From Madera, California, USA:
I recently learned that my ex-husband is punishing our 10 year old son if he forgets to remind his dad to give him his insulin shots. He also gets in trouble for not remembering to test before meals once in a while. I know he is trying to teach him to be responsible. He is a good dad. However, I strongly disagree with punishment of any kind at this age. My son is NOT being defiant. He is very good at being responsible; he just forgets sometimes. Do you think this will help him to be more responsible? Or, is punishing him going to more damage than good? How will this punishment affect my son? Good or bad?
It is hard to comment on this situation without more details. From a developmental perspective, I do not usually recommend that a 10 year old child should be responsible for the majority of his diabetes management tasks. As you know, diabetes is a very difficult disease to manage, so I usually advocate for parents to take on more involvement for diabetes management tasks. Maybe you and your ex-husband can go to your son's next medical appointment together and discuss this with your son's diabetes health care team. If possible, it also might be less confusing for your son if you and your ex husband had the same diabetes related expectations. Some families also find it helpful to meet with a licensed mental health counselor to discuss issues like this and to decide what is appropriate for your child both individually and developmentally.
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