Hey Mom, I Want Contacts: A Guide for Teens
All right parents, off you go; this is for the teens only. Okay kids, you know what you want and this guide will help you get it. Contact lenses are a great solution for vision correction, however they are not for everybody - and your parents might worry about a number of things. This guide will help you figure out what those worries might be and how to calm your parents down. The first step is going to make you groan, but it's necessary. Here we go:
Step one: research
That’s right, homework is the first step in getting contacts from your reluctant parents. Make sure that you know everything there is to know about them including the cost, the care they'll need and the various options available. Don't forget that unless you have vision insurance, you'll need to consider the cost of an eye exam as well as the cost of the actual contacts. And be sure to print out or bookmark whatever information you find, so that you can refer back to it later or even show it to your parents, if necessary.
Also, remember that contacts are not for everyone; you'll have to speak with your eye doctor to discuss whether they're a good solution for you. If the doctor agrees that you would benefit from using contacts for vision correction and that you're a good candidate, he or she might be able to give you additional pointers for talking to your parents.
Know the benefits of contact lenses
When you're inevitably asked why you want contacts, be ready to give a better reason than "glasses look dorky". Your parents are a lot more concerned with your health and safety than with your appearance and social status. Contacts can be a lot more convenient than glasses in various circumstances, and sometimes safer too. If you're an athlete at any level, you will have a slight edge because glasses are much more likely to break during sports. Remind your parents that sports glasses would be incredibly expensive to buy and probably would not be worn on a daily basis. (This means they would have to pay for two pairs of glasses). Contacts are not only safer during sports, but allow for better fit under safety equipment.
State your case
Remind your parents that you are responsible when it comes to taking care of your face, teeth, body and clothing. (If you tend to be somewhat lazy about these things, you might want to clean up your act beforehand.) Show your parents that you know how important it is to take proper care of your eyes and your contacts. Describe all of the steps that are needed in caring for contacts and then give them a listing of the various prices of each item, how long each should last if used as directed and what the yearly cost will be.
Make your offer
If you have a job or money saved, it would be great if you would offer to help pay for your contact lenses and the accessories you'll need. If you do have vision insurance, remind your parents it may cover all or part of your contact lenses. (You have to let your parents check this through their insurance carrier). Make sure that you have the pricing information about contact lens exams, fitting and the contacts themselves before you start the discussion. Nothing derails a parental negotiation faster than being clueless. (Except maybe throwing a tantrum. Don't do that either.)
Point out how much effort you put in already
Remind your parents that you've not only done a ton of research on your own and but that have offered some of your own money to help pay for your contacts as well. Showing your parents that you've thought everything through and planned ahead can do a lot to demonstrate your maturity.
Sometimes the best offense is a good defense
Your parents may start blocking at some point in the conversation - rehashing and restating the points you have already covered. This is where having your information right in front of you will come in handy. Whatever you do, don't get emotional and lose your cool. If you act like a big baby, they'll end up declaring you “not ready” or “not mature enough” to handle contacts, and then your ship is sunk. Stand firm, but stay polite and don't let your emotions get the better of you.
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