This past week has been very full and very emotional. There have been many decisions on my plate and many issues floating around in my world. Always front and center is diabetes care. I was lucky enough to have some wonderful friends to speak with. They reminded me that it is okay to discipline a child with type 1 diabetes for ignoring their diabetes.
I had struggled. I wondered what could honestly be expected of a 12-year-old boy with type 1 diabetes. They had such a heavy burden. A 12-year-old is so young. Perhaps I was expecting too much. Experts told me that I wasn’t.
I allowed my guilt to get in the way
I was told that when it came to diabetes, I was a softy. They told me that I let my own guilt and issues get in the way of my child’s best interest. Thankfully besides offering tough love, I was also offered the help of a therapist who also lives with type 1 diabetes.
During a conversation with the incredible Joe Solowiejczyk, I was told that I was allowing my issues with this disease to overshadow how I teach my son. Joe reminded me that if my son failed to brush his teeth in the morning, I would reprimand him. Why then, did I see a problem with scolding him for failing to check his blood sugar levels before a meal? He was right.
Our conversation continued and Joe gave me new tools to move forward with. His tips and suggestions left me feeling less powerless, less sad, and less pathetic.
We can discipline a child type 1 diabetes for improper care
In conversations both with Joe and with other friends in the diabetes community, I have come to realize that I am not helping my son by allowing him to get away without properly managing his diabetes. It is okay to discipline a child with type 1 diabetes for failing to check a blood sugar or bolus.
We will see how I do when the next crisis hits but so far I have been able to be stronger. I have not been allowing excuses for my child to get out of diabetes-related tasks that he must perform. I still see my son’s mind working to find a way to try to get me to do it instead. It made me realize that I cannot do this. I am not helping him.
He has to learn to do his own care
I would not do his homework for him and I cannot do his basic diabetes care. Interestingly enough, since I have made him more responsible and given consequences for not doing things, he is much more on top of his care.
This may falter. He may test me and I may get frustrated but I am going to try to remain calmer. We have experienced diabetes crisis after crisis and funny but no one died despite my fears. The world did not crumble and life was okay…except for my own nerves. I was the only one damaged and that has to change…well I can hope and work on it anyway!
It is okay to ask for help
If you need help finding a balance with your child with diabetes, I highly recommend getting Joe Solowiejczyk’s book. It is filled with great tips, videos, and insights. If you are still struggling after reading the book, please contact Joe or another therapist in your area for help. You are worth it. Your family is worth it.
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