TEEN TOPIC #55: Have your parents ever punished you for not testing or for forgetting to bolus?  Do you feel that punishing for diabetes errors helps you or makes it worse?


Annelies (age 15)
My parents never punished me, but they did explain to me the importance of being responsible with my diabetes and the long term effects of not taking care of myself. I feel like that works better than punishing, as punishing makes taking care of your health seem more like a chore than it is.
Andrew (age 15)
My parents have never punished me for not testing, nor have they ever punished me for forgetting to bolus. Personally I find the idea of punishing anybody for a mistake harmful. In my mind the harmful impact of punishing someone for making a mistake managing something as difficult as diabetes is even worse because it just puts more stress on the diabetic then they already have.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My parents have punished me for forgetting to check or bolus. If I do really well with my testing/blousing and I miss one or two, they’re fine. However, if I start slacking on my care they’ll take me off the pump and put me on shots, or my mom will take over completely. That usually means that I have to tell her my blood sugar and how many carbs I plan on eating and she’ll enter everything into my pump to make sure I’m getting the insulin that I need.

Ashley C. (age 14)
My parents haven’t punished me because that would just make me not do it. I feel if you punish someone because they forgot to do something with their disease, it will just make the person not want to do it even more.

Cameron (age 17)
My parents never have, and I feel that it’s a bad idea to punish someone for forgetting to do something. Diabetes isn’t always the first thing on our minds and sometimes we forget stuff. It’s not the end of the world.

Claire (age 18)
 My parents do punish me for diabetes errors. For example, there was a short period of time when I was forgetting to do a BG before driving, which is a BIG no-no, so as punishment they took away my truck for 2 weeks. Which, at the peak of my senior year, both inconvenienced me as well as embarrassed me. However, it did get the point very much across that doing a blood check before driving is imperative. And I believe that the punishment didn’t make it worse, as to this day I continue my good habit of doing a BG before driving.

Erin (age 17)
No, they just say there’s always an experience to learn from. There were a few times this school year I forgot to give lantus and had to leave school. I don’t think punishing for error is a good idea with a disease, because we all make mistakes and can always learn from them. Sometimes punishing can lead to more mistakes.

McKenna (age 16)
In the past my parents constantly punished me for testing and for not giving insulin. When the disciplined me I became more rebellious and started evening doing it less which put my health in danger.

Christina (age 15)
My parents have a relaxed approach to my diabetes care, and I am pretty independent in my care. Thus being said I take very good care of my diabetes, but when I do slip up they do not punish me. I personally do not see punishments as a good way to help your child take care of their diabetes because it makes it seem like more of a chore, especially for teens.

Ian (age 14)
I haven’t been “punished”. I get more of a guilt trip. I don’t prefer this, because if I forget a bolus, I feel the onset of high numbers. It doesn’t feel good, and there is no way that I’d do it on purpose.

Jessica (age 20)
I was “punished” once in all 16 years of being diagnosed for not taking care of my diabetes. I was neglecting taking care of myself whenever I was hanging out with my former boyfriend. It was not out of spite or carelessness, I just always seemed to forget when we were out with friends. So, my parents warned me that if I didn’t fix it I would be grounded. Unfortunately, that time came and I was told that I wasn’t allowed to see him or hangout with him for a week. I think that in this instance it helped me get back on track. However, I strongly feel that grounding and punishing for diabetic errors does much more harm than good. T1D is something that no one likes or asked for, so why would punishing help make it better? In my opinion, I feel that this would only make the child hate the disease (and their life) even more. I believe that it is important to try to talk and connect with your child in hopes of figuring out a way to help and remind them to take care of themselves. Diabetes isn’t something your child chose to have or to do, like disobeying rules or breaking curfew, so punishing them seems unwarranted.

Jordan (age 18)
I feel like it is fair to be punished in certain instances because it is extremely dangerous to be messing up with diabetes.  I have been punished for not testing before driving, and my car has been taken away from me several times.  But I think that if I got punished for forgetting to test or bolus in general, I would just resent my diabetes even more.

Julia (age 15)
I’ve never been punished for forgetting a bolus or forgetting to test, but my parents have reminded me about it. Sometimes they get upset about it and I don’t think that necessarily helps me remember.

Laura (age 17)
Not really, but I do remember one time where I needed a help with a site change in the early hours of the morning and I had to wake my mom up, which was followed with a lot of intense yelling. The only way this situation helped me was to become more independent. Soon after this event I learned how to do everything by myself

Lexi (age 16)
Not that I can remember. I feel as if it should be a good idea maybe but most of the time my mom and I figure out better ways for me to remember to test, correct, and/or bolusing for my food.

Maggie (age 16)
My parents never have punished me for not testing or forgetting to bolus because mistakes happen and no one is perfect. I believe that punishing a kid for a simple mistake makes the situation a lot worse. The child will feel as though they have no independence and I think the real question is to step in our shoes. Do you really think if you had diabetes you would NEVER forget to bolus or check? If you think that then you need to look into how busy our lives are and step into our shoes.

Skylyn (age 16)
I haven’t ever really been punished for not bolusing or testing and I don’t think you should be. No one is perfect and sometimes you know when you’re really busy and in a rush, bolusing for what you ate may be forgotten. I don’t think you should be punished for something that wasn’t intentional like forgetting to bolus.

Vanessa (age 16)
I have been punished before for letting my blood sugar get way too high, but only a handful of times. I also feel like punishing a kid for mistakes with their diabetes just makes it worse because they already have to deal with this disease 24/7. If they get punished for forgetting a shot or forgetting to check then it makes it even worse on the kid. Now if the kid is doing it on purpose to themselves and lying a lot of times about their diabetes, then I do think some punishment is acceptable.

Haley (age 14)
My parents have never punished me for anything diabetes related. They have lectured me a few times, though! I think it’s helpful for me to be reminded how important being responsible with my care is.

Maddy (age 14)
My parents haven’t punished me but they have definitely been upset if I don’t test or forget to bolus. I do feel that punishing for diabetes errors helps me because if the punishment is something I don’t like, then I will do everything I can to not get the punishment again.

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