To learn more about Lenscrafters' Harry Potter eyewear collection, go to www.lenscrafters.com or call 800-869-5367.