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Thread: My son is having alot of tantrums and misbehaving.

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    Unhappy My son is having alot of tantrums and misbehaving.

    My son was diagnosed a little over 2 months ago. Since then his attitude has gotten almost unbearable. He is 8 years old. I know this disease is a lot to deal with. He gets quite unruly and very hyper and just can not sit still. He disobeys most of the time and throws fits. It is getting to where we can not take him in public. I know that lows will make him do some of these things but when this is happening his BG is always good. Does anyone relate to this, and does it have to do with his diabetes? Or maybe the medicine? I love him so much and do not want him to suffer.

  2. #2

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    That's tricky. My daughter is also eight, and has a bit of temper, always has. I noticed right after she dxed that she acted out more. I really think part of it was her anger towards the disease and she didn't know any other way to deal with it other than to lash out, or throw fits. So much changes, no matter how hard we try to keep everything the same. Once she adjusted, she seemed to stop acting out as much, but we made it clear that we expected the same behavior now that we did before she was dxed.
    Lisa, Mom to:
    Cooper, 14, 11-7-1997
    Alexander, 12, 12-15-1999
    Sophia, 9, 10-8-2002. Diagnosed T1 on December 5th, 2010.
    Humalog and Levimer-12-5-10 through 11-14-11
    Pumping with One-touch Animas PING11-14-11 through present day

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Please give yourself and your son time. For the past 2 months someone he has always loved and trusted has been sticking needles into him and causing him pain - multiple times every day. And if she isn't doing it she is making him do it to himself. No wonder he is angry, resentful, depressed, unhappy, etc. He is old enough at 8 to understand intellectually that he has a disease, but that doesn't mean he can understand and accept it emotionally. Two months is a very short time to 'adjust'.
    I'd suggest stopping him from hurting himself or others while you try to stay calm and let him know that you can understand his anger but he cannot continue to do such and such.
    He may benefit from talking to a professional - there are social workers who are part of the diabetes team that can help.
    And BTW, we have found that this aggressive behavior is more common with highs, not with lows.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2011
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    North Carolina
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    I agree that he has got to have a lot going on emotionally trying to come to terms with this major thing that has happened to him. I know for us, (my dd and me), we kind of went through a progression of emotions. After the first few weeks we were tired of "being brave" and tackling things head on and were tired of dealing with it and wanted to be done. That not being possible, we moved into our phase of being angry at D. Luckily we've into (at least for now) the finding a new normal stage.

    It sounds like he doesn't know how to deal with everything he's feeling and is expressing it in his behavior. He can't get mad and scream at D but he sure can at the people around him. (I mean that figuratively, he may not be "screaming" at anyone).

    Someone else mentioned this, consistent expectations. I had to remind myself that the same rules still applied to my daughter as far as discipline and our expectations. I few weeks after she was dxd, I realized that I was letting her get away with behaviors I wouldn't have earlier because I felt so sorry for her, not to mention feeling a little guilty for being the one doing all this stuff to her. All of my kids test the limits....again, and again

    It hurts so much to see our kids hurting
    hope it gets better soon.
    Karen, mom to four fantastic kids:
    J (10), non-D
    O (4), dx'd 3-4-11, MDI humalog, lantus
    I (4), non-D
    Z (12), non-D

  5. #5

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    Some thoughts, none may apply to your son!

    After diagnosis Selah felt much better because she had been in onset for probably five months or so, getting insulin made her physically feel better. For Selah, this led to "better" behavior but I think some kids are very, very worn down before diagnosis. They feel sick all the time. So kids are bound to react differently to that weight being lifted. Is the behavior angry or aggressive, or just way more jumping about than you'd like to see and he just won't stop? It's possible your child just needs a lot of physical activity but the undiagnosed diabetes was masking that since it's fatiguing?

    Also, school just started up -- could it be something entirely unrelated to diabetes? It's hard to sit in a chair for hours every day, and sometimes you get models at school that influence you to aggressive behavior or tantrums, or you just get frustrated at school but you can't express it there so you express it at home. I know some kids kind of "regress" at the beginning of a school year, they just want to show themselves that mom and dad are there for them no matter what.

