Unlimited Teenager!


It really sucks when it happens because even before grading, he only gets 75% immediately, for turning in the assignments late. Erin works her butt off with our kids and she tries her best to keep him organized, studies with them every night (which is a LOT of studying), but we can’t be there in class holding their hands to be sure they turn in their work.

Devlin’s issues (we believe) are that a) his mind is elsewhere (on games, and Discord conversations) and b) he’s just not organized so he forgets things. “Short pen makes long memory” is something we both tell him endlessly, but Erin still finds his agenda not filled out correctly or completely, etc., Kids have a lot on their plates so it’s not practical to think they’re going to remember everything unless they’re focused and organized. He’s in all honors courses so he’s doing great even to have A’s and B’s, but to me it’s never been about the grades, it’s been about taking personal pride in your work, caring about the product, being responsible and just not making careless mistakes. I think the “responsible” part is what is causing him the most problems right now because he’s only 15. He’s a work in progress. :stuck_out_tongue: He wants to attend MIT so he understands it’s going to be very competitive.


Been there right with you. That paragraph pretty much sums up my older son during his freshman and sophomore years. On one of his grades his sophomore year, he got all A’s on everything he turned in, but because of the late turn in’s had a high B going into the final. On the final he did just enough, and ended the year with a 90.0. Talk about not leaving any meat on the bone…


He wants to attend MIT so he understands it’s going to be very competitive.

Good luck to him! I was very similar in high school – I sometimes did my homework but never made it a priority to do and/or turn it in, so I didn’t even finish in the top 10 percent of my class. My parents were always on my case to “live up to my potential” ( a phrase that still makes me barf to this day).

But that was because I didn’t really buy into the idea that my parents were selling, that it was imperative I make really good grades to be successful. Ironically, it turns out they were kinda right in the sense that good grades = prestigious college = open doors at first job without having to prove yourself nearly as much. :open_mouth:) Also, learning to jump through hoops in high school always seemed pointless to me. But now I realize that’s what life IS, and learning to jump through hoops in high school helps you do it more successfully in later life.

If your son actually has his sights set on MIT, though, then yes, he probably can’t afford to make these types of unforced errors and it makes sense for you guys to be “on him” about it and making sure he does it. As long as he’s on board with that kind of help as well.


@cardamom, I think that by inventing a special category for T1D kids that has more exceptions because they are T1Ds, we are making them limited by the very thing. I don’t think that there is any reason to treat a T1D kid any differently from his siblings. My T1D son can splurge like the others when we let them all splurge. If something is off-limits, it should off-limits to all.

I am not sure I am reading your posts on shame correctly. I am thinking you are critical of shaming them into a regimen, which I think most of us will agree with. But, if you are saying that there is no reason ever to feel shame and there shouldn’t be, I strongly disagree. I’m home, there is plenty of reason to feel shame for doing dishonorable things, even at the kids’ level, like eating a sweet that belongs to your brother, for instance, or stealing a gaming magazine from a store.


I don’t tolerate dishonesty in my house. Food isn’t an off limit area where an act of dishonesty is concerned because it’s not about the food; rather, the act.


That’s interesting, I’m not sure I agree.

To me, anything humans do is game for potentially being a source of shame. Including sneaking or stealing food.

Gluttony was one of the seven deadly sins after all, so I think it’s pretty natural for humans to see food as a locus for moral judgments. Maybe that makes more sense in a pre-industrial or developing society with poverty and shortage, but I think inculcating the idea of taking only your fair share and not indulging excessively does make some sense.


I’m in no way saying someone should never feel shame for actions. I am saying that adding a level on to diabetic kids where they not only maybe are going to sneak a thing but now have to “hide” it with their insulin means there is now a lot more shame potentially, as well as the start of potentially some bad habits, in that it increases dishonesty. That’s the whole problem! If you have an issue with dishonesty from your teen, you should in theory want a system that doesn’t require them to lie to you when they screw up, right? And actually, I think the easiest way to do that is also the healthiest thing with teens generally, which is to move toward more autonomy with their diabetes control, and that way it does essentially mean the consequences are the same for them and a glucose normal kid for eating something you said they shouldn’t. That’s really what I was getting at all along. But I entirely fail to see how a system that means someone has to lie/cheat with their insulin doses (in part because they are being so tightly regulated by a parent) wouldn’t facilitate “dishonesty in your house.”


