Will somebody please tell me how to get through to my daughter?

Michelle here. I have a 14 year old daughter who is refusing to take care of herself.  She was in DKA on monday and admitted to the hospital. Came home last night. Today, again, she wont test. She won't dose her insulin. She fights me every time I ask. I'm at the end of my rope. My husband and I just don't know how to help her. Has anyone gone through this?? I've had T1 for a long time. I was a teen with T1. I never really went through this. HELP!!


I am so sorry to hear this. I went through a tough time like this in 05' the only thing that helped me was therapy. It is really hard to deal with. Is there anyway that you can inject her and check her blood or she doesn't allow you to do that either?


I really fear going through this someday with my daughter.  It must be very frightening for you.  Can you talk to her endo and see if he can scare her into it by taking her to the hospital to visit diabetics that did not take care of themseleves and are no facing amputations or eye problems?  Would a scare tactic work on her?

Sorry I don't have more advice, I wish you the best of luck.

-Meg (mom to Emmie, diagnosed 10/29/09 at age 4)

Tough love?  I think you've got to be the authoritative parent.  You're diabetic too, so when it's time to test before dinner, tell her to get her tester out, it's test time.  if she won't do it, send her to her room until she decides to test.  No telephone, no internet, no TV, no iPOD, no computer, no Gameboy, etc. until she tests.  At this point it sounds like you have to go this route.  Same at dose time.  Watch here and ensure she does it.  Don't back down.Reasoning and even being in the hospital hasn't helped.

Also maybe try to get her into some kind of counseling. Ask the Endocrinologist if he/she knows anyone.

I wish you the very best.

Wow!! If i was like that i would for sure be taking care of myself..
I wanna live a good healthy life so i for sure will take care of myself..
sometimes i get sick of doing it but i think i aint gonna stop cause i wanna live long and be healthy and if i dont take care of myself i want so it makes me lol
I am just a teen so idk what to do thats just how i feel,,
Does she have a juvenation be herself??
I would love to talk to her and try to help maybe that would help if she had some people to talk too :)

i wish i had a answer but i am still a little like that sorry. :(

Hi Michelle,

I know exactly what your daughter is going through. I was a little bit younger than your daughter when I decided I no longer wanted diabetes and I stopped giving myself my insulin. Thankfully my mother is a nurse and knew something was wrong almost instantly. I went into ketacidosis and was admitted into the hospital.

I think the age is a big factor with what your daughter is going through. She doesn't want to be different from her friends, or different in general.

I think the best thing I can recommend is not only just be a support structure for her, but have her talk to someone outside of her everyday life (diabetes educator, others with diabetes) so that they can give her a little bit of a harsh dose of reality.

With my experience, I had people telling me I could lose my sight, my feet, or even my life if I did not take care of myself and I tell you what, it made a tremendous impact.  I'm 28 years old and I've been diabetic for 27 of those years, so I definitely can relate to what your daughter is going through.

Time will help to change her mind and hopefully she will realize that it's not a tremendous deal to be diabetic and to take care of yourself.


Hopefully this helps a bit!


DDRumminMan, I really don't think punishing her is the way to go. There is obviously a reason she isn't testing or taking insulin. She is probably going through depression and punishment is not going to help anything. I think getting her help ASAP is the way to go. I know from experience.


Sorry you're going through this. I don't really know what the right answer is because every family is different.  If you can get her to at least take her long-acting insulin, that will at least prevent DKA. 

