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Do you help your child manage D?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by ashtensmom, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. ashtensmom

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    Our DD is 10 and have had D for 2+ years. I consider myself a hands-on mom and hubby and I do a lot of the bolusing and checking for her. My opinion is that she's only 10 and shouldn't have to worry about managing D 24/7 at this age and that she will have many years to do this herself when she's an adult. However, part of me wonders if we are coddling too much and in order for her to learn to take care of herself in future, she should be doing ALL of D-management herself.

    I am guessing that by watching and listening to us talk about D, she will catch on. At school, she is very good about checking when needed and she knows how to correct a high and treat a low. She evens knows to where to look for carbs in the event that a teacher passes out treats. But at home, we do 80-90% of the work and just teach her as we are doing.

    So, does your child do "everything"?
     
  2. hawkeyegirl

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    No. My son is 9.5 and basically does nothing at home. He boluses himself, but I tell him how much and when. He will check his BG if I ask, but 99% of the time, I just do it myself.

    At school he does a bit more, but not a ton. There is plenty of time for him to become independent. Are you turning ALL life responsibilities over to your daughter at 10 so that she will learn to take care of herself someday? No. It's a gradual process, and there's no need to rush it, IMO.
     
  3. DavidN

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    Ditto this ^^^^
     
  4. wearingtaci

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    Our daughter is 10,she does everything for herself. She figures her doses,figures her carbs,does her own shots and checks. If she wants or needs help of course we will help,but for the most part she wants to do everything on her own
     
  5. danismom79

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    My daughter is 14, dx for 5 years, and will still ask me just about everything when she's home. But she can manage on her own when she's away from me. It sounds like your daughter is also getting there naturally. I wouldn't worry about it, and I wouldn't push it.
     
  6. Jaredsmom

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    Our son 14 does pretty much everything by himself, we do help insert pump sites but only because of the location. He has been doing his own testing since he was 8 and started with changing some of his own pods at 11. Since we started pinging in December he has been doing his own pump changes with exception of us putting in the site due to location. We also insert dexcom sites for him since they are on his arms. The only issue we have is him sometimes not getting his finger clean prior to testing, but he is good about retesting if he sees a number that is high or is way of of what his dexcom is reading, Jared was 5 at dx so we have been at this for a while.
     
  7. DavidN

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    Our son is 10, has had D 4 months longer than your daughter and we provide 95% of his needs. We, his Mom and Dad, are fairy intelligent people, try our best, multiple nighttime checks, and we're struggling to keep a 7 handle on his A1C while your daughter is self managing with an A1C of 6.2. Simply mind numbing.
     
  8. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Why go from 0 to 60 like that? If you have been doing most everything why would you propose that she suddenly begin to do it all??:confused:

    At 10 I did almost everything at home and she began to manage independently when out in the world. Now at 15, she manages most things, most of the time. She needs to be reminded to follow treating a low with a check, she might need to talk through a bolus of a complicated meal and I do the overnight checks. It's been a very gradual shift and for the most part I let her take the lead. She was late coming to doing her own sites, but eventually she did. Pretty soon she'll be doing her own sensors.

    Really, I think it's like any life skill - you don't suddenly hand over all the cooking, or all the cleaning, or driving to a kid just because they have observed you cook, clean and drive for years - you teach them gradually and had over tasks bit by bit.
     
  9. Mish

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    Would you hand over the keys to your car to a 10 year old? Why would you hand over control to something as potentially as dangerous as her own diabetes care?

    Is your child self sufficient in all other aspects of her life? Do you never have to remind her to brush her teeth? nag her to shower? to do her homework? Yet these are all things which you know she'll learn to do all on her own someday.

    She'll learn, and each year she'll start taking on new tasks when it becomes appropriate for her to do so.

    I've never spoken with a parent who has raised a teen through diabetes successfully who gave over care too soon. Staying involved seems to be the key. There are plenty of horror stories about bad outcomes (and surprisingly even those with bad outcomes seem to think they are experts...) but look at the families that have done well. They've all stayed right there, the whole time.
     
