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I need massive help.

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by veggiered, May 2, 2011.

  1. veggiered

    veggiered Approved members

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    Hi All,

    My son has had type 1 for 7 years, he is now 15. This year, he has taken to sabotaging himself to get out of school.

    His father & I have tried everything....watching his meter every time, figuring dosages for him, even limiting what we bring into the house!

    He's a really good kid, on all accounts - but this.

    I need ideas/suggestions. Please!!! :( Teenagers!!
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    What is he doing, exactly?
     
  3. dejahthoris

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    I wonder if there is a good reason he is REALLY not liking his school right now.. maybe talk to him about it. Maybe there are social issues, or someone who is giving him grief to the point he just not want to go. Maybe there is something else that is bothering him. If there is a issue maybe it can be worked out and solved, if not you can look at other options. Just a thought.
     
  4. veggiered

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    He is sabotaging his blood sugars... making himself go high buy getting up in the middle of the night (I'm assuming) and eating stuff and not taking insulin for it, or he drinks some coke or eats something from one of his friend's at the bus stop or at school when he first gets there, then plays victim.

    He has admitted to doing this behavior. He's always very apologetic...then away we go again. He's also lied about his blood sugar when I've been away from home and he's been home and wanted to go to the pool; this happened a couple weeks ago! Consequently he's lost the privilege of going to the pool :rolleyes:

    He's done it at my house and at his dad's. We are just at the end of our ropes.
     
  5. veggiered

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    Other options are not an option. I did the home school gig for many years. I am now single and that is not an option. He doesn't have the self discipline to get himself to a classroom, how the heck is he gonna have the self discipline to do homes chool work while I'm at the office....

    I've discussed ad-nauseum with him about "why" he doesn't want to go to school, with him, and his school counselor. The rub is, he'd rather stay home and watch the tv and play video games.
     
  6. wilf

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    Your son is not a "good kid" - he is out of control.

    If he was my son I'd come down on him like the Hammer of Thor. And I'd work with my ex to make sure there's a consistent hard line.

    He'd lose every single privilege in both households until he shaped up. No screen time on any computer or tv or electronic game, no cell phone, no allowance. All video games confiscated. An early bed time which is enforced, if necessary by locking him in his room. All sweets eliminated from any location he can access. All breakfasts and suppers at home, no going out evenings (which would be devoted to reading or homework or a hobby).

    I'd also put him on a Lantus, NPH, Novolog regimen so that he was being supervised for every injection of insulin.

    I would also seek counselling for him and you and your ex.
     
  7. monkeyschool

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    No real advice here, but I wanted to share that I have a friend whose older son did the same thing (not with blood sugars, but with anything else he could do to not get to his classes). She was so tired of it that she took away all his privileges...to the point that she took all games, etc, even for school work in HS he was only using his mom's laptop to do a report and that was it...no games, no computer, no tv.

    She sent him to summer school for everything he failed and he kept passing that way, but did not enjoy an single summer from middle school onwards. When he got to HS he wanted to drop out and she told him while he was living in her house at least until he was 18 he would be staying in school. Anything else he wanted it was time to start paying for on his own. He got a part time job and continued badly at school, but last year finally got his diploma (2 years late) and is now working to pay his own way to trade school as she refuses to pay anything else for him. If he wants it he will do it on his own...she said it was the best decision she ever made for him.....he is finally doing something on his own and working towards it.

    She homeschools her younger son now. Hindsight she thinks it started when the younger boy was getting all the attention (they are 11 years apart)...she didn't see that at the time though.
     
  8. veggiered

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    So here's the deal. It's not at home when we're there that's the issue. This crap is happening while he's at school, or after his dad & I have gone to bed, or while we are at work.

    Quitting my job to follow him around the campus is not an option. Neither is taking away his cellphone, that's more for my peace of mind. He's lost his video games already ;) And only has computer use for homework.
     
  9. veggiered

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    This is my fear, and I don't want it for my boy. He's been in summer school the past 3 summers. His father feels we should let him fail 9th grade & repeat it...no summer school...he is going to camp sweeney this summer and I am praying it will help.
     
  10. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    You and your ex may want to have a look at this video of a presentation by a Type 1/ family therapist and see his approach to managing teens with D. Joe is highly regarded by many of us and it might help you to think through your options and to know that you are not alone. :cwds:

    http://forums.childrenwithdiabetes.com/showthread.php?t=61397
     
  11. Lisa P.

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    Once upon a time, I'd have said that's fine. He leaves school. Works full time plus overtime in the mine, on the farm, at the factory. Not such an option these days. :eek:

    Please totally ignore this post if it's not your "thing" -- I'm an oddball and own it! :):p Most people would consider this advice wacky to the point of irresponsible, I'm o.k. with that! :D

    But . . . I was very affected by sub teaching one day in a room full of 17 year olds. The teacher gave them an assignment, which was to find the internet site for the classroom and send a message to the teacher. It was written on the board. The teacher told the class. He made them repeat it back. Later he reminded them again.

    I looked around the room. In other times and places, these young people would be raising their own families, running their own businesses, driving wagon trains across the West, fighting on the beaches at Anzac. I was nearly in mourning for the way we treat our young adults, as if they are babies that can't even wipe their own rears. And they absorb that message, which comes to them from all over society, and live up to it.

    You work full time. Dad works full time. He is an adult. What makes him think he can sit and watch tv full time? I totally believe he is not a bad kid. What I think is that he has been essentially brainwashed by every message around him to think this is all right. And we are in a wealthy nation so he can get away with it. But it's not good for him.