My mom is T1 and so am I. When I was a teen, I stopped testing too (for like 3 years) and also ate whatever without bolusing for it.  My mom never bothered me about it though.  She made sure I went to my endo appointments and that I was taking my NPH, but she never lectured or tried to scare me.  However, she would always be doing a running commentary on what was going on with her own D.  If she tested and was high, she'd say "yikes, I'm 14.6 (263) - I'll need to take some H."  Or, when I asked when dinner was her response would be "as soon as I do my shot."  So although she wasn't trying to make me do something, she was making me more aware of D management in general.  By the time I was in college, I got my act together.  Now I'm the one trying to change her and get her on a pump ;)

wow. thanks for all the responses. We already have Eliza in counseling. She's only had about 4 visits, so I'm trying to be patient. Today she didn't dose for lunch and by 3 her bs was 550 again. She can throw quite the curve ball. Literally. When I asked her to test, she threw her meter at my head, then proceeded to empty her brand new test strip bottle all over the floor. And she isn't at all pleasant when her bs is high. It's like Jeckle and Hyde. She is so sweet and wonderful when her bs is good, but as soon as it goes up, WOW.

The doctor and CDE tried to talk to her yesterday before we left the hospital, but it didn't sink in. I guess I'm out of the loop. I lived through this as a teen. I just did it because I knew I didn't have a choice. I didn't like it and I remember sneaking snacks once in a while, but NOTHING like this. I've never seen a teen HATE anything this much.  I just found this site, so I'm going forward the site to her and try to get her to set up an account.

I'm hoping to find a support group in our area. Maybe that will help. We've tried everything we can think of. Taking things away, rewarding, taking it 1 test at a time, I'm just feeling lost I guess.

Today, she said "Your probably glad you gave this to me." I sobbed for an hour solid. She blames me for "giving" her diabetes. She's never admitted that to me.

Hi Michelle - I hope to never be sitting where you are right now.... but I have to tell you, I'm very afraid I will.  I was Eliza. I was diagnosed at age 2.  My pattern of bad behavior started in 7th grade, ended in 8th.  Spent most of that year in the hospital in ketoacidosis.   I did not care and I did not want diabetes so I wasn't going to have it.  I would simply not give my insulin.  Now, I'm 33 years into having this disease and it's still my life.  My oldest daughter was diagnosed 5 years ago and some days it feels like diabetes all day long.   I did a "tweet a day in life of type 1" back in November for World Diabetes Day... in the 16 hours I was awake, diabetes interrupted us 22 times.  :-( 

Counseling is definitely a good idea.  I did it.  I will tell you that I was convinced the counselor was telling my parents everything I told him (they do say today he didn't tell them anything - but in my 13 year old mind - he was just as evil as my parents and my life).  Maybe you can ensure she doesn't think this (even if they are - don't go in to talk to him/her right AFTER she does - go before, etc.)  I can't say counseling helped me stop my destructive behavior, but it probably helped with the anger part of it.  I don't have a good answer as to what helped.  I got tired of missing stuff because I was sick.   I got tired of everyone talking about me being "the girl who is always in the hospital".  There was nothing my parents could do to make me give insulin.    I guess the only thing you can do now is to take as much over as you can from her... not forcefully, and not as punishment but so she doesn't have to think about it.    Ask her what you can do to help her, if anything.   Teenage girls are mean to their moms - teenage girls with a chronic disease and high BGs - watch out.  

I can't imagine how horrible you felt when she said the mean things today.  I'm sure you already had guilt over it, I know I do sometimes and Ellie is only 9.  I know the day is coming when she says those words to me.   You and I both know that you would give anything for Eliza to NOT have diabetes.  ANYTHING.  I know I would for Ellie.    She's mad.  She hates life right now.  I'm not a medical professional, but I'm guessing hormones and chronic have gotten the best of her and professional help might be in order.   

I haven't given you much to go on to fix your problem, but I hope hearing my story is enough for you to know 1) Eliza isn't the only one who has done this and 2) you are not alone.    


A friend of mine gave me this article written by Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, who is a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. Here is the article called The Family Approach to Diabetes Management.

This is Joe's email: inbalancehealth@aol.com
and office number 650-838-0932

Maybe he can help.


