Teenagers not taking diabetes seriously

I'm having issues with my son who is 14 and has had diabetes for 5 years. He has been on a pump for 4 years and doesn't remember life without diabetes. It has become so much a part of his life that he doesn't take it seriously. He is at a point in his management that he needs to become responsible for his own needs and doesn't want me involved as much. But, his a1c just went up to 8.2 because he isn't paying attention to his numbers and basel pattern. He's home for spring break this week and doesn't check his blood unless I remind him to, and then he gets mad at him for nagging him.  He'll be in the 300's and not even care. He says it no big deal, he'll just do a correction. I want him to know of the dangerous complications of his disease without terrifying him. Any advice out there?

I totally understand where you are coming from.  My son is almost 14, has had diabetes for 2-1/2 years.  He simply doesn't care.  I have many sleep deprived nights waking up to test his BS to make sure he is on track.  I do not want him to have complications later in life.  He used to be such a fun loving person.  Diabetes has changed him.  He is moody, irritable, uncooperative--you name it.  He has huge depression issues too.


My support is my neighbor.  She agreed to look in on my son while they were on spring break and I was at work.

I guess kids are never old enough for rewards--can you offer your son money (I know they respond to that) to keep his numbers in line?

good luck--we all need it.



 I want him to know of the dangerous complications of his disease without terrifying him. Any advice out there?

I think being aware of the complications is scarey -- but also so necessary.  Not that we need to share on a constant basis but perhaps to sit down and talk about what staying in the 300's will do to him.  Kids feel invincible....but we all know they are not.  It is sad to see the crashed cars parked at the high school the week befor prom- BUT it gets the message out to be responsible.  Unfortunatly we have kids that will suffer if they do not check there blood sugar and take care of themselves.   Being straight forward about that is ok right? 

My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2004. she is now 15 (almost 16) and does not take her care seriously. Her A1C has not been normal in 2 years. We are now at an all time high of 14.3%!!!!! Needless to say, I cry myself to sleeep alot these days. She went DKA in February 2010 due to her complete lack of care. She checks once a day if we are lucky and skips her insulin all together several days a week. We have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to get her to cooperate (reward system, punishmnent etc).

I would have thought that going DKA and spending 2 days in the ICU would have scared her into submission, but alas, she is back to not checking and skipping doses. Any advice? I am at my wits end...........................

Its so supportive for me (but sad for the teens) that we are not alone. Jake's diagnosis and adjustment period when he was nine was so much easier than it is these days. His doctors at UofM suggested he come to their teen support group. He, of course, was completly set against it. So, I forced him to go! It was this week and unfortunatly only 3 other teens were there and it was the first time for all of them! The group leaders promised that it was usually much bigger and worked hard to convince the 4 to come back next month. I think it would be so good for him to see other teens struggling with the same issues he has. I'm going to keep forcing the issue and see if it does any good. I'll let everyone know how it goes after next months group.

Thanks for all the support and advice. Debi

[quote user="debiandjake"]His doctors at UofM suggested he come to their teen support group.[/quote]

Which U of M?  we are in Minnesota. 

I can relate (see my posts on Parent with type 1 children)  My daughter is now 16, learning how to drive and getting ready for the college hunt.   She feels, as teens do, that she can do whatever she wants without consequences.  Barely checks, sometimes skips days, takes insulin when she feels she needs it, and guesstimates the amount, often resulting in a low a couple of hours later.  I have tried everything, rewards, not being a nag...to no avail.  She will not go to peer groups, as I've suggested, because she doesn't want to talk about "d" with a bunch of strangers.  There's alot of anger in her, but she refuses help.  It's very trying, and only a parent with a teen diabetic can understand.  Does your daughter's doctor have any influence on the dangers of not complying?  Would she go to peer counseling?  I'm sure very soon she will want to learn to drive, and that's when staying healthy is extremely important. 

I wish I could give you great advice, but it seems like we've both tried everything.  Keep hoping that she matures (that's what I do).  My daughter has told me that if I stop nagging, she would take better care of herself.  I don't know it that would work.  Good luck to you....

We are in michigan so go to University of Michigan. Everyone in the ped endo department is great.

Trust we are going through the same thing. Both my 15 and 13 seem to think that they don't have diabetes. However we did find something that worked for us. With our son being 15 and in 10th grade and our daughter the social butterfly,  we have told them that if the A1C's are not where they should be come the doctor visit in June there  freedom in the summer to be with friends would be cut. We have told both of them is they want the ability to stay at friends houses and go places they have to show us they have it under control and can be responsible for their selves. So far this has been working. We also have family talks. I feel this is so important. Let your son vent. Just tell him you understand and be open with him. They have fears and so do you. You both need to express that.

Hi. I'm Laura - mother of a 13 yo type I. I found this site looking for answers but find a lot of people just as frustrated, scared, and just as tired as I am. My daughter's last A1C was 10.1. She has changed so much since diagnosis over two years ago, I guess we all have, but its scary to watch it happen and feel so helpless. I don't know how to HELP her. She knows what COULD happen but she just doesn't comprehend or relate it to her I guess. Anyway, I just wanted to say hello.