  10. Debdebdebby13

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    It seems like a natural progression that some kids go through more quickly than others. My DD just turned 7 last month (D for almost 20 months) and does most of her BG testing and puts in the carbs me or Dad have counted into her PDM. She tells us the insulin dosage so we can double check and then she confirms. She doesn't feel highs, but if she's low she'll tell us and sometimes tests on her own. Like she'll come in and say "I felt low so I tested and I was 65, 2 glucose tabs, right?" and then I confirm, or tell her just 1 tab or whatever.

    She is learning to read nutrition info on packaging and really likes to pour out cereal into her bowl on the scale and try to get it just right at the serving size. She is also practicing adding numbers together for snacks, like 18 carbs for a peach, plus 14 carbs for a Chobani yogurt. I use that more for summer math practice than anything else :p She is going into 2nd grade so I haven't even started teaching her weighing and multiplying carb factors, but she knows I do that. She also, of course, doesn't even mess with temp basals, or extended boluses or anything like that.

    I figure by the time she heads to middle school she will be able to mostly take care on her own since that is the in school expectation, with just some help from the nurse for corrections. It will happen eventually, but if I feel like I'm forcing something on her she's not ready for then I pull back, but if she wants to take the initiative and it's age appropriate, I'll allow it.
     
  11. mamattorney

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    MY daughter is 10 also and a pretty smart cookie. On an everyday basis:

    She:
    tests her blood sugar.
    injects herself.

    I:
    count carbs;
    do the math for the dose based upon carbs and blood sugar;
    draw up the dose.

    When she's away for the day and I pack a lunch, I just write down the carb counts of all the food and write the dose on a piece of paper with the lunch. She'll adjust it up or down based upon blood sugar (even though I do that at home; she knows how to also) and dial up the dose when out of the house without me.

    If she's eating a meal I didn't plan (like last night, she went to dinner with a friend and her mom), she generally just texts or calls me and I verify the carbs and the dose and she dials up the dose and does the injection.

    So, as I look at it: I do the vast majority of the "thinking" parts and she does all of the "physical" parts.
     
  12. StacyMM

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    I think it depends a lot on the kid. Just like knowing when to leave them home alone, when to let them learn to drive, when they can walk home from school, etc.

    DD is 9. She has been diabetic for 7 years. I haven't done a finger poke on her in years, unless she is asleep or recovering from surgery. She wouldn't want me to. We do site changes, but she does everything up to sticking the pod on. We do CGM changes completely - too expensive to worry about a bad stick. She weighs food, adds up foods, reads labels, does corrections, can fill and inject with a syringe. It's second nature to her. It's what her life has always been and diabetic independence developed along with her other moves for independence, like picking her own clothes, brushing her own teeth, making her own lunch, etc. She's a serious, thoughtful, focused kid.

    DS is 11. He has been diabetic for 8 months. I think he's wanted us to do 10 finger pokes in that entire time. Unless he is asleep, of course. He has no interest in site changes and only did self-injections because he needed to for school. Since he learned to, though, he did most of them - we did arm and hip and he did everything else. He counts carbs, reads labels, weighs food, etc. Compared to DD, he is much less independent-conscious and has no desire to do more than the minimum. I really think he's only as independent as he is because he has watched his sister for so many years and doesn't want her to think she's 'better' at diabetes than he is. He'd be perfectly comfortable doing no diabetic tasks, but he's never really thought about it - just followed his sister's lead and gives it no thought. He's probably the most laidback human being I have ever met.

    DD is younger but much more independent. I could trust her to self-manage at school and friends' and outings. DS is older, but is completely unconcerned about it. There is no magic age or right level of responsibility. I think we are several years away from either getting to the point of changing basals or tweaking ratios, and that's perfectly fine with us. DS asked us if he could change his alert levels on his Dex, though, and we quickly agreed. He wanted it, we supported it. If he hadn't said anything, we never would have expected him to.

    If you and your child are happy with your current plan, why change it? When they need to be independent, you can figure it out together. :)
     
  13. Beach bum

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    My daughter is 12, and does everything expected of her at school. She checks, treats, boluses, calculates and confers with the nurse. She cares for herself at all extra curricular activities and at friends homes. She will text me with questions or comments.

