My step daughter, 9, was diagnosed with T1D last April. It was a lot at once, but we have a good support team between the school nurse and her endo so I thought we were doing good. It was a learning curve, but for the most part she was checking her bs when she needed to and being responsible with her food choices and we got her a1c to 7. Then the last 3 months she started sneaking candy and sweets at school. She has a pump and could easily take a bolus, but she doesn’t ask us or the school nurse to have the treat so she ends up running high. Then she will use the excuse that her tubing must be kinked or her site needs changed. Sometimes even picking at her site in order to blame her highs on the pump.
My husband and I, along with our 3 year old daughter like to eat healthy. We try to eat low carb even when my step daughter is at a friends or grandparents (she lives with us full time, mother passed away when she was 5) We don’t really keep any sweets in the house because we don’t eat them ourselves. Sometimes my husband will have a pop, but they are few and far between. So, with that being said, we try to have my step daughter follow a low carb diet as well while also trying to let her be a normal kid. We try to keep her meals under 60 carbs. We let both girls have diet pop occasionally and otter pops. We usually let her have cake/candy twice a week at school depending on what parties they have going on. Towards the end of school we know it’s a lot of celebrating so we allowed her to have 5 treats in the last 7 days hoping that if she had more, she wouldn’t feel the need to sneak treats. But she is still sneaking.
Are we being too strict? Could this be an age thing? or possibly her just wanting to control what she is doing? We are concerned with her physical health, but we are even more concerned about her mental health and lying. We had her in counseling for 3.5 years after her mom passed away, but we are unsure if that is the right answer. Any advice would be very helpful. TIA!
Did the same thing at her age I was diagnosed at age 9 and that was 64 years ago, some of it is an age thing, some of it is embarrassment (why me) ( I just want to be like every one else) Teach her how to manage her own insulin bolus and don’t get angry and say “why do you do this” and all the other things that pop into your mind. Her body is changing, her emotions are all over , her friends may be cruel, she is wondering if this is punishment for some thing she did. all kinds of things. Give her permission to discover what works for her, I know what her and your diabetic education is, but you need to find out what her body is trying to tell you, my body never read the book. Be patient this is not easy in the beginning and puberty is a trying time for Diabetics, but don’t get angry with her( in my case that just made me more secretive) not good, give her the education she needs and don’t assume that everything you read is correct, ask her opinion and see if there is anything she needs, like a support group with kids her age. Hope this helps. For me it’s 64 years later and the only place the diabetes shows up is in my blood. The doom and gloom and the threats(if you don’t do this, then this will happen) not always true. Most important Love Her no matter what and give her support not guilt, this will all work out eventually. Include her in the decisions that affect her get her opinion after all this is her condition, and please don’t "tell " her what to do and please don’t tell her she disappoints you when she doesn’t follow the “rules” Good Luck Give her a hug Bye Jan
As the diabetic in my family I can safely say that it isn’t you, you aren’t doing anything wrong. I remember changing my doses and even do star-jumps in the bathroom, all so that I’d go low!
Have you tried talking to her? Asking about why she’s doing it.
It could be because she wants to feel “normal” so she takes the treats.
You could ty explaining to her what could happen if she goes to high. Did she have to stay at the hospital upon diagnoses? If she did, and if she didn’t like it, you could tell her that if she goes too high then she might have to go back.
If you wanted to get rid of the excuses then you could either think about or tell her that you were thinking about, changing to injections, (either via pen in syringe). This might either scare her into behaving, or, at least, remove her excuses.
This is completely normal. I was diagnosed at 8 years old and was sneaking snacks. I remember doing it because I was told I couldn’t and suddenly wanted the things I couldn’t have. That didn’t last long though. Once I learned how to take care of myself at the age of 10, I realized how I didn’t feel well when I snuck in the snacks and stopped doing it. I am now 31 and completely healthy. Just be patient with her and make sure she goes to a nutritionist and sees her endocrynologist often. It also helps to have other type1’s reach out and talk to her.
