Angry T1D 11 year old with one parent

My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed in February. She is extremely resistant to her father asking her about diabetes like bolusing and carbs or even helping her. He has tried everything and she just is so disrespectful to him and sometimes her older sister. She is fine with me and I have talked to her and told her that it’s unacceptable to talk to her father that way but I don’t know what else to do. I know it’s common for one parent to kind of become the primary diabetes parent. But she is so nasty to him. 50% of the time she is high, over 300bg but still. I feel like I have to be careful with punishments because, like diabetes isn’t awful enough. Advice?

Hi Shelley,

Yes, as you say, diabetes is awful enough on its own - it is 24/L “L” being lifetime, but hopefully there will be a cure eventually for your 11 year old daughter in her lifetime. Even now in my 59th year with this thing I still get my back up when someone is telling me I’m doing things wrong or, when a person who doesn’t know anything about diabetes, saying I caused it by eating sugar, tries telling me what I should be doing.

I will suggest that her father and her older sister learn as much as possible about T1 and step into any discussion with you little one with words like “… you know that I was reading some good things and I hope you can help me learn and know …”. Always address in positive manner and never in a critical or negative way. It will be nicer when she feels that she can come to you and to them for assistance - let her, with your encouragement, take the lead.

I have a poster / flyer with “Do and Don’t Say to Someone with Diabetes”; if I find it I’ll send you a copy.

Please stay in touch, and suggest that her father visit here to help him understand what she is encountering.

What I have found is that mothers in most instances are the “nurturers”… i read this article about children and how most children naturally prefer mom when they dont feel well or when they need something. In this case. Your child needs care. Sometimes, I make myself “unavailable.” Not that im not there, but I make myself occupied and that way others must step in. For example, alot of family members are very hesitant to step-in. Although my child is fine with her Dad taking over her care and needs i often hear her say “mommy does it this way or in this order”… maybe first speaking with her as to WHY she is reluctant for her other parent to do it is the first step. Also keep in mind, we all do things a little bit different. Like when we first brought our babies home, men and women carry them different. We cuddle them while men pack them like footballs :blush:. Just assure her that her father knows what he is doing and he loves her.

Wow this is tough. It is so much easier when all are on the same page. My daughter is 12 and T1D over 3 years. Perhaps too many questions are setting her off. Perhaps a family sit down is in order so you can understand her needs, expectations, and what kind of help she is looking for. Help her understand that all of you want to help her be the best at who she is without letting diabetes stand in her way. At my house, it is diabetes care first. Expectations must be fulfilled by my daughter, (example - to count carbs she eats as accurately as possible while asking for help if unsure, change pump site every 3 days, eat breakfast), Expectations that she has of her parents are also important to recognize, (example - maintain supplies of insulin and other diabetic materials, cook healthy meals), so that diabetes does not interupt the things my daughter and the rest of the family enjoy doing. I must admit, I am the caregiver most often, but dad is right there too. At my house, it was so much easier for dad and daughter to work this out by themselves without my involvement. My daughter focused on different things when dad is/was “in charge”. And as long as the basics are covered, that is ok. Sometime when daughter is not listening, consider making sure that dad is solid on his knowledge of T1D, “what to do if…” and the Endo’s after hours phone number. The first time I left dad in charge it was difficult for me but they did well and actually had a great time. If your daughter is like mine, she needs to know that others want to help and are just as capable to help. Diabetes is not an individual disease, it affects everyone she is associated with and she needs to be able to rely and feel comfortable with those closest to her whether it be mom, dad, sibling or close friend. All of these people want to help, they just need to know how or what help she needs and wants.

We are a year and a half in and my son is now 9 and we had different issues, that he did not want to tell anyone, which I felt could be dangerous. What I did was just started reading anything and everything, blogs articles, responses from young adults on facebook groups to understand - is this normal? It it. Should I allow it to continue? Answers were mixed. Along the search I came across so many good places for info. My favorites were those blogs or groups where real people or parents who live this give advice. SO I would start reading all you can about the emotional impact of this diagnosis. Children with Diabetes website had a video about parentiing kids with Type one, he himself has had type one for over 30 years and is a DNE and a therapist by Joe Solowiejczyk.

I have read people don’t like to be peppered with questions ever time they eat, I know myself, I am grouchy when hungry, so I can imagine a teen or pre-teen who does not yet really know there own emotions really getting agitated with the constant-ness of this, so maybe that is the thing you are looking for language and strategy around. Most teens DO NOT do well with pump or MDI therapy, there is now statistics available on that from “T1d Exchange and Glu”, so is it their fault if they have a terrible protocol to follow?? You will have to search out from various sources ways to deal with the emotional impact of a family disease. It looks like you are already doing that and keep going, it is time consuming at first but more you know the better. I feel like there are a lot of good blogs, facebook groups “Children with Diabetes” has site and does conferences, etc. so you have a lot of info. Best of luck and you are not alone with all have our issue to deal with.

You might check with your endo clinic about a social work resource. I suspect they see this a lot and would have some good advice.