    At home...that's another story. Some days she will do everything, most days she won't. It's not that she can't or is scared. It's more that she simply can't be bothered. And that's OK. She has a twin who has to do nothing that she does and I think some times she just gets fed up. Forget about think. I know she gets fed up. So, that's when we step in. She will always do what is asked for her...not necessarily in a timely fashion (oh you mean I had to bolus right then for the pretzels I ate 20 minutes ago?), but she will do it.

    In my daughters case, and she's had D since age 4, it's been a natural progression of responsibility of care. She first started by getting her meter ready or bringing it to us, then it was starting to test, then it was blousing, then calculating etc. I think the important thing for us is that she knows what to do and will do it when asked of her, or when it is required of her. But, we don't push it. We definitely let her lead the way. For her, it's another life skill that she needs to learn and continue to do. Add that to remembering to shower, do homework and remember a bunch of other stuff. IMO, she's doing a pretty darn good job.
     
  14. mom24grlz

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    Ashleigh is 14 and I still help her a lot. When she is at school or with friends, she knows how to count carbohydrates, change her pump site, correct highs, treat lows & check her sugar. But at home she likes my help. I count her carbohydrates for her, I help her change her pump site, I remind her to test her sugar, and even test it for her if she's busy or sleeping. Busy usually means texting or facetiming a friend LOL!
     
  15. ashtensmom

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. Hmmm, did I give impression I wanted to pass on everything to her now? This is not the case. I want to and plan to do as much as she will allow until she's an adult, but was wondering if this would leave her unprepared for life with D as an adult. I am happy to hear most families have similar values as we do and that this isn't going to affect her ability to care for herself in future. I guess I started wondering when I met a mom and daughter who was dx only recently and younger than my dd, who did all her own shots. I started to wonder if I was being too coddling.

    Again, thanks for everyone's input.
     
  16. Joretta

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    Follow your heart and her needs. No two kids are the same mine was older when diagnosed, but I do know that middle school can be a new world and be ready when she gets there to possible adjust. If your middle school is big you may want her to have more independence at school with phone guidance, but you have time.
     
  17. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I took the question in the first post to mean, should she be "doing it all?"
     
  18. kiwikid

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    My daughter is 11 and has been diagnosed for 10 years.. A year ago I despaired of her ever doing anything she needed to do. She is taking charge of the change. I am no longer allowed to do pump sites or finger pricks... she does her own boluses, usually after lots of nagging BUT she won't let me do them.. I am here and willing to still do everything but I'm being shut out... I say it will happen in its own time and to let her soak up everything she needs too while you are there to help. :cwds:
     
  19. Megnyc

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    One useful thing my parents did was they talked through everything they did so I would absorb it. For example, if I was 80 before bed they would say, "80 after a very active day with no active insulin, let's do a 50% temp basal for 4 hours and recheck in 2 hours and see what is going on." So, over the years I ended up understanding pretty intuitively how to use temp basals depending on the activities of a day, active insulin and about a million other factors.

    To answer your question, I was fully capable of doing almost everything at 10 from setting temp basals to doing site changes. But my parents still did almost everything at times. With time and a desire for greater independence I slowly took over. My parents still do night checks and count carbs when I am home (which is for around 2-3 weeks a year). But I live on literally the other side of the world from them right now and I am managing just fine. So, I don't think the help they provided when I was younger did any disservice in that regard.

    It also totally depends on the kid. I am just imagining my brothers with diabetes and it would be a total disaster. My parents can't manage to get them to remember their lunch money and gym clothes. Expecting them to actually remember to bolus at lunchtime would be very unreasonable.
     
  20. missmakaliasmomma

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    My daughter, at almost 5, wants to do a lot more with her diabetes but obviously at her age there's no way she can actually do most of it. She can test herself, that's about it and even that sometimes doesn't work. When she's 10, I don't want her handling it all by herself. I still needed my parent's help for stupid things as a teenager, and since my daughter has more at stake than I did as a kid, I don't ever want her to take on all of the responsibilities. The way I feel is that I still remember people telling me "Don't grow up too quick" and what do we all do? Grow up too quick. I don't want my daughter to have to grow up even quicker because she has diabetes. Kids are growing up too quick now.
     

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