    We home school in part because I've been in high schools around here and honestly, if it were me in one of those high schools I'd cut a finger off to get out of class, they are awful. But if the problem really isn't the school (and make sure, because maybe he doesn't recognize himself what the problem is), then it's time for a come to Jesus moment. I don't know how that would look for your family, but I think I'd have my kid volunteer for two weeks full time at an assisted living center, emptying bedpans, or at a homeless shelter. Let him work as an assistant in a care facility for the elderly and change and wash adult diapers for two weeks. Not as a punishment or a threat, but just so he can get some sense of perspective. He needs to man up, right? I'm sure he will, if he is shown the way, and given the opportunity!

    Good luck! Best to you all.
     
  12. selketine

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    Joe is quite a popular presenter at the CWD conferences. If he does counseling remotely - he seems excellent at getting to the heart of the issue and empowering people to make good choices (both parents and kids).

    So - just to be clear - you think he is doing this so he can come home during the school day? But you have taken away all tv, computer and the video games so what benefit is he getting? (perhaps just to be home is enough of course).

    My teen doesn't have type 1 but what would concern me especially is that he would do something to make himself go too low (rather than high). I might go with Wilf's suggestion of taking over his insulin. If there is any chance he could harm himself (intentionally or otherwise) this way - and his behavior does seem like he is begging for attention - I would be worried enough to do this for awhile at least - until I got some counseling for him.

    This must be very difficult - I hope you find an answer soon. Fortunately the end of the school year isn't far off.
     
  13. monkeyschool

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    With things like this there can be many reasons for a certain behavior.

    Sometimes letting them fail is what let's them actually see and feel the consequence of their actions. Personally if you've had it you may all need a break. I would probably let him opt out of a summer school summer (one summer to give him a break and see what he is missing), fail the grade, let him repeat....he may learn from it, either way it ties in consequence. He may either not be ready for what he is currently doing in school and repeating material so that he actually gets it may be a confidence builder. If you think the kids he is with have any play in what is going on he will be forced to be with other kids if he repeats too. Unless you don't think academics is the problem.....If you can you try to dig further to see what is causing the issue before deciding which approach to take.

    In the end whether he is done one year or another is not what is important...if you think failing will help and teach a better lesson for your individual child take that approach. Remember that you are not wrong one way or another, you are doing what you think is best to 'help' your son and your family.

    I hope the summer camp helps - the break alone is probably a good thing.

    I think the lesson will always be that he will only get out of things what he puts in, whether he passes through summer school (giving up his summer), or passed by making an effort....or otherwise fails for not making it.

    Keep in mind too that a lot of times it isn't the kid, but rather the environment that doesn't fit the kid...If you can speak to each of his teachers to see what they have to say it may also help in making a decision. They may offer you some info on whether it is academic, social, d-related, etc I had a teacher in HS who would start every class by saying...'let's see which of you morons is going to get ducked on your grade today' or some other condescending remark about grades or homework...he would also put kids on the spotlight in class to do problems or ask surprise questions....the kids that struggled tried to avoid his class like the plague by faking illnesses, pretending to choke, misbehaving in the class prior to be sent to the office, etc (which meant it was also affecting their other classes) He was a great teacher otherwise (meaning he actually taught), but it was the way he started his class that was not a good fit for many (I personally got math so I wouldn't care, I knew my grade was fine...but others did not share my experience). My brother struggled big time with this teacher.

    If your son is in a similar scenario repeating the grade won't help since he may be subjected to being with the same teacher/environment, etc ie..it may not be confidence he needs, but rather a complete change (and that may mean requesting a different teacher or something other thad adjusting from your end). If your child could talk about it it would make things a lot easier.

    If you can't pinpoint the source of the problem seeking professional help may also be of help (he may not want to talk to you,but he may be able to express himself to a professional).
     
  14. monkeyschool

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    I ditto what others are saying...no tv, games, computer, etc If they get out of school they should not come home to relax...in that case I would have them do school work and expect them to show you when you get in from work. They need to be accountable for their time at home.
     
  15. Lee

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    Why does he need to come home when high? Make him sit through classes while at 500 a few times and the behavior will stop.

    But that won't deal with why he is behaving this way.
     
  16. veggiered

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    Has any other parent gone thru this??
     
  17. Amy C.

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    This sounds like a great idea. Why should he have to be at home while the insulin is working?

    My son feels crappy when high, but he can function. Even if he were high, he can still get insulin at school -- there is no need to sit at home while the sugar comes down -- especially if it is because of missed boluses.

    My son isn't allowed to stay or come home if his sugar is high. If he forgets to bolus (which happens), he eventually feels high and does a correction. He does continue with his normal activity.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  18. LJM

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    Then the TV and video games go. If things are this bad you have to make home less appealing, right?
     
  19. Lisa P.

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    No.
    All my opinion is based on is teaching teenagers for several years. I've seen similar things, but never anything particular to your situation.
    I don't think it's uncommon, but I'm not sure you'll find anyone here who has been through specifically this and come out well on the other side. I've seen several stories go in the other direction from other places, where teens figure out years after they go through spurts of poor care that it has affected them, they can't turn back the clock, they're sorry. But I've never seen anything on this board or elsewhere about a kid using his diabetes in this manner and the family reversing the trend.
    Hopefully, someone else will chime in with helpful info.
     
  20. Jordansmom

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    That was my first thought as well. I have a fifteen year old. If she was intentionally endangering herself with carbs or insulin, I would seriously make her life miserable. But the first thing I'd do is remove the reward. She certainly would not be leaving school when she was high. What's the point? There is no supervision at home and the tv and video games are waiting.

    My DDs school doesn't have a nurse, but if that was an option, I'd be making much tighter check-ins with the school nurse (she'd hate that for sure), testing and corrections done by the nurse, hand her a water bottle and tell her to get her butt back to class. For a start.
     

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