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Britt and Her Glasses – The Placebo Effect as a Parenting Tool.
Britt can be tricky to parent. She tends to be a tad dramatic and almost seems like she’s truly acting or putting on a performance a lot of the time.
And I don’t say that in a negative way. She’s hilarious a lot of the time about it. But it can also make it hard to judge what is real and what isn’t when it comes to her.
She has been complaining about headaches on and off for awhile.
I take it pretty seriously b/c my mom and my brother both had bad migraines when I was growing up and I get pretty bad headaches myself.
So I’ve asked at her drs visits about them and they’ve kinda been basic about it “drink lots of water” has been the recommendation.
And usually that approach works!
Then recently she came to me and said it hurt so bad she just wanted to go to bed.
And that made me more concerned as when I get bad ones I just need a dark room.
I talked to her dr again and they said to try allergy meds for a few weeks consistently to see if it helped.
I also went ahead and made an appointment for a visit to the eye doctor.
When I was in 2nd grade I needed glasses and I thought it was worthwhile to get her a full eye exam to see if vision could be causing the headaches.
I was due for my yearly exam myself (I had Lasik…but need glasses for driving at night) and just made her an appointment to go with me!
I got a sitter and we had a fun mommy and daughter morning together 🙂
The eye doctor said that her vision is not bad enough to warrant a prescription but that it wouldn’t hurt to TRY glasses in order to see if they made a difference, especially if the headaches are happening when reading or doing things close up.
This is her prescription:
Well they aren’t happening then. She typically says she has a headache when she comes in from outside playing and he said that’s most likely a need for water and possibly the allergy meds.
But y’all know how I roll.
I figured it made sense to go ahead and get glasses for her.
My bigger picture worry with my babies is auto-immune stuff (with Zach’s MS they are at a higher chance) so if a pair of glasses can cure headaches for my baby? SIGN ME UP.
He gave us her prescription and said if we tried the glasses to try them for a few weeks of non-stop wear and if she didn’t get headaches then we’d know they are the answer.
He also said he fully expects her vision to correct itself in the next year and that she’s still young where it’s all still developing.
I did have doubts about trying the glasses. I didn’t love the idea of having her committed to something that she may not really need and worried that her eyes may get worse from wearing them.
But I rolled with it and we grabbed some lunch then headed to pick out some glasses!
They had a deal when you buy two pairs so we decided to let Mommy choose a pair and Britt choose a pair.
We ordered them and they said it’d take a few weeks for them to come in.
During that time I went ahead and stopped the daily allergy meds.
And she never complained about any headaches at all.
We went to Disney during the wait as well and while on the trip she and Tess had an argument where Britt was feeling left out.
She started crying and said her head just hurt so, so bad.
I was napping at the time and G-Mama laid with her and comforted her and when I woke up I got filled in on the situation.
It was a big lightbulb moment for me as Britt’s headache magically appeared when she felt left out by Tess.
I made some coffee for myself and I told her that sometimes coffee can help a headache.
Yall. I let her drink ONE SIP and she INSTANTLY said “YES! It worked my headache is GONE!”
I’m not saying she pretends to have headaches.
I truly believe that she does get headaches, but I also believe that this instance showed that sometimes the headaches may be more of hurt feelings or need for some extra attention and not so much a need for a cure for the headaches.
My gut started telling me that the glasses were a waste of money and a risk of possibly causing issues with her vision and creating a need for glasses in the future where there isn’t one now.
I researched the return policy of the glasses and decided to pick them up, try them and then return them if I didn’t see a difference with them.
Of course I discussed all of this with my Instagram friends 😉
Several people suggested purchasing non-prescription glasses and I thought that was GENIUS.
So we made a trip to the mall and picked up her legit glasses as well as some “fun frames” from Claire’s 😉 $7 vs $200!
I decided to try the Claire’s glasses first rather than the prescription ones.
I explained to Britt what we were doing. Like I didn’t mislead her or lie to her.
I explained that the dr said she didn’t NEED the REAL glasses and that by using them it could cause more vision issues so I wanted to try the FUN glasses first and see if they helped her head and if they did then we could return the expensive ones and she could wear the fun ones anytime she wanted!
Britt was SO PUMPED about the glasses.
She put them on and swore she saw everything clearer. Instantly.
And that she didn’t get any headaches.
My plan was to try the fun ones for a week and then decide if we needed to try the real ones.
Yall it was SO FUNNY how obsessed she was about the fun glasses and how she was hardcore in believing they made a difference – even after I TOLD HER THEY WOULDN’T.
Cracked. Me. Up.
We watched a movie and she was excited that she and I matched with our glasses and she
She walked around with a cleaning cloth non-stop wiping them down.
She’d say she had a headache and then say “Oh it’s because I need to wear my glasses!” She’s put them on and say “Whew it’s gone!”
Tess even believed in the magical power of the glasses and started claiming that SHE also had a headache and Britt said “borrow my glasses” and they worked for her too!
Needless to say, I didn’t even pull out the prescription glasses. I straight up returned ’em.
Along with the suggestions on IG someone mentioned that handstands help with headaches.
Yall know Britt is ALL ABOUT some gymnastics. When I told her that news she was so excited.
Between the new glasses and the hand stands Britt has been headache free now for a solid 6 weeks.
This experience was such a good reminder to me that the placebo effect is a real thing and sometimes it’s the right path and the cure for issues!
Using the placebo effect as a parenting tool isn’t something I’d normally think to do but in this case some extra attention and fun distraction is all it took and I’m going to be more mindful in the future of using the placebo effect with my kids!
Zach made sure to point out that Britt gets her gullibility straight from her mama. It’s so true! I will get sucked into an infomercial and believe I NEED the product. I’m an easy sell and I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree 😉
I didn’t expect for Britt to continue to want to wear the glasses.
I figured it’d be a thing for a couple weeks and she’d be over it and move onto the next thing.
She wears them to school pretty regularly. I actually reached out to let the teacher know they aren’t real and she doesn’t need them.
I think she just loves the attention they bring her (she also has decided to go by Brittlynn over Britt this year at school AND she speaks pretty much all the time with a British accent now) and I’m here for it.
It’s adorable and a fun phase and something we will always joke about when she’s an adult 😉
So glad we found the headache cure and another way for my sweet girl to express her unique and fun personality!