"Four Eyes": Preparing little ones for teasing...

balamw

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My 5 year old son is just about to get his first pair of eyeglasses. Like both his parents he is nearsighted. :eek: So, I'd like to prepare him for the ribbing he's going to get from his current friends in preschool and more importantly the kids he will meet in kindergarten next fall.

Any tips beyond the usual "Sticks & stones", "I'm rubber you're glue?", ...

What are the current terms that are used on the playground for those with glasses? Is "four eyes" even still current?

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mpw

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Jun 18, 2004
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Explain that kids can be cruel and that the feeling of popularity is all important for children, especially when starting school.

Tell him that on day one to seek out another kid with a problem, a limp would be OK but ideally a disfigurement or speech problem like a bad stutter or lisp and make them the butt of jokes.

Obviously he needs to do this quickly before this kid bonds with, or heaven forbid pre-empts any attack, and the campaign must include at least one other popular kid and must be kept from the teachers.

You may want to do some role play and arm your son with some stock insults so he's not left wanting.

Just pray that after your son walks in and makes his first couple of friends some lame, kid with a lisp and webbed feet walks in and wets himself on the first day.*

*THAT'S A JOKE
 

Queso

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Just get him to shrug or even to laugh about it himself. If the teasers get no reaction, they'll go off and find someone with big ears or a facial birthmark to have a go at.

Or better yet, someone with ginger hair :D (he doesn't have ginger hair too, does he? :eek: )
 

blackfox

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I know he's only five, but you could splurge and get him some really fashionable frames. That might even increase his social-standing.

Just make sure that they're durable - or that you get a 2-for-1 deal at the optometrist.

Otherwise, advice seems good so far...
 

kretzy

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I honestly don't remember anyone getting teased at school for wearing glasses, but I'm sure it does happen. In fact I always wished I could wear glasses for some reason. :confused:
 

balamw

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dynamicv said:
Just get him to shrug or even to laugh about it himself.
Wish it were that easy. Self-esteem is rough when you're a kid. He tends to take whatever his friends say very seriously, and we've been working on that, but he still gets driven to tears on occasion by his friends picking on him verbally. The worst part is that I know he dishes out better than he takes a good ribbing, so I'm a bit afraid that mpw's "suggestion" may be how it actually goes down.

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Queso

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balamw said:
He tends to take whatever his friends say very seriously, and we've been working on that, but he still gets driven to tears on occasion by his friends picking on him verbally. The worst part is that I know he dishes out better than he takes a good ribbing.
Sounds like a normal five-year old to me. You have nothing to worry about. He'll cope fine.
 

Mr. Anderson

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blackfox said:
I know he's only five, but you could splurge and get him some really fashionable frames. That might even increase his social-standing.
doesn't fashionable = more expensive

for a five year old's first set, that might be a bit much, especially if he takes a while getting use to wearing them.

the other thing to hope for is that there are more than a few who might have glasses as well - it will be more difficult if he's the only one. How is he at making jokes? It might be better to avoid the controversy with Sticks and Stones bit and have him make fun of himself and others at the same time. If he's seen having fun with the taunting instead running or getting upset by it, he'll be able to fit in.

Good luck,

D
 

balamw

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scem0 said:
contacts :). Oh wait...
Abstract said:
Or, "Oh yeah, well at least I still have my pee-pee" ......*kick to the nuts*
Combining those last two: "Well at least I can get contacts. *Punch to the face*.

Mr. Anderson said:
it will be more difficult if he's the only one ... If he's seen having fun with the taunting instead running or getting upset by it, he'll be able to fit in.
I started wearing my glasses at 7 and found that the ridicule decreased as more and more kids were properly identified as needing glasses. He's definitely going to be the only one in his daycare class of ~20 kids. He's already got the distinguishing feature of being allergic to peanuts and milk and he's (mostly) comfortable with that, but the glasses will make him more of a target than the allergies.

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blackfox

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Mr. Anderson said:
doesn't fashionable = more expensive

for a five year old's first set, that might be a bit much, especially if he takes a while getting use to wearing them.

