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From Seattle, Washington, USA:

My daughter is 9 and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 3 years ago. We cannot get her to do her on blood tests or shots. She will do it herself on very rare occasions, but most of the time just refuses. Although it is easier to just do it for her, I'd like her to develop some independence. Any ideas?


Children who are pushed to take responsibility for their regimen before they are interested or ready become resentful, angry, and do not adhere to their regimen. Then a vicious cycle begins where they are nagged by parents to do their diabetes tasks, they ignore/refuse, and their health becomes worse, which increases nagging, which increases refusals.


Additional comments from Stephanie Schwartz, diabetes nurse specialist:

While it is true that you should not expect complete independence until about the age of 12, you should begin to transfer responsibility gradually between now and then. Most kids I've known are able to perform blood glucose monitoring, inject insulin, sometimes using a device such as the Inject-Ease, and learn the beginnings of carb counting. Providing a reward system such as earning points for each blood sugar check, injection, or appropriate food choice, or treating a reaction (there are lots of things!) towards something that she really wants works well in helping children assume more self-care responsibility.

It is also helpful to encourage attendance at a diabetes camp, where group process and peer pressure provide additional incentive for assuming self-care responsibility.


Original posting 29 Jun 2000
Posted to Daily Care


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