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Teen Issues

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by jules12, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. jules12

    jules12 Approved members

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    Haven't posted here or visited the site in a long time. Things have been good but now at 15, he just doesn't really care. We have had some good conversations as to the WHY of the behavior. Now we just have to retrain habits of checking, etc. Just thought I would see if any one has any thoughts, tips, etc. for teens and how you checked, followed-up, while still giving him some independence.
     
  2. Christopher

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    The teen years are absolutely a challenge. And there is a certain amount of burnout after 8+ years of dealing with this illness. Recognizing that and verbalizing your understanding of that is important. What I have found as I am backing off on managing it is just to keep the communication open. Just having (calm) conversations about certain situations, how best to handle them, etc. I find that now I give my opinion on how I think something should be handled but I have to let her do what she feels is best, even if it is not how I would choose to do it. There are some things that are non-negotiable, like checking every time before driving, always wearing her ID bracelet in the car, etc. But if she chooses not to pre-bolus, I tell her I think she should but I don't make a big deal out of it even though I think it is important. I guess just keeping that dialogue open is my biggest "tip".
     
  3. Theo's dad Joe

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    I would resist rewarding behavior too much or outcomes at all. The kids I taught who made the worst transition to high school were the ones who's parents gave them rewards for grades, or who valued grades over learning. Extrinisic rewards tend to gradually reduce motivation over time.
    http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/10/how-rewards-can-backfire-and-reduce-motivation.php
    http://www.edutopia.org/blog/reward-fraud-richard-curwin

    He does need to be able to identify the "outcomes" (A1C, etc) and be able to make a list of controllable things that can help him achieve those outcomes. Completing the objective/controllable things should be the focus. You should determine if they are acceptable and how you will monitor them.

    Can he make a list of say 4 things that he needs to specifically do to manage diabetes?

    Then give him some tools to self track-which should be available for you to monitor. That's my opinion having worked with teenagers and having one myself. External motivation usually prevents the development of self reliance, especially when it comes from parents. They may want to share their success with you on their own terms at some point. It doesn't mean you can't have consequences either, or be involved. There need to be consequences from parents for not taking care of yourself. The ultimate reward though will usually be the reward of self reliance. Could you get him to write a short management plan? To list outcomes and controllable objectives-specific ones? He can even write the consequences. (If I can't accomplish this, I will ask for help, ask someone to help me remember etc...)

    I had two kinds of students coming into high school. Ones who were intrinsically motivated and ones who were motivated by parents or rewards or grades. The first group could be A, B, C kids and the second one could be A, B, C kids, but the kids in the first group tracked UP and the kids in the second group tracked down over high school. You can take an intrinsically motivated C+ kid and find them 4 years later going to engineering school or going off to become a master chef etc.

    I am not utterly against rewards by the way. Each kid and each kid/parent relationship is different and sometimes you do what you have to do, but always look for ways to put the focus of the motivation back into the kid. Let them know that you are concerned, and available, but that they are going to be in charge of themselves eventually. I am speaking generically and not specifically to you of course.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  4. kiwikid

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    We're going through this right now.. We can talk, and explain, and discuss and plan, only to find its all gone out the window when she is on her own, and the answer from her is a shrug ... The only thing I can do is check the meter and pump occasionally and 'mention' what I see.
    Rachel's birthday is the 25th August and she wants a huge cake to share with friends. I said to her that if she can look after herself and do what needs to be done until the 1st August then I'll order the cake - all with no nagging, but with the offer of help if she ever wants it. Maybe that will start some good habits that are easier to keep up because she will feel better ? who knows..

    At school she has to show her meter at breakfast, lunch and PE and bedtime to prove testing.. which suits me fine - I'm not the baddy in that case .
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  5. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    If you haven't heard Joe S give his talk about teens and Type 1 you might want to watch this, http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/video/JoeS2.htm

    We use sort of a modified Joe approach with Maddie.