    My oldest daughter went through periods where she felt more independent, and then she'd back it up and act much more babyish, she just wanted to know that safety net was still there of mom and dad in charge and loving her no matter what. I think sometimes with something like diabetes kids feel out of control and they want to know mom and dad are still in charge of their world and will fight the monsters off. My daughter would push the misbehavior at these times because she wanted to see if we'd enforce the rules, it was like she was testing us -- if we couldn't make her do what we said, we weren't very strong, so she wasn't safe! So we had to prove that yes, we could "make her" follow the rules, then she seemed to feel more secure. That was more growing up issues than diabetes, but diabetes really shakes your feeling of security.

    It's also exhausting on the family, a new diagnosis and all the months leading up to it. I know my husband and I had some strained conversations around that time and I think the kids pick up the vibe no matter how you handle it. That's o.k., in my opinion, kids need to know that parents go through rough times and work it out (as long as there is nothing mean, etc. there), but they often need it addressed so they don't get anxious.

    Oh, have you introduced any new foods? Our first CDE suggested a lot of sugar-free foods that my kid (she was little) had never had before. If he's eating, like, three snacks of sugar-free jello, the dyes might be adding a little jumpiness and impulsiveness to his mix?


    Hmmm. Can't think of anything else! Hope you find your answer,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Moorhead, MN
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    I am sorry to hear that he is having difficulties with controlling his behavior.

    When my dd was diagnosed at age 8, she, too went through a lot of mood and behavior changes. We were able to get her set up to see a counselor (maybe a psychologist), which REALLY helped her identify her feelings and learn good techniques.

    One thing that I remember is that she had a lot of fear (unknown to me) about dying. She had a lot of anxiety that she didn't know how to deal with.

    Best of luck to you all. Being a kid is hard enough, but adding D to the mix can be overwhelming for a kid (for everyone, really )
    Kelli
    mom to Mara, age 11, dx 4/4/09, Pumping Animas Ping
    Avery, age 9, non-d
    married 14 years to Terry, one cool guy

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bandmkolb View Post
    My son was diagnosed a little over 2 months ago. Since then his attitude has gotten almost unbearable. He is 8 years old. I know this disease is a lot to deal with. He gets quite unruly and very hyper and just can not sit still. He disobeys most of the time and throws fits. It is getting to where we can not take him in public. I know that lows will make him do some of these things but when this is happening his BG is always good. Does anyone relate to this, and does it have to do with his diabetes? Or maybe the medicine? I love him so much and do not want him to suffer.
    First of all, welcome to the forums Im sorry about your son's diagnosis. I know that this is alot for all of you to take in and get used to. Was your son's behavior at all like this before he was diagnosed? Has he always seemed hyper and not able to sit still?

    Are there consequences for bad behavior even though he has diabetes? I ask that because I was in danger of really spoiling Steven when he was diagnosed. He was only 3 and it was a very hard time for us. He used to throw tantrums and insist that I had to give him what he wanted when he wanted it. I was fearful that if I didnt give in he'd get upset and his blood sugars would go high so I kinda gave in alot. I spoke to the certified diabetes educator about it and she said something that made alot of sense to me. She asked if I wanted a child with diabetes or a monster with diabetes. She then told me to treat him like my other child. If I thought his blood sugars were affecting his behavior I was to test him, treat if necessary and then discipline as needed.

    Of course you want to be patient with your son but at school they will continue to discipline him for misbehaving

    You may want to talk to his pediatrician about his behavior to see what they say.
    Becky, Mom to Steven 12, dxd 7/04 MDI humolog and Lantus, Harry 14 non-d My 2 awesome boys

    Right now three things remain: Faith, hope and love But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13


    "There is no rightness in diabetes. Just sometimes, you're less wrong." by Jacobs Dad

  8. #8
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    Sep 2011
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    Central Texas
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    Thank you all very much! When he was younger he did throw tantrums and was very hyper active. However at least a year or so before diagnosis he had stopped this behavior. I thought he had finally grown out of that stage. I realize it may be because he was sick and we did not know. Although the endo said we caught this extremely early so I am not sure how long he could have been sick. I also do believe, like a couple of you have mentioned, that we would let him get away with the behavior because we assumed it was to do with all the changes. Now I think he knows he can get away with it. So when he starts screaming at me again, and throwing tantrums, I will first check for highs or lows and if ok then I will give him consequences for his actions. The hyper activity does not bother me, I was just wondering if it were a side effect of the insulin? Thank you all again! I am so happy to have come across this forum!

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