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From Salem, Oregon, USA:

Our son is 9. He has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 4. Our trouble with him lately is that he is sneaking food and lying. He doesn't seem to have a conscience about it. We are looking into a counselor which deals specifically with children who have diabetes. Until we see him, what kind of discipline, if any, works? We have tried to tell him that there will be no discipline if he is truthful and that worked for a short time. Now he lies about it no matter what. Perhaps we, as parents, need to be more supportive or are implementing the wrong kind of discipline. We are at our wits end. His A1c count is high and we are trying to reduce it in order to keep his future health outlook good. If you have any suggestions it would be appreciated. Also, is there a support group around for parents?


A parents support group is just what you need to help you with this phase of diabetes rebellion. You might want to contact your local Juvenile Diabetes Foundation or ADA to find out what is out there for you in Oregon.

Instead of discipline for negative behavior, have you considered rewarding positive behavior? Some of my patients have parents who use a "marble jar" for collecting marbles to trade for things the child desires. For example: 30 marbles = a fun outing to the place of the child's choice (or some variation on that theme). The marbles are kept in a big glass jar in the kitchen and the marbles are big and colored. Everyone can see them mount up and plan for the event/item desired. Positive motivation vs. negative motivation is the idea behind this.

I wish you well in your current challenge.


Additional Comments from Heather Valdes Speer, Research Coordinator and mother of a child with diabetes:

It would be better to teach a child about good and bad choices in his mealplan, as opposed to cheating, sneaking and lying. If the child is not overweight, there are ways to incorporate just about any food into a mealplan. Is the child really hungry? Is he eating excessive sweets? What about using Humalog to cover an extra snack or better yet, plan ahead using carb counting. Contact a dietitian who is a CDE who specializes in children's mealplans to learn how to handle these situations. Food is the hardest part of diabetes management.


Additional comments from The Editor:

You'll find other parents in the Parents Chat Room who can help you.


Original posting 9 Sep 1998
Posted to Behavior


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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