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The Question
Thu Apr 11 19:15:49 EDT 2013

I have a 15 year old son, that has given up on his diabetes. He doesn't take his insulin alot of the time. His blood sugars are out of control.
Asked By: tp1cason  

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Expert Answers (2)
2013-04-19 14:40:55.0

Due to technical glitch, Liz's answer was cut off. Here it is in its entirety:

Teens often exercise independence and may use diabetes to undermine parental authority.

It is hard to step back and tell your son that diabetes is his responsibility. He might listen to a respected adult (coach, scout leader or teacher) with diabetes. Or another teen in his diabetes support group.

Read how one parents copes here: http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/lifestyle/diabetes-children/karen_hargrave/break-it-down.

Use positive reinforcement. Telling him that you appreciate his efforts and that he did a great job tend to be more motivating than complaining when he does not. Remind him that good control helps him feel well, maintain normal growth and participate in his favorite activities.

Take care.

Answered By: Monica Dennis
Accreditations: dLife Managing Editor
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2013-04-10 19:40:01.0

Teens often exercise independence and may use diabetes to undermine parental authority.

It is hard to step back and tell your son that diabetes is his responsibility. He might listen to a respected adult (coach, scout leader or teacher) with diabetes. Or another teen in his diabetes support group.

Read

Accreditations: EdD, RD, LD, CDE
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Community Answers (3)
2014-03-22 02:36:42.0

Have you tried an insulin pump?
Answered By: terrilynnmerrits

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2014-03-21 13:54:00.0

This is going to sound bizarre but read Jonathan Kellerman's crime novel "Killer". The protagonist is Dr Alex Delaware whose speciality is child psychology. One thread of the story line deals with a juvenile male who acts the same way your son does. He works with the teenage character in ways to "own" the disease and never adds to the stress on the child with "You shoulds." While it won't resolve your issue, it might give you some insight into your son's emotions. You might well try to find the professional help that just might work for him.
Answered By: rubybenubi

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2013-04-12 18:12:37.0

I have teenagers (not diabetic, my 8 year old is), however, the psychology of decision making in a teen proves to be a mystery. I was a teen mom, and I contribute this to rebellion against the stearn religious parents I had. I was ready to address my emotional needs at that age, but was not given the 'adult respect' to do so. I reacted by behaving rebelliously, which resulted in pregnancy. Being so young, I remembered the feelings of becoming a young adult, and explained to my children that, when their brains were small, I had to protect them with shelter and discipline to create a 'pseudo reality' of consequences. Now that they were older, and able to directly operate in reality (I was not supervising there every move) they were absolutely responsible for the results of their choices. And they had to know I meant that by my being consistent in that explanation across all their choices. I explained very frankly, that it simply doesn't affect me, the choices you make now, nor am I able to affect the consequences. A lesson I learned first hand. I said, I try to set an example for you when I can, and if I do something (like smoke cigarettes, or eat fast food) I explain that I made a poor choice, and they are seeing that I am not perfect. In all of this explaining, my goal is to let them feel the power they are so desperately trying to gain, without having to 'rebel' to feel it. Remove the power struggle, and he will have no need to use diabetes as a tool to feel in control. He will then feel grown up by managing it himself, and you will then find him probably doing a better job than you. (which is a welcome break) It is important that you do this now, in the teen years, because the habits they have as adults are formed now, like watching their weight, managing money, developing emotional self awareness, managing their diabetes. One last note, my 3 teens, come to me all the time, about sex, drugs, relationships, emotions. 15 is tough, a year can do alot
Answered By: candy.0

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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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