[quote user="DDrumminMan"]

Tough love?  I think you've got to be the authoritative parent.  You're diabetic too, so when it's time to test before dinner, tell her to get her tester out, it's test time.  if she won't do it, send her to her room until she decides to test.  No telephone, no internet, no TV, no iPOD, no computer, no Gameboy, etc. until she tests.  At this point it sounds like you have to go this route.  Same at dose time.  Watch here and ensure she does it.  Don't back down.Reasoning and even being in the hospital hasn't helped.

Also maybe try to get her into some kind of counseling. Ask the Endocrinologist if he/she knows anyone.

I wish you the very best.


probably the best advice i could come up with. when i was her age, i often got fed up and refused to test and the likes, they weren't for as long as her mind you they were more like toodler "fits". never lasted long because my mom would force me to do it. even if it took her yelling at me for an hour or threatening to take me to the hospital and get them to hold me down and do it..i'd eventually break down and give in.

i tell ya, it pays to inflict some fear into your kids. my mom never hit us, but my brother and me knew she was the boss and the slight raise in her voice, we'd both start to break down til we would finally give up fighting(which happened pretty quick).



Is your daughter involved in any sports, band, art and so on?  Being both physically active and mentally acitve helps my daughter lots.  When her body feels good holistically she is good.  ( have your daughter read this)  hello im 13 and i feel the same way, just to tell u, i have the exact opposite problem, my sugaer r constantly low and i stay up at night unable 2 sleep cuse of this. u should really test at least. giving insulin sucks but doing it regulary like at night and in the morning helps AlOT:)

I just finished a great book:  The sugarless Plum by Zippora Karz,  It is a great book about a young person who deals with being  a T1.  Very uplifitng.


Best of luck,  Kim(mom)  Krissa( daughter)

[quote user="Gina"]

DDRumminMan, I really don't think punishing her is the way to go. There is obviously a reason she isn't testing or taking insulin. She is probably going through depression and punishment is not going to help anything. I think getting her help ASAP is the way to go. I know from experience.




Gina, I wasn't thinking punishment, I was thinking more along the lines of saving her life.  She just got out of the hospital for DKA earlier this week and is once again not taking insulin etc.  You can die from this.  People die from this.  There was just a story of rich socialite who died of this.  If it were just a matter of skipping some and having a high A1C, then a different approach might be called for. 

I have daughter who will be graduating from college in June and I had a son with diabetes.  One think I know from experience is that if your children think when you tell them they need to do something for their own good or otherwise and they think it's negotiable, you're toast as a parent.  You have no authority and can lose control very quickly.  If her Mom found out she was driving a car with no seat belt, what should she do?  Get counseling or supervise her driving until she decides to wear a seatbelt?  Based on what the OP said, the situation is out of control.  Anyway, this is just my opinion.  Many have been offered here.

I did say she should get counseling too.

One other thing I'd recommend is to send her to diabetic summer camp this summer.  I don't know where you live, but there's a great one in Gainesville, TX called Camp Sweeney.  There are others. There she'll see that she's not alone and that taking care of your diabetes can be a good thing.

I agree with DDrumminMan.....I was that way for a while and the only thing that actually helped me was when my parents started taking my privileges away.  First they took away computer, and then they took my dance classes......after they took my dance, I shaped up.  Dance is my life and when they took it away, I felt completely lost.  Yes, I was very very angry, frustrated, confused, rebellious.......but once I got the right mindset, I'm glad my parents took those things away.  I still hate my D, but I know how to live with it now!

i am about to turn 14 myself. i can say that i have those times where i dont wanna test or take insulin but what it comes down to is knowing it keeps me alive. i have been admitted to the hospital for dka 3 times since diagnosis 3 years ago. the first time was the most servere when the doctor told me, had my dad not brought me in, I would have died later on that day. Ever since that experience i try my best to control my diabetes. I was in denial for quite some time after being diagnosed. Also i just wanted to fit in with every other child my age but i realized that having diabetes wasnt something to be ashamed of. I went to diabetes camp '09 and it definatly changed my perspective on how to handle everything and that im not alone. then i joined juvenation and diabetes seemed to become easier for me. I now actually dont care if I have diabetes and I actually love it for the most. I started the insulin pump on October 8th, 2009. There isnt you can do for your daughter unless she is willing to meet you halfway(my opinion). my dietican says she will help me in any way possible as long as i do my part. I am sorry to hear she was admitted for DKA because it isnt fun for the person with it but its very stressful for the family. Also i went to therapy too and i have to say it did help somewhat, just being able to express my thoughts without someone judging me.

