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How do you handle disciplining the T1D child

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Just Jen, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Just Jen

    Just Jen Approved members

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    My T1D has always been sensitive, and can become angry at what to us seems like the littlest thing, even years before diagnosis. Usually that has resulted in sulking and or tears. But lately I've been noticing aggression when she is low or high. She will throw things, scream at me, hit at me - all things she never used to do. To some degree in the beginning, we gave her a bit of a pass because we realized that she was low or high and it was going to affect her. However, I don't want to condone that behavior and let her think it is okay to scream and hit because she is low. I also realize that talking to her about her behavior in that moment is quite the mute point. I plan to let her know that just as that kind of behavior is not acceptable at any other time, neither is it acceptable when she is low or high. Is this a common occurrence? If you've dealt with it, what did you do? What might be an appropriate consequence when she chooses to act that way?
     
  2. Ali

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    Not much just a few thoughts as one who has been the T1 for many years. i do not have behavior issues when high, just get very tired. For years I did get very belligerent, stubborn and tired when low. I have learned when going low, or if I start feeling grumpy, to sit down, eat my sugar and ask politely to be left alone for 10 or 15 minutes till I start to recover. If you can tell her when nothing is going on that the behavior is unacceptable no matter what and give her clear guidelines on what to do, i.e. if she starts acting up and does not know if low, stop the action, check and treat and keep the mouth and body quiet. She can train herself to do that. It may take quite a while to do. If she wears a CGMS that can be a huge help. Good luck.ali
     
  3. Lakeman

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    Children handle stress and insecurity somewhat differently than adults. Sensitivity and anger at what to us are little things very well could be a reaction to stress in life (the straw that broke the camels back). Consistency in routines and discipline can go a long way towards letting them know what to expect and deal with it. Then comes a life changing diagnoses and that throws a monkey wrench into things. I know my son was a bit moody and sullen and had a few outbursts right after diagnoses. Yes we did give him some of a pass on it - for a time. And yes we do give our daughter some of a pass when she is irritable during lows. However, being low will be a part of life and learning to have self control even while low needs to be a part of life too.

    Yes you need to make expectations clear so that she (your daughter) knows what is acceptable and what is not. Then give her lots of support to help her behave correctly. Support can be tons of love and understanding and some appropriate consequences. Be consistent and have a plan and have clear rules so everyone knows what an orderly life looks like. She is about seven or eight years old so we might expect her to have given up throwing things and hitting. The fact that these are still happening or just emerging could indicate that her diagnoses are real hard for her. Is this a way for her to communicate her frustrations to you? Does she feel really and truly heard and understood? She might need new ways to communicate her feelings instead of throwing things. What could you teach her to do when she is really frustrated?

    If it lasts much longer and you need help figuring out a plan then a social worker or other counselor might be able to offer some advice. Her Celiac diagnosis is pretty recent and perhaps still an open wound? If it is effecting school then the school social worker might be able to help.

    I like the books Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) or books by Rudolph Dreikurs. Both are excellent sources of guidance on child rearing but both are also outdated and you will need to apply timeless principles with ancient examples to today's world. These books are also designed for parents who do not have children struggling with major life changes.

    Diabetes Camp might be a great experience for her!! Maybe a forum for kids with diabetes so she can talk to other children with diabetes? And of course lots of hugs with the added benefit that one cannot throw things while being hugged. I hope that is somewhat of a help as incomplete as it is. Best wishes in this hard time.
     
  4. Nancy in VA

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    I think you need to have some conversations with her when she's not high or low, ask if she understands how she behaves when she's high or low? Ask if she thinks that's ok behavior? Ask her what she's thinking when she's behaving that way. But have this conversation while she's in range. And come up with some consequences together. She's old enough that unless she's really out of control with her BGs that she can control it. Super low I think is going to be a different animal, but moderate lows and moderate to high, she should be able to behave reasonably.
     
  5. quiltinmom

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    I have two thoughts. First, try to take d out of the equation and think how you you would handle it then. What if it was your non d kid? What would you do? Think about if handling it the same way would be appropriate (after a quick bg check of course). Because behavior is be behavior, no matter the cause. They need to learn to control it; it won't go away, because d is not going away.

    A second thought...kind of unrelated but bear with me. When I am having pms, do I control it? Do I recognize it? I can say that I did not link my orneriness related to pms for many years. Now that I have, I can control it better, but still it affects me and sometimes I am a jerk to those I love, even though I know the cause. I'm not saying it's okay, just that the hormones make it harder. But recognizing it is the first step. Sometimes it's like a train wreck--I see it coming but can't stop it. I wonder if lows or highs are similar to that.

    Have a talk when she is calm, ask her how she feels about it--she may feel bad about it (I know I do...) and if there is anything you can do to help her in the moment, a code word or something you agree on beforehand to help her recognize and, eventually, control it. She may not be making a connection between the bad behavior and her bg. Or know it but not be able to control it in the moment.

    Or maybe she's throwing a fit because she thinks she can get away with it. Lol. Kids are known to do that from time to time. Knowing which is which is very important. :)


    One book I found to be very helpful is called "the child whisperer." It is about personalities, how to 'read' your child, not step-by-step how to parent them. It really helped me understand my kids in a way I hadn't before. It helped me be more in tune with them and understand why they do what they do and how to give them what they need. It helps me prevent tantrums in the first place, or to calm them quicker once they start.

    Good luck! Diabetes is tough!
     
  6. chammond

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    We did go through similar problems a couple years ago. One thing I always tried to do during the low and acting out was to tell him that I know he is low and that he feels bad, but it was still not okay for him to be mean. we also realized that when he is low, he wants to be left alone (after we treat it). Logan was maybe 3 or 4 when we were having this problem fairly regularly, so he didn't really understand what was going on. He would be playing with his brother, and then if he went low would get angry or very emotional. Now we know to just let him take a break and be by himself until he comes back up. I agree that waiting to talk about it when they are back in range is most effective, but we definitely would remind him if he acted out during the low.
     

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