My son "forgets" to test!

My 10 (almost 11) year old son is on his 3 year with T1 and I'm constantly reminding him to test.  Even when he eats he forgets and then he's chasing highs all day/night.  He's on a pump and sometimes he also "forgets" to bolus.   What am I gonna do with him! 

I sense your frustration, and as hard as living with a child with diabetes, imagine being that child living with diabetes. Add the hormones, and "cool" factor in and you have what seems like what your are dealing with. my daughter was diagnosed 6 months ago and is 5 years old. She also has a hard time with talking to me about her feelings, and most importantly will try to sneak food without asking me, or letting me know she wants to eat something. So, imagine my surprise when I go to check her and she is so high that the monitor reads HI. it is at these times that I used to just go with the flow and give her the correction dose and move on, not anymore. Now, if she eats something without asking she gets time out. (after correcting her numbers of coarse) after her time out is over, we have a chat session and I agan try to explain to her that she doesnt have to hide or sneak food from me. she can have it, i just need to know so i can give her the right about of insulin. so far it seems to be working, but we shall see!!!!

As for your son, he is old enough to take control of alot of his diabetes management, but just might not be mature enough to take it ALL over- still might need the reminders and definately should be monitored in regards to his dosages. (imo)

Take a deep breathe, and give your son the most embarassing hug ever, remind him that you love him, and want him to live long and as healthy as possible- in order to do that he has to take good care of himself and manage his diabetes better. you'll even help him!


Our son is almost 9 and was dx a year ago.  We've been told that even the most compliant kids often hit a rebellious phase around age 10 or 11.  Since switching to the pump a month ago, I've taken the opportunity to set up more structure to his testing, and we use the BG reminder alarm on the PDM.  Often William doesn't want to stop what he's doing to test, so I'll bring the kit to him and start setting up the test, and he'll go along without fussing.  If I tell him to test without bringing the kit to him, he's more likely to resist or "forget" after I've reminded him.  We were having far more resistence when he was on MDI's, and I think he appreciates being able to "control" more of the testing and bolusing process with the Pod.  I'll watch him while he goes through the screens on the PDM, and he'll do it himself as often as not. I think we have an advantage over many families because we homeschool, so I can monitor him throughout the day and be sure he's testing and bolusing.

So, I guess my suggestion would be, if he's going to be spending more time at home, to use summer vacation to establish more of a fixed routine with his testing.  Ask him what HE needs to help him comply with testing and bolusing; does he need more help from you or does he want more independence?  Can you set up reminders on his PDM, and will he respond to the reminder?  I don't know how you feel about bribery, but perhaps you could set up a system whereby he earns a certain cash equivalent each time he tests and boluses appropriately, to go toward earning something that he really wants.  Perhaps he could even earn bonuses for having his BG on target a certain percentage of the time.

My other suggestion would be to try to set up your son with an older diabetic mentor.  Someone who's been through the rebellion stage, has a deeper understanding of the stakes involved in tight control, and would be willing to spend time with your son on a regular basis.  You could start with Juvenation and ask for members who are in your area to contact you if they are interested in mentoring.  Also, check with your local JDRF branch, or your endocrinologist.

Hope that gives you some ideas that will help.



It is hard to tell from your post exactly how much responsibility you have given your son, but it seems like expecting him to remember to test as often as he needs to is a lot to expect from a 10 (or 11 y/o). I liked Mo's suggestions for using his pump reminders but I think you should also work out with him that he needs to test.

As far as forgetting to test before a meal or forgetting to bolus, I can say that it can happen! I or my husband have to do all that stuff for our 4 y/o son and while it doesn't happen a lot, it does sometimes. So I guess I wouldn't give him too much trouble if it happens once in a while (even once a week) because esp on the pump, you can tend to add one more thing to a meal, that is usually what trips me up and then yeah, it is the big unhappy shocker when you get the 400+ reading a few hrs later! (as compared to shots when the mindset was much more, do I want another shot for this or should I just not eat it?)

If it is a problem at school, is he testing with the nurse or just keeping his supplies with him? Either way, could they be calling or emailing you with his numbers at lunchtime, so at least you know he got one lunchtime check in and maybe he can call you with the carb count and the bolus?

Good luck, it is a big responsibility. Keep in mind that a normal 10 y/o is probably forgetting to pick up his socks everyday and this is so much more to remember. Be gentle with him and keep being a great mom!


I know this is not funny, but as someone that has been T1 for 30 years and pumping for 10 I can tell you that it does happen. My daughter is 5 and also has a pump and sometimes I forget to tell her to bolus then I have to call daycare and tell them to check her and give her a correction. It is hard to explain but sometimes it just slips your mind. Don't be too harsh on him, he may seriously being fogetting and not playing a game. Good luck!