    I've always believed in random "hey you're been doing a good job and I know it's hard" rewards. Nothing big, maybe when she was little it would be a toy that I otherwise wouldn't have bought, now maybe a piece of clothing that she loves but doesn't really need. It's NEVER tied to her A1c or any specific task and it's always just spontaneous and not ever promised, it's just my way of saying, "good job" every now and then.
     
  6. Theo's dad Joe

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    Thank you for that video. I watched it all, and would recommend it and will watch it again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  7. quiltinmom

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    Ds is 13, so we aren't in the throes of teenager hood yet but I am happy to share with you what we do.

    These are just my thoughts, take what works and leave what doesn't. You know your son and you're the only one who knows what will work, what won't.
    I remind him to test and bolus, and I have to nearly every meal. It's just how it is. I have come to expect that he will forget, even though he's super smart and responsible. I find it helps to pose the reminders as a question, not a direct statement. Such as, "have you tested yet?" Or "do you need help counting carbs? That makes him not feel like I'm trying to control him.

    I sometimes ask him if he wants help counting, but for the most part, he does counting by himself.

    I try not to get mad at him. I found getting him in trouble made things worse. It's best to have the attitude that tomorrow is a new day. My attitude affects his attitude more than I realized at first.

    When he gets a little belligerent I jut shrug and say, ok. It's your body. Do what you want. And yes, I really would let him not bolus. Once or twice. Although that hasn't happened much at all. He knows what he should do, and saying that gives him the control, making it no longer about a power struggle. So testing or bolusing is his idea, not mine. This won't work for every kid!

    I'm not above bribes, but like others have said, it's for behaviors, not blood sugar numbers.

    Sometimes I wait and let the dr. tell him stuff. It's different coming from him than from me.

    A lot depends on your Ds's personality. Find what he likes or motivates him and use that if you can. If he's burnt out, find a way to recharge his batteries. Depends on what he likes. For example, we have developed a tradition if getting ice cream after dr. appts. (we don't go out for ice cream often.) Just a little something that his siblings don't get. Makes him feel special. I reiterate it's because he's been ding such a great job, not because he had a great a1c or whatever.

    Diabetes camp. His favorite week of he year. Second only to christmas. Serious. It's a bit of a sacrifice for our family, but totally worth it for us. He's probably not too old for that, if you aren't already taking him there.

    Would changing doctors, if that's an option, help? Change of pace, maybe a new perspective. Our dr. Is good about not nitpicking how we manage things. He looks at the big picture; behaviors, not numbers. If he's going to a pediatric endo, maybe switch to an adult one if they will take him. Just an idea.

    Realize that as a parent you still don't truly understand what he goes through, just the constant "nag" that d can be. Maybe acknowledging that, and letting him know you are proud of him, could help.

    We try to find humor in it.

    I allow him to complain. I say, "yeah, I know it's a pain but you still have to do it." Let him express his feelings (as much as a 15 year old will). Having someone to vent to or who understands goes a long way, even though he'd never admit it.

    It also may just be a matter of getting through these tough years. Maybe it's better to let it slide a little now, in favor of him developing and choosing good behaviors as he matures into an adult. It's one of those things you have to feel out.

    Maybe I will need to come back and reread this post in 2 years. I'll probably need a little of my own advice then!

    These years are hard. It's not for forever though. I've been told, in general, that the worst is 13 to about 18, then suddenly you get your son back. You can get through it. You can do it.
     
  8. jules12

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    We have basically started over and I have to remind him to bolus and check his bg every time. I don't get angry and we really haven't had any punishments except that if he isn't going to check for certain activities and text me, he doesn't get to go/participate the next time. That to me is just being safe. We let him go with a friend over the 4th and he checked regularly and sent me his Bg's via text but didn't bolus the entire day. While for some, that may seem awful - to me its great progress in that at least I know his BG's that day. I check his meter/pump every couple of days to see where we are at and if we are moving forward. Right now, I am just focused on improvement one day at a time. Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and for the video.
     
  9. andiej

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    We are just now approaching the teen years but i've spoken to quite a few mums that have been there already. There top tip seems to be "keep the lines of communication open". Most say that yelling, getting angry just makes things worse.
     

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