Motivating Kids to Patch
A diagnosis of Amblyopia can be intimidating for parents and convincing your child to pop on a patch and strengthen their curious eye can be a struggle.
As your child must depend on the eye with the weaker vision while patching, they may experience difficulty seeing and try to remove their patch to alleviate discomfort. To help you out, we've put together our top tips on motivating kids to patch!
1. Explain why they need to patch
One of the first steps in encouraging your child to wear an eye patch is to explain why it's necessary and that it is a positive step towards strengthening their curious eye. Books are a great way to do this for younger kids, as they use simple language and visuals that are easy to understand.
We recommend you check out Rex's Specs by Jack Hughes, Dinosaur Farm by Kristen Silva, The Patch by Justine Chen Headly, Jacob's Eye Patch by Beth Kobliner Shaw and The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon. If your child is older, you can show them our videos explaining Amblyopia and why we patch the eye.
2. Celebrate their wins
It is so important to celebrate your child's hard work, as this helps make their vision journey more fun and enjoyable (it's why we include a free reward poster in every pack of Hide&See patches). Set small achievable goals with your child so they are motivated to stick to their patching routine, like a sweet treat when they're done for the day or a special day out each time they finish a poster.
3. Make patching an adventure
Our patches are not just any patches; they're a ticket to a world of imagination! With Speckles, your child can go on a dinosaur adventure, visit a unicorn galaxy, cause some mermaid mayhem and catch jungle fever. Which one will your child choose for their patching adventure?
4. Be a Role Model
Show your child support by wearing an eye patch yourself when they start their vision journey. Make it a fun, shared experience that helps them feel more comfortable with the process.
5. Establish a Routine
Consistency is key, so incorporate patching into your child's daily routine, such as their morning or bedtime rituals. When it becomes a habit, it's easier for them to remember and understand.
6. Keep them distracted
Engage your child in activities that keep their mind off the eye patch. Whether it's watching their favourite TV show, playing games, or reading a book, these distractions can help you BOTH survive patch-time.
Need inspiration? We have a great range of kid-friendly activities on our YouTube channel! They can learn cool things like how to make slime, cloud putty, one bowl brownies and even a mug cake in the microwave!
7. Introduce them to our Speckles Superstars
Seeing photos of other kids who are just like them is a great way to help your child understand that they are not alone on their vision journey. You can show them the Speckles Superstar tab at the EyeHub or head to the community highlights reel on our Instagram.
We love hearing the stories of our patchers and sharing them on our socials. If you are happy to share your child’s story, just fill out this form.
8. Practice Patience and Empathy
Above all, practice patience and empathy. Understand that it can be frustrating for your child to wear an eye patch at times so encourage them to express their feelings, and reassure them that you're there for support every step of the way.
Remember every child has good days and bad days so when times get tough, take some deep breaths and pat yourself on the back. You are doing an amazing job and your little legend will no doubt thank you for your effort with their vision once they are older and understand the amazing impact patching had!