TEEN TOPIC #32: How can parents avoid saying “no” to everything because of diabetes?

Lexi (age 15)
Just know that I won’t die within 2 hours if my pump site is ripped out, so even if something happens, I’ll be fine.

Laura (Age 16)
I don’t think I exactly understand the meaning of this question, though it may be because my parents have done fairly well with not using diabetes as an excuse for me not to do things. I think parents of kids with T1 need to just take a deep breath and trust their children to do what they need to do.

Jessica (age 20)
My parents have never once told me “no” as a result of my diabetes. I was always given options. You want that piece of candy? Then you need to have a shot too. Or you can have an apple or cheese and no shot. You want to run around? Just have a juice. Their mindset was, and still is, I am a child first and a diabetic second. T1D in no way stops any child from achieving their goals and aspirations; no matter how big or small. This value that they have instilled in me from day one is the biggest component in shaping the person I am today. It has taught me that diabetes is a part of who I am. It does not define me. By telling your child “no” because of diabetes, you are letting diabetes control them, and not them control diabetes.

Erin (age 17)
Use reasoning . If it’s getting to much for the teen though, the teen should speak up an tell their parents

Claire (age 17)
Don’t use the disease as an excuse for saying no, use it as an excuse to give them more responsibility for themselves.

Cameron (age 17)
Trust your child. If we want to go over/sleepover at a friend’s house, let us. Most of us are capable of handling ourselves for one night. Also, we can eat anything we want just like people without T1 can. As long as we bolus for it, there’s no reason why anyone should say we can’t have something.

Ashley B. (age 15)
In order to avoid saying “no” to everything related to diabetes, just wait and see how they handle diabetes on their own. If they’ve proven to be responsible to go out with their friends to a concert or out to eat, you shouldn’t deny them the right because of diabetes. Just see if your teen knows how to manage without their parents having to butt in very few minutes.

Jordan (age 18)
Just plan ahead to make sure you’ve discussed all the things your child will need to take care of when they are without you,  and then trust them to do all of those things.  The more freedom you allow, the easier it will get.

Nick (age 19)
Parents need to realize that being diabetic doesn’t need to change life all that much. The biggest difference is that the body doesn’t do everything for you anymore. It takes a good deal of self control and discipline to make up for this, but really, you can live life as anyone else.

Ian (age 14)
Parents need to trust their kids, and know, that this is our life and our health, we will take care of ourselves… because I can guarantee we all want to live to see our own children and grandchildren do what we have done.

Mercedes (age 16)
If you find yourself  saying no more then you are saying yes, you should  look at why you are saying no, and find a way to change it to a yes.

Skylyn (age 16)
Parents need to trust their kids with their diabetes. If you trust your kids, you won’t say no as often.

 

TEEN TOPIC 31:  What can parents of teens with T1 do to help their kids be more independent as they work toward college and moving away from home?

Laura (age16)
Give us space. I honestly feel like I’m constantly being treated like a child in my house due to diabetes, when I will be graduating and going off to college in less than two years. I don’t want to be constantly questioned and bickered at for how I’m handling myself. I’ve had type one diabetes for around 6 years and am nearly an adult. I should be given more space, and should be trusted more with my own health.

Ashley C (age 14)
Let them do everything by themselves and only come to the parents if they need help.

Jessica (age 20)
I think that learning to become independent is the most important part of living with T1D. Parents that hover over their children, in my opinion and experience, drive their kids away from being independent and responsible with their diabetes. I believe that teaching your children to give their own shots/change their own sites and pack their supplies (i.e. for low blood sugars) is crucial. However, in terms of going to college and moving away from home, it is so important to teach them the medical aspects — making doctor appointments, ordering supplies, calling insurance companies, etc. It’s these minor pieces of living with diabetes that we as kids don’t think about needing to learn since “mom and dad do it for me”. Making your kids aware of these by having them in the room when you call, and mentioning that one day they will need to learn this, is important in prepping them for the future and adulthood.

Erin (age 17)
Allow them to go out with friends , and to try to carb count on their own when they may not know what the carb amount is.

Claire (age 17)
Give them space while also helping them prepare to be the young adults they are.

Cameron (age 17)
Giving them more freedom by letting them make their own decisions. If you have an insulin pump, the parents should let the teens change it out themselves. The parents should also let the teens count their carbs and bolus without checking on them to see if they did it correctly.

Ashley B. (age 15)
In order to prepare your kids for college, don’t try and baby them through diabetes. You *NEED* to let them handle situations with blood sugars, insulin, and night time checking on their own. You’re not going to want to drive three hours away to your kid’s school just because they don’t know how to treat a low. Of course, it’s okay to step in here and there, but in order for your kid to be independent with their care, you can’t do everything for them. That doesn’t help prepare them for the real world, unless they’re just going to live with you forever.

Nick (age 19)
Make sure the kids are the ones responsible for taking care of their diabetes. Don’t hold their hand too much. They should be able to check their blood sugar and do their insulin without being reminded.

