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Behavior and discipline issues when sugars are within normal range

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by msschiel, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. msschiel

    msschiel Approved members

    Oct 21, 2013
    My just turned 11 year old was diagnosed in October, so we are 5 months into diagnosis. He has done wonderfully with taking his own shots and sticking to the diet and everything, so I can't complain there. His numbers are stable and usually within range. He was getting A's and high B's at the beginning of the school year. He got Student of the Month in November (the teachers recommend kids, so he must have been doing something good). His grades dropped a bit for his last report card, and he got a C in advanced Math because he didn't finish his Study Island (an online testing system that the teachers use toward grades. It is almost the end of the 9 weeks (this week) and he just now finished up what he had to do. This past week and this coming week they have state tests in Math and Reading (and maybe science), but his teachers still continued to give homework.

    On Wednesday, the 19th, he woke up around the same time he usually does (6 am) and all he had to do was get 1 1/2% to get the last Study Island up to an A, it took him 20 minutes to do once he finally got around to doing it that evening. He argued with me consistently and was getting very mean and aggressive and argumentative with me and tried hitting his brothers (something he did before his diabetes diagnosis). All he wanted to do was play his Ipod. I told him he could after he got his work done. He continued to argue with me, so I took his Ipod and told him he couldn't have it for a week (again, this isn't the first time and happened before his diagnosis). He lost no other electronics, just the Ipod. I told my dh about it later on and he was mad at me for taking it because he claimed that ds was tired. I tried explaining to him that if he was awake enough to play the Ipod, then he was awake enough to do the math. Then, Friday, he brought me a few papers to sign for school. The one reading paper he got an F on because he didn't even finish it. It was homework earlier in the week. When I checked online to see if he did indeed do his homework, I saw that they had a science test and paper due on Friday. I asked him about it and he hadn't finished that either. He finished it, but if I hadn't checked his folder he wouldn't have gotten it done. This is the 3rd time this has happened in the past few weeks, not getting study guides finished. The end of the 9 weeks is this week sometime and he has a High C in math, an A in Spelling, and low B's in reading and language. I also talked to the nurse about a week ago and she said he had been coming down a few times a week in the morning saying he feels low (which he is fine at home in the mornings). She talked to the teacher and it is usually when they start a new subject that he does this. He says he does get nervous and I can see how that can be similar to being low. I think he thinks if he stays out of class, then he won't get homework, but he just misses out on classtime and neither of the other two diabetics in his grade are doing this (the one was just diagnosed in December). I checked his number at breakfast (110) the morning that this all started and he may have been a bit lower than that when he woke up, but I didn't think to have him check.

    My dh thinks I was wrong to take the Ipod, but I don't think I was, especially with not getting the other homework done. He wants me to admit that I was wrong, and I don't think I was totally wrong. I should have had him check but like I said, this has happened before his D diagnosis. I did read a thread about mostly highs causing argumentativeness and other bad behaviors. I tended to run on the lower side of sugars for a while and I know I felt irritable and shaky and I should have realized this. Everyone I have talked to said that maybe I should have dh worry about his homework and see what happens. We do have a meeting with his teachers on Wednesday, so I am anxious to see what they have to say. If anyone has insight on this, please help me. It is really starting to affect our household relationships (we have 3 boys, 13 1/2, 11, and 9). Thank you!

  2. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    Hi Stephanie,
    I absolutely do not think this is diabetes related at all. I think you and your husband aren't on the same page of the parenting handbook and you should try to resolve those issues and figure out a discipline strategy for a kid that is acting out.
  3. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    Please explain what this means.
  4. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    When you say that your newly dx'd 11 year old is "taking his own shots" and "doing well on his diet" what exactly do you mean? How much is he managing in terms of injections etc.?
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  5. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    I think first, you and your husband aren't on the same page when it comes to disciplining your child(ren). As for your son acting out, yes, you should always check BG's first and then decide what to do then, but we all forget. Did you have these problems with homework prior to diagnosis (as in last school year)? I would contact the teacher and see if there are any issues going on that you may not know about. It's not uncommon for kids to "go low" when something new or uninteresting comes up in class. My daughter was famous for doing it during reading language arts. Can you work with the nurse and teacher to come up with a plan where if he feels low or high that he tests in class and calls down to the nurse? This is what we did and it stopped my daughters visits fairly quickly. I definitely would set up a conference with the teacher to put some sort of plan in place to so that this problem will not continue. It could mean staying in during recess to finish work or eating lunch in the classroom and finishing work then. Again, this is definitely something that could nip the problem in the bud fairly quickly.

    As for the iPod, I'd be right there with you. I'd also taken away all electronics for the evening too. If you're too tired to do homework, then you're too tired to play on the computer, watch tv, play Wii. So, you might as well just go to sleep.

    Diabetes could be playing a role. It may not be his blood sugars though, I imagine it's more his emotions. He's newly diagnosed, pissed that he has it, maybe burnt out from testing his blood sugar and giving himself shots. I'd talk to your team and see if there is someone on staff who can talk to him, or refer him to talk to. Talk with his teacher and nurse. This is not uncommon.
  6. andiej

    andiej Approved members

    Dec 30, 2013
    My son is 10 and was diagnosed in December. We have also had a few issues, about a month after dx he became rather mean to his younger brother, we struggle to get him out of bed in the morning, i'm sure this is because he can't face testing straight away and an injection on school days. He had a major melt down when he got a wobbly tooth. In general he has coped so well with all the diabetes stuff. For the first time in his school career he has had a couple of behaviour issues at school. I think it's pent up frustrations and maybe that is what is happening to your son too. It's tough for us parents and it would be un-natural in my very humble opinion for this not to psychologically have some effect on children. Hope things get easier for you.
  7. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Jul 16, 2007
    I think there are multiple issues here.

    1) you and hubby need to get on same discipline page. I have the same problem - I take away screens (iPod, computer, and TV) and hubby has him watching an "important game" with him - ARGH!
    2) "Using diabetes as an excuse in class" - I like the ideas above to help curb using diabetes to get out of class.
    3) Argumentative behavior - when Emma starts showing an inappropriate and uncharacteristic reaction to something, I try to remember to have her check - she was getting way upset about something a few weeks back and it turns out she was 40!
    3) Schoolwork. If he was argumentative before, and its not related to blood sugar, then its related to him being 11 and not liking schoolwork. That condition afflicts about 40% of the male 11 year old population of the United States, and its probably the hardest medical condition to deal with of all you are dealing with (husbanditis, diabetes, and 11 year old ness as your diseases). See if you can come up with some reminder techniques, positive incentives to get it done, etc (i.e. how about EARNING iPod time for getting it done, instead of taking it away for not). Also, keep an eye on it because this is the age and educational level when you could start seeing some mild signs of ADHD coming out. I have another online friend who is dealing with that and trying to work out coping techniques to adjust to how her son's brain thinks.

    Good luck!

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