Okay, I have a serious question for you @cardamom, because I’m just not sure. Do you have children?

I have a system and it works very well. It’s called “discipline”. It is that thing that you do to your kids when they do something they shouldn’t have done. It’s an age old system that works very well when done correctly. And it works very well in my home!

I’m having a difficult time understanding why you think requiring your children to be…honest…is “tightly regulating” them?

I’m so confused as to which part of my regime is so extreme. I have expectations as a parent that my children don’t lie to me just as I don’t lie to them. This builds something we call “trust” which is very important between any two or more people who are in a relationship. Without honesty there can be no trust and with no trust there can be no (or a very strained) relationship. This isn’t a new thing…


If you are talking about my son: why do you feel he is “so tightly regulated by a parent”? My T1D kid has exactly the same rules around the house than my glucose normal kid, and I think this is true of most parents of T1D.

There are some actions that are OK for the kids in the house, and some that are not: a simple issue of house rules. Most of them have nothing to do with food. T1D kids break rules in the house like glucose normal kids. When they break into foods that they should not break into, they do it the same way, whether they are T1D or not—the only difference is that the T1D kid needs to take insulin, that’s all. The taking of insulin is a total side issue in the matter.

My guess is that you don’t have kids :slight_smile: And that’s OK! But I think it is somewhat unreasonable to criticize us without having the experience of parenting. A theoretical approach to the matter, we found out when we got our kids, is quite insufficient to deal with actual reality.

The no-rules household concept was tried in the 60s and produced a generation of kids that did not know how to interact with the world. Now, most people use a more balanced approach which involves a smaller set of rules than in the 50s, but still some. And, for us, that includes expectations such as, for instance, not eating your brother’s donut, and not polishing a full jar of ice cream at snack time that was supposed to be for dessert tonight (FYI my son has not done either in case anyone thinks I am picking actual facts). I certainly do not think this is inappropriate, and I don’t think anyone should try to shame us into changing our parenting habits in this matter (I am joshing you about the shaming btw in case this is not clear enough).

That said, I am quite fine with you, or anyone, having different expectations for their kids in their house. Each of us approaches parenting in different ways.

This appears to me to be in full contradiction to what you wrote earlier. The point I have been making all along is that glucose normal and T1d kids should, imho, have the same rules—which may include not touching the pie that mama just made until dessert tonight. There is no such thing as absolute freedom in any organized society, even if such society is just a family.


No disrespect at all intended to @cardamom or anyone else who has an advanced degree in something and they’re trained “experts”, (and you know I love ya, Cardamom!!!), but it’s my experience that folks who train in a certain specialization who aren’t actually experienced in the REAL WORLD ASPECTS OF THE ART, don’t really have a clue about how the real world operates, no matter how advanced their degree is.

My wife…who has been breastfeeding for OVER TEN YEARS (each of our 5 sons 1 year minimum and a few as long as 2 years), was preached too by a “lactation specialist” at the hospital about how to breastfeed even though the woman has NEVER had a single child. Erin and I just chuckled at each other and rolled our eyes. Yeah, okay…

That’s why I was asking Cardamom if she had children, because her responses, imo, are making it sound like there should be no rules in the house…like we should all be hippie parents who just say “whatever dude, that’s cool…peace and love, peace and love”…but that’s not the real world for parents who CARE about the welfare of their children (ALL THEIR CHILDREN…not just those with disabilities), and we want to TEACH THEM REAL WORLD things that are going to HELP them later in life.

Just “overlooking” dishonesty is only hurting them…maybe not now, but they’ll fail at life because they’ll lie to their first boss, then their second, and on and on and not be sure where the problem is! But…my parents didn’t care if I lied to them! Why is it such a big deal? No, my kids are expected to be hard working, decent, morally responsible and accountable human beings who WE HOPE will grow up to ADD TOO society in a positive way.

If expecting “honesty” from my kids (the same that I expect from EVERYONE ELSE who is involved in my life in some way or another) is a drastic parenting stance, then I’m OK with that. I want my kids to grow up responsible, honest men with integrity and I know exactly what it takes. Why? Because I am one myself.


I think part of the confusion here is a lot of people are describing different things and then cross-responding. To clarify:

No I don’t have kids.