Good Luck Michelle.

Personally, when I was depressed as a teenager, I don't think punishment would have helped me change my outlook *in the long run* even if it helped *in the short term.*

I had a friend as a teenager from diabetic summer camp who was admitted for a whole week for intense counseling and D care. Is this something the endo is thinking of? Maybe she needs more time in the hospital?

For me personally as a teenager, I gave up and everything felt hopeless b/c my numbers were so high. Once I found an endo who helped me get some good numbers for a couple of weeks, I felt more motivated b/c it actually seemed like there was hope. She could have a totally different reason for her actions, but that was what helped me.

I don't know if this will help or not, since I don't have a teenager. But when my then 3 yr old son would refuse to eat or drink when he was low, I would let him rant at me for a while, and then tell him we would have to go to the hospital. I would not get hysterical (I would do that later). And then we would get in the car and go. We had to this at least 4 times, twice in the middle of the night. 3 of the 4 he finally agreed to drink as we got to the hospital parking lot. The hospital is where they end up if they don't do what you are asking/telling, so might as well just take them. I think the shock factor finally wore in and we no longer have fights about lows. (And I obviously know it is easier for me to manhandle a little boy in to the car vs. a girl who is probably getting close to you in size and strength). I think my message is, "This is not negotiable." I would also try to test her , give her her Lantus, and a shot of log to correct her BG while she is sleeping. I hope she still sleeps thru that, and that should help her BGs, though definitely not ideal.

I agree, she sounds as if she could be depressed, so counseling is a good start. I know from several people close to me (my mom, and a good friend) who have struggled with depression, that they hated counseling at first too. But they also hated having to be hospitalized for depression - talk about removal of privileges. (no shoelaces, no razors to shave with, much less no phone, friends, freedom, etc.) IMO, I think partly hospitalization is sometimes needed for depression because it gives the drs. a chance to figure out the right drugs for to treat it, but I think it also is a big shock to the patient who might just put forth even a tiny effort at counseling and other things to avoid going into the hospital again. (That is kind of a logical explanation to it, and depression is not exactly a logical disease, and I'm not tryting to offend anyone.) What I'm trying to say is that you have to walk a fine line between taking away privileges, working with her counselor, and having her turn her back on you even more because of it. But you are doing all these things because you love your daughter and don't want to see her hurt herself.

Praying for you and your family.

Hi Michelle -

I am so sorry for what you are going through with your daughter.  My daughter was diagnosed at 2 1/2 years old in December 2008.  I do worry about her getting burnt out or not taking care of herself when she gets older too.  I know it must be very frightening for you.  I can relate to the mood swings as well.  When Shelby first got diagnosed and would get low, she could be very combative even at her age and when she's high - she's out of control.  It's like she's so wound up and you can't calm her down. 

I think you are taking the right steps in trying to get your daughter help.  Hopefully she will open up to the counselor more and more as she keeps seeing them.  Just make sure the counselor is someone that your daughter is comfortable talking to, that will probably help her in opening up to how she is really feeling.

I can't imagine the pain you felt when you daughter said what she did to you either.  But keep in mind, she is a teenager and they can say really hurtful things without meaning them.  I am sure deep down your daughter knows that you would never want this for her and would take it away from her in a heartbeat if you could.  I do not have diabetes, but I did have gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Shelby and I often wonder if that contributed to her having it. Regardless, I try to stay positive and I always remember God will never give you more than you can handle.  :-) 

Hang in there - it WILL get better!!!  You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.