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Thread: How Do I Explain To My Newly DX 5yr Old Son?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SW Washington
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy How Do I Explain To My Newly DX 5yr Old Son?



    My son was dx November 13th. He was doing so well for the first couple of weeks and is now coming to the realization that this is not a temporary thing. He tenses up now before finger pricks and shots, cries and says that he doesn't want to anymore.

    I don't know how to make it easier. I've tried tough love, explaining in children's terms why his pancreas is not doing what it should, I've told him how brave he is and have poked myself a few times to help.

    He has an inner sadness now that rips me apart.

    Any advice would help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tema, Ghana
    Posts
    2,661

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    Hi Jenny,

    It's definitely not easy at this age. My DD was 7 when she was diagnosed in late June. Can you let your son do some of the work for himself? It's not really too soon to teach him how to at least draw the blood for his sugar readings. Set the lancet at the lowest setting, maybe it's too high and so it punctures too deeply. Try icing his finger up for a few minutes before hand.

    My daughter loves when I "time" her to see how long it takes her to test her bg (actually she's pretty freaking fast now -- about 15 seconds).

    When all else fails, try the reward system.

    Good luck. Hope you'll post over on the parents forum, you'll get a ton more answers there.
    Barbara, Mom to...




    Alexandra, age 12, dx'ed 6/25/08
    Untethered Animas Ping
    Sean, non-D, age 18
    Michael, non-D, age 14


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 1995
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    1,478

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    I know that it might not seem so right now, but this too shall pass in time.

    Being firm as a parent is important. You can say, "I know it's not fair, and I know it's not fun, but we have to do this now so that you will be healthy and feel good."

    You might want to consider attending a local support group, so that your son can meet other kids and adults with type 1. He'll see that he's not the only one, and that can be a big help.

    CWD's conferences offer the same opportunity. We have one in Marco Island in January (see http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/...ies/Marco2009/) if you are able to fit that into your schedule.
    Jeff Hitchcock - President and Founder, CWD
    Father of Marissa (BSN, RN), now 27, married, and mother, dx'd at 24 months

  4. #4

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    Hi Jenny, Im sorry this is so tough for you and your son.I know that you would rather it was you. I promise it will get easier with time. My Steven was 3 1/2 when diagnosed he would scream when I had to do shots ,it would tear me apart. Some things to try are, distraction: Let him watch a favorite show at shot time, play with a toy, gameboy. Tell him something fun you will do that day after finger stick, shot is finished. That way he can think of that and look forward to it. Also in the beginning when I would give Steven a shot I would thank him after (I still do 4 years later) and tell him that now we could get on with our day. I hope this helps a little. good luck and God bless

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Southeast of disorder
    Posts
    14,141

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    HI Jenny. My son was also 5 when he was dx and like you the first few weeks were ok but then it sort of hit him that this was forever. The first thing I had to do was check my emotions at the door when it was time to do any diabetes related care; during bg checks and shots we were all business. BUT the rest of the time we made sure he knew how loved he was and how he was still "him". That included getting right back as soon as we could to all his usual activities. I also found as many funny and silly ways to make diabetes tasks (and it usually involved lots of silly goofy boy talk) so we'd sing about his "lazy bum" pancreas, things like that. BUT we also never dwelled on how "horrible" it was. If he said something we'd say "yes, it really is too bad, it stinks, mommy thinks it's stinks but oh well, this is what we've got" I also made sure he realized that EVERYONE has something they have to live with - I have bad eyes, so everyday I wear my glasses. His dad wears hearing aids, his sister takes t hyroid meds etc etc etc. EVeryone has something. And we helped him understand that diabetes was simply his "something".

    oh and one thing I just thought of - telling him he was brave simply drove him MAD. He HATED it when ever someone said that. He yelled one time I AM NOT BRAVE. (I think he meant he didn't want to have to be brave) It was so sad. We stopped saying it after that.
    Last edited by frizzyrazzy; 12-02-2008 at 07:10 PM.

  6. #6

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    Hi Jenny,

    It's an awful thing to deal with and I think all of us can relate. I would suggest doing everything in a matter of fact way,almost clinical and trying a reward system as was mentioned. My son was also diagnosed at 5. I bought a large poster board and rewarded him with stars. Once he got 10 stars he could cash them in for $1. He could buy whatever he wanted with it.

  7. #7

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    oh and one thing I just thought of - telling him he was brave simply drove him MAD. He HATED it when ever someone said that. He yelled one time I AM NOT BRAVE. (I think he meant he didn't want to have to be brave) It was so sad. We stopped saying it after that.
    I can relate to that. I don't want to be anyones hero I just want to be Jess. I don't want to be told I'm brave.

    I know it seems hard right now but it does get better I promise. They'll be lots of moments like this but it will pass. Forever is incomprehensible to a kid till they get stuck with something like D hits them and than the measure of time becomes real...
    (((((((HUGS))))))))

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