Hey, I’m Laney I am 14 and was diagnosed 7 years ago. I did this same thing. It was often because I just wanted to be normal, I didn’t want to HAVE to do insulin even an easy delivery from a pump, I didn’t want to deal with the daily troubles of diabetes. It will get better. Be gentle but not carefree. Give her limits but let her have some independence. She’ll learn, this is just a very difficult thing to go through, especially at her age. Give it time and if you want to message me and I can talk to her and help her with these difficulties I am here.
I did the same thing, too. I was diagnosed at 12 and that was 44 years ago. I completely agree and relate to what Janice wrote. Continue to give her loving and caring support and definitely no guilt, as that can make it only worse. Ive heard that most Endo doctors know of local support groups for kids at all ages with T1d and can gain friendships and feel so not alone with this disease. Maybe she would enjoy and benefit from T1 diabetic camp as well?I’ve read so many great stories from those who have experienced camp and still remain lifelong friends with their young camping buddies. Please let her know she’s not alone and I’m sending big hugs.
@JaniceD – Thank you for the response! I’m so glad to hear all the gloom and doom threats are not always true. We get so worked up about what could happen to her later if she doesn’t take care of herself now. Maybe we can take a step back and give her a little more freedom.
@TypeWonderful – Good ideas! We have asked her why and she is still going through a phase where she mostly says she doesn’t know why. We have talked to her about going back to injections and it’s a toss up. We don’t love her pump and she feels a little restricted by it so she’s considering going back to injections anyway.
@Alexandra86 - You’re message made me feel better! Hopefully we can move past this once she sees how much better she feels when she makes good choices.
@_laney – Thank you for reaching out! I’m sure she feels the same way. Sometimes she just looks so sad when it’s time to check her bs and she probably does not want to deal with it some days. What age did you start getting on forums like this? She is on the very immature side of 9 and I worry about her being on any kind of social media yet. But I know it would be good for her to have someone to talk to.
@LaurieAnn – I agree about the camp! They look like they’d be a great experience for her! I wanted so badly to get her signed up for the summer camp near Kansas City, but it was already full when I checked in February. There is a smaller camp where we live, but she is going out of town for a cousins wedding that same weekend. I really hope it will work out for her to go next year!
Camps are great. I went for a few years and loved it. You should also try looking into events at hospitals. I used to do a lot of events for diabetes as a kid through my endocrynologist’s hospital. Any type of social interaction with other type 1’s can be extremely beneficial and fun. There is a lot out there that will help your daughter get on the right track as well as get involved. If she needs to talk to someone, feel free to reach out to me!
Hi Ashly @Ashly, you ask “are we being too strict?” - my answer is no - with a big BUT! The thoughts and advice that Janice @JaniceD offered mirror closely what I was about to write; Janice has three more years experience with diabetes than I.
As your stepdaughter/ daughter [you asked “we”] feels the need to “cheat” I believe that you should very strictly insist that she take responsibility for insuring that the proper dose of insulin is administered - this will require YOU to work with her now in the proper way to read a food label, calculate insulin and take precautions that insulin is not stacked. This will not be easy for you or for her - maybe more for her because she must suddenly develop an adult mind.
The cheating and lying are something else and I was a great “practitioner” in my teen years. It wasn’t until I grasped the fact that the only person permanently hurt was myself. Gentle persuasion and tons of communication and love will help.
My son is 7 years old and also has celiac disease, so we found that making special gluten free cookies, cupcakes, etc. To have around every week or so helps to ensure he stays gluten free and also he likes the special treat just for him when so often he has to watch others enjoy treats. Fruit roll ups at lunch 10g, or cupcakes we bring to bday parties are also a big hit. Then we can calc ourselves and use a lesser carb frosting. It allows him to be a kid and not miss out. Sometimes I even allow him to have ice cream cones as a snack (still sweat but only 4 carbs for cone and 4 for low carb ice cream. Also diet soda. …for root beer floats. We allow him to enjoy when we can without making it a huge carb treat like cinnamon rolls. Then he doesn’t develop a complex which i think would only make it more difficult later in life always thinking henxant have them when he can in a smart way with insulin. Anyway good luck!!!
I started getting on forums like this quite recently but I didn’t know that they existed before then. They would have definitely helped me at her age. I completely understand any hesitation you have with her and social media, so maybe you could give her a "trial run’’ to see how it goes and you can monitor her activity. I think something like this could benefit her greatly.