Ian (age 14)
I think that parents should start letting their children do the routine by themselves, and maybe have them start waking up to test, of course the latter more towards junior year. I don’t think, however, that parents should stop helping totally, we still need them. 🙂

Mercedes (age 16)
When your diabetic teen is going off to college  you don’t need to treat them any different from any other kid. You need to trust them and let them go. There is no need to act any different just because they have diabetes.

Skylyn (age 16)
Parents can help by letting their diabetic child be more independent at home. Letting them mainly maintain their diabetes by themselves will prepare them for the future when they will have to maintain it by themselves.

Jordan (age 18)
Parents can back off helping their child with everything, and let them take care of more of their diabetes management themselves. Parents can have their child be in control of their supplies, and have them monitor their own blood sugars and insulin without being told or asking questions.

 

TEEN TOPIC #30: What do you feel your parents’ input should be during school hours? Should they text or call you? If you have Nightscout/Share/Cloud/whatever BG sharing app, should they text or call you/your school based on what they are seeing on their screen? Would you WANT a call or text?

Jordan (age 18)
No, I believe that parents should not be involved in texting or calling the child about their number. When children are with the parents it is their time to learn from their parents about how to live on their own with diabetes, like how when a student is in school he is there to learn. When a child is away from his parents is his time to apply what he has learned and practice living with diabetes on their own, like how when a child goes home, he practices what he has learned in school on his own to master the skill.
 
Skylyn(age 16)
I don’t think my parents should have any input during school hours. It’s only 7 hours and we all go to school to learn, not mess around and freak out over BG numbers. As long as you bolus for what you eat and correct or take something to get your BG back to target range, you will be fine. If you really need help, that’s what the school nurse or support staff is there for.
Mercedes (age 16)
I don’t think that they should call or text you when you are at school, it keeps kids from learning. I don’t think if they have some kind of Share they should call or text you unless they are extremely low.
 
Claire (age 17)
I think parents should stay out of students business, especially during school hours. Despite diabetic reasons, parents shouldn’t interfere with their kids’ education.
 
Ashley C. (age 14)
I only call my mom during school if I’m having a hard time controlling a high or low other than that I’m on my own.
 
Erin (age 17)
My parents have always let me self manage, and this year I’m only at school for half the time because of my classes, so if something comes up I just call. My school is really lax on letting us use our phones and easily can text whenever if I am low. I don’t use the sharing apps.
 
Cameron (age 17)
My parents and I both have the Share feature for Dexcom, but we only use it when I am playing in a tennis match. I’m not always going to be able to tell when I’m low when I’m on the court, so my parents turn it on to look out for me. If I had the Share on during school, I would only expect a text if I was low for a period of time, not the minute I go low.
 
Jessica (age 20)
I think that communication during grade school hours should only be if necessary if the diabetic feels open to it (or if they are a small child). If nothing is wrong or out of the ordinary then a simple recap at dinner or the end of the day seems sufficient for those in middle school or older. Nurses and diabetics should be, in my opinion, self sufficient and knowledgeable enough to handle the day without constant communication from parents. I think that parents texting kids based on their phone information is too controlling and inhibits the diabetic from learning to be independent. If they notice a long period of time with high or low blood sugar, then they could possibly ask if everything is okay, but I don’t see a need to text the minute a number spikes or drops. I also believe that it is a nice comfort to have the ability to reach my parents if and whenever necessary, but should be up to the student to initiate contact in most cases.
 
Ashley B. (age 15)
I text my mother my blood sugars, and sometimes ask for advice.
 
Nick (age 19)
I’m in college now, so a call to remind me about doing a test would be a bit odd. Even in high school, I was compulsive about checking my blood sugar and doing my insulin, and my parents knew it. However, I do know of some people who were the exact opposite, and actively tried to not do tests. For these people, it might require a call from parents to get them on track.
I’ve never used a blood glucose sharing app, but I love the idea, especially for young kids or for when I’m on a trip away from civilization. In those situations, it would be good to have someone checking up on you.
 
Zyler (age 16)
They should not text and call me while I am at school. I have work and stuff I need to get done and it’s annoying when they keep texting me.
 
Ian (age 14)
I feel that my parent’s impact should be minimal, but if the need arises for them to take action (need being an undeniable “pull” to take action that concerns my safety at the discretion of my parents) I feel they have every right to do so. I feel at my school, as small as it is, there isn’t a need for them to call.
 
Joseph (age 15)
I use the Facebook Messenger app to text my mom, and my teachers allow me to if it’s related to diabetes.
 
Vanessa (age 15)
I personally don’t talk to my mom during school unless I’m really high. I never go to my nurse just so I can be more independent and get ready for college. But if I feel the need to let her know, I will text her in class and all of my teachers know that I’m allowed to. I just have to let them know that’s what I’m doing.
 
Laura (age 16)
I think texting and calling can be helpful sometimes because I know I have really bad days where my sugar is wacky and sometimes I need more supplies. I don’t think it’s exactly necessary to be allowed a cell phone though, because the school phone is usually always open, too.