D
ah, but can you really put a price on a child's self-esteem?

Another idea might be a prescription motorcycle helmet (along with leather jacket)...then he'd be way cool.
 

nbs2

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To be honest, I didn't get glasses until 6th grade (but they were the monster sized lens with turtle shell frames - way too big and ugly for a little kid). So, take this with a grain of salt.

I think he will be more concious (I know that is spelled wrong, but on a PC, I'm too lazy to look up the right spelling) of them than the other kids. Maybe you could run a focus group and see what his friends say when he gets them, before he meets new kids. Additionally, he will have an entourage that he can send after any kids that make fun of him.
 

kretzy

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I don't think they have to be all that expensive, as if 5 year olds are going to care if they're Versace. Just make sure they're not something hideous out of the 60s. :)
 

nospleen

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Mix in a few protein shakes to bulk him up.. j/k... I do not even know what to tell you. It is funny, when you are a kid, you always think your parents have the answers for everything. Now that I have two little ones, I am worried that I will not always have the answers. This is a perfect example..

Best of luck! I really wish all of our kids did not have to go through the torture of ridicule.
 

balamw

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nbs2 said:
I think he will be more concious (I know that is spelled wrong, but on a PC, I'm too lazy to look up the right spelling) of them than the other kids. Maybe you could run a focus group and see what his friends say when he gets them, before he meets new kids. Additionally, he will have an entourage that he can send after any kids that make fun of him.
I do think it's a positive that he's getting his glasses right at this transition point between daycare and kindergarten rather than in the middle of primary school. Now at least he'll have time to get used to them for the next 13 years or so until we let him get contacts. ;)

The downside is that his current "posse" isn't staying together through the transition. I think so far only one kid will be going to the same school as he will...

nospleen said:
I really wish all of our kids did not have to go through the torture of ridicule.
They all will at some level, even the "popular" kids get ridiculed. <sigh>.

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Blue Velvet

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Sit down with him and watch Superman, Smallville whatever. Clarke Kent's got glasses but is really a superhero.
 

devilot

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:shrug: By the second grade, a bunch of people in my age group were wearing glasses, I really don't think most people were ever teased (only the ones that probably would have been teased even if they weren't wearing glasses :eek:).

My cousin was wearing hard contacts in the first grade. Her prescription was already in the 800 zone (I think, may have been higher even).

:edit: Blue Velvet, here to save the day! Great suggestion.
 

balamw

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Blue Velvet said:
Sit down with him and watch Superman, Smallville whatever. Clarke Kent's got glasses but is really a superhero.
LOL. Funny you should mention that he recently claimed he couldn't tell that Clark Kent was Superman from the pictures in Entertainment Weekly. Another play on this would be the Daredevil angle: "Oh yeah! I may be blind, but I've got sonar!"

EDIT: Also the Christopher Reeve Superman movie bored him to tears, but I might just be able to get him to read a comic book.

devilot said:
My cousin was wearing hard contacts in the first grade.
:eek: Didn't know they made 'em that small (or strong).

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asphalt-proof

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I work with preschool kids (along with all other ages) I honestly don't see such teasing behaviors all that much. I think the stigma associated with glasses is gone because so many kids these days need them. The reason a child was singled out in the past was because seeing a child wearing glasses was pretty rare. Just in general, teach you child to be able to gently laugh at themselves is always a good strategy. BUt when the teasing becomes too much, teaching you child appropriate ways to stand up for themselves gives them a toolbox of sorts to draw upon. Teasing can quickly lead to bullying if not taken care of. Good luck.
 

nived

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I don't recall hearing anyone getting teased for wearing glasses at all through school. Truth be told, I always thought a lot of the kids that had them looked very stylish and I once tried to convince my parents to let me get glasses just for the 'cool' factor. I was a nerd cursed with good vision... the worst kind.
 

balamw

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asphalt-proof said:
I think the stigma associated with glasses is gone because so many kids these days need them.
Good to know. I didn't expect it to be too bad, but I know it will come up at some point. Kids will be kids and they will resort to name calling at some point in playground battles, and they'll pick on whatever they can.

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