My initial point which all of this was about was about the comment regarding teens feeling the need to hide bolus insulin or take it in different ways. My point was that is dishonest, and if that’s a necessary action on the kid’s part in response to eating something they “shouldn’t” have, because their diabetes care is being so tightly monitored, then it seems like whatever system is set up is actually encouraging further dishonesty (hiding the insulin) in addition to sneaking the food. That’s my whole point! That making it so kids having to sneak insulin just compounds dishonesty, so maybe better to have a system with them where that’s less of a thing, especially for the kids old enough to manage their own boluses.

This is exactly my point. A system that incentivizes kids to hide insulin-taking doesn’t do this though…

Anyway, I don’t think this is a productive conversation, and I feel like my initial point either wasn’t communicated well and/or has gotten highly misconstrued/twisted, so I’m bowing out.


Although I will say one more thing—I was in no way trying advocate for no rules. I was actually trying to advocate for teens having more independence with their insulin.


But you’re hypothesizing that our “discipline” system incentivizes this, without any real-world practical first-hand knowledge that this is actually true.

I’ve found by personal experience that if a kid knows they’re gonna lose something they love (aka - being disciplined), they’re less likely to do it. Discipline really works! It’s not just a myth. You meet my kids some day and you’ll see it. They’re well behaved, honest, decent young men. Why? Because I expect no less, BECAUSE I AM NO LESS. Being a good person is something we should all strive to do and not punishing incentivises being a crook.

In my house, we call it “restriction”. If you lie or do something that you know you should not have done, you’ll be on restriction for x number of hours/days/weeks, depending on the offense. “Restriction” means, simply, no electronic devices. They hate losing those, therefore they follow the rules.


Sorry then…I guess @Michel and I are just confused because it sounds to me (and I believe Michel) that you’re saying holding your kids to any kind of moral standard is just wrong. Expecting them to follow rules (like any child with D or not) just isn’t cool


No, that’s not what I’m saying in the slightest.


I’m saying that if when your teenager eats something they shouldn’t have, which probably they will because most kids aren’t perfect even if yours are (and I do know this as someone whose job it is to be the person kids tell all the things they hide from their parents, and there’s often a lot…), if when that happens, their only option diabetes-care wise is to have to lie about what they did to manage it, that’s maybe a sign that the diabetes care system needs to evolve so that they have more autonomy because they are doing it anyway, and better to have them recording correctly and using their tools to the best of their ability rather than having to hide it on that level too.


That’s a very valid point. But I don’t see a difference here except that a diabetic child is expected to inject insulin whereas a non-diabetic child isn’t. There isn’t (and I believe there shouldn’t be) a double standard for Liam -vs- all my other children. The same standards apply too all the children so if one shouldn’t dip their hands in the cookie jar, none of them should. That still doesn’t justify “lying”…the whole issue I take is how it seems you’re justifying the lying part. I don’t think there’s ever a good reason to lie to your parents…and it always (in my house) doubles the restriction.

I tell all my kids…if you do something (let’s say you stole the last ice cream sandwich from the freezer) and I ask you, just don’t lie to me. I MIGHT put you on restriction if there was a previous direction that no one touch it. But IF YOU LIE to me about it…the restriction will be twice as long. My kids have found out I have zero tolerance for being lied too. I want to trust you and if you’re not honest to me I can’t do that. If I can’t trust you then that makes me unable to let you go anywhere or do anything because trust is that important between parents and their children.

My kids have found out that it behooves them to just step up and do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.


I’m not justifying the lying part. I’m not saying the rules should be so different. I’m saying that maybe again, for a teen (and so not Liam for a quite some time), just let them shrug off a bolus if they don’t want to explain it. If you find out that they ate something off limits, treat them like you would your other kid I guess, but you could leave the diabetes part out of it, by not having the expectation that they need to explain every little thing about that to you in the first place. Then there’s no lying.


OK—now I finally understand where you are coming from. But you are making an error in your assumption and your understanding of the situation: you are assuming that we look at records as a police action, to enforce. Nothing is further from the truth. The reason why we look at the pump and the records is because it is the only way we (we meaning the family group) can look at data to do better tomorrow or next week. There is significant research in diabetes that shows that families who look back at records together do significantly better than families that don’t.

We have had discussions in the past on that topic, and most parents on this forum have mentioned at one time or another that they look at past data in order to control BG better. It would be stupid not to, of course: without hard data there can be no improvement.


Thanks for the clarification. It seems we were all just misunderstanding each other. That’s one horrible part about written communication!!! It takes so long sometimes to understand what each other means.