I got my first pair of glasses when I was 8 years old, and my first pair of contacts at 11.
Some probably thought my parents were crazy for buying contact lenses for children. I thought my parents were pretty cool! It was one small thing that made those awkward tween years a little less awkward.
Fast forward 20 years.
I have a glasses wearing child of my own. She’s at that awkward age where she doesn’t feel like a child but she definitely isn’t a teenager, and she starts asking to wear contact lenses.
But am I ready to jump on the contact lenses for children train? After all, contact lenses as an adult require a lot of diligence and care. Could my (at the time) 10 year old daughter handle the responsibility of wearing contacts?
I put off giving her an answer for a long time. Then, as we were preparing for a trip to Disneyland, I mentioned to my husband that she had been asking. I told him that I thought I was ready to let her take that giant step towards being more grown up. As someone who has worn glasses for most of my life, I get how annoying it is to do certain things while wearing glasses. Like riding a roller coaster! My husband agreed, so I made the call.
Our optometrist didn’t bat an eye when I told him I wanted contact lenses for my 10 year old daughter.
After a quick and easy exam, we met with the office staff who gave my daughter her first lesson in caring for contact lenses. She did amazing! In less than thirty minutes, she had mastered putting them in and taking them out. She learned the rules of keeping them clean and we were out the door in less than an hour.
And in the eyes of my daughter, I was the coolest mom around!
It has been over a year now since we entered the world of contact lenses for children and I don’t regret the decision one bit. My daughter was more than ready. She is far more diligent than I am about keeping her lenses clean and fresh, she vigorously washes her hands each time she puts them in or removes them, she has a calendar where she tracks the age of each pair. For crying out loud!
I don’t think to toss an old pair until my eyes start to scream at me. But my 11 year old? She has a system down pat.
She still wears her glasses half the time, if not more, and I know she appreciates having the ability to choose what look she wants each day. I am so glad we decided to let her get contacts at such a young age. She has definitely shown that she is more than ready for this big responsibility.