Unlimited Teenager!


That makes sense—I just wonder about how to balance that with growing need for autonomy. For example, is it reasonable to allow a teen to choose which sections of the record to review together in detail? Maybe that would also allow them to practice thinking about where their concerns and trouble spots are as well, which is a skill they will need very soon as an adult. But at some point, all that data does start becoming personal, and it’s a tricky balance.


All my kids (including Liam) get plenty of sweets. :smiley: So I don’t think “not getting enough sweets” is ever going to be an issue. (btw - liam gets a LOT more sweets than his brothers BECAUSE he is diabetic. His brothers are jealous.) :stuck_out_tongue:

Here are the different scenarios that could go down in my house FOR ANY OF MY KIDS and for ANYTHING that requires honesty and integrity…not just food related matters.

Scenario 1: Kid ASKS – can I have that last donut? I say, Sure. He eats the donut.

Scenario 2: Kid ASKS – can I have that last donut? I say, No…whatever reason, but no. Kid HONORS my wishes and leaves the donut alone.

Scenario 3: Kid ASKS – can I have that last donut? I say, No…whatever reason, but no. Kid DOES NOT HONOR my wishes and he eats the donut anyway. (in Liam’s case, let’s say he boluses via his PDM and I never notice the difference in his charts.) But I notice the donut is missing and I ask all my kids…Guilty kid OWNS UP TO IT. I say…I told you it was NOT OK to eat that last donut.
Kid gets restriction for stealing/not respecting his parents’ wishes, but at least fessed up to it, so gets off easy.

Scenario 4: Kid ASKS – can I have that last donut? I say, No…whatever reason, but no. He DOES NOT HONOR my wishes and he eats the donut anyway. (again, let’s say if this is Liam, he boluses via normal means and we don’t notice any “blips” on the charts.) But I notice the donut is missing and I ask all my kids…Guilty kid LIES ABOUT IT and says “Nope, wasn’t me!”. I say, OK…someone is lying because neither your mother or I ate it. As a result, we don’t punish anyone, but we let all the kids know that not if, but when (because parents always find out eventually) we find out who did it, that person will be on DOUBLE restriction because he stole/didn’t respect our wishes AND he lied (both punishable offenses).

There’s also scenerios where the kid doesn’t even ask…just takes it without asking, then either fesses up to it, or not (lies). In this situation, we have to first find out if they even knew the donut was off-limits. Can’t punish a kid for them not knowing. But in our house when it comes to sweets (because we don’t have a lot of them lying around), our kids know to ask before dipping in. The things we have most around the house that they’re free to partake in as much as they want are popsicles.

It’s not rocket science in most houses. We expect honesty and integrity from our kids. And I think most of us try our best to lead by example, so that the kids don’t view it as somehow hypocritical from the parent. That’s the last thing I want my kids to see me as. I want them to see me as someone who leads by example. If my kids bought something with their own money, and they instructed me or their mom that this is OFF LIMITS, it is their expectation that we would not touch their property without their permission (and we would respect their wishes OR ask them first if we really really wanted whatever it was that they had)…and the same holds true for the things we buy, that we say are off-limits.

Sorry this is long and drawn out…but I just think it’s important that we realize that although we happened to be talking about food in this situation…it’s never really been about the food to me. We could REMOVE FOOD from this equation because, at least for Michel and I, and probably other parents, this isn’t really about the food…this is about the essence of who an individual is, and who you want them to become for the betterment of themselves and for society as a whole. We work hard to instill into them those good traits that will add to their success and happiness as an adult.

So, all the scenerios above are the same whether it’s for a cookie, or whether it’s some other rule that’s been broken…in this thread, “food” is just the topic being discussed. But the standards (about ethical behavior) remain the same no matter what the topic.

I like to hang up random motivational quotes around the house sometimes in various places that I hope help my kids turn into the kind of men I hope they’ll become. I’ve attached 3 such quotes that I have stuck up currently. This is for ALL my kids (and mama and papa to look at and try to emulate, daily.)


personally, I think your experience as a person growing up with diabetes is actually invaluable and can provide us parents with a perspective we may not have. I don’t think you need to have had children to be able to say what works – being a child in the same position is actually really an important viewpoint as well.
I think folks on here are getting testy because we parents work so hard to take care of our children and it’s so hard. I can’t speak for others, but I personally am worried every day about whether I’m “messing them up” – so it touches a sore spot when someone else points out a potential trouble spot.


I think your point is valid… although I would guess that the lying about the insulin is more about the fact that lies beget lies… so if your kid does wind up sneaking a food (dishonest and bad, but it happens with both D and non D kids), then covering up with the insulin is morally equivalent to chewing gum to hide the fact that you snuck a cigarette.

If your kid lies habitually is a problem. But if your kid occasionally lies, and it happens to coincide with food, and they happen to be diabetic and so it requires an additional step to cover their tracks – to me that is human nature and a part of growing up that is inevitable. It’s not good but not a sign that things are going off the rails or anything.


Unless it is, or becomes, habitual.


I don’t think being a diabetic child correlates to effective parenting of a diabetic child because the child has never lived that perspective. I do agree that growing up with diabetes offers a unique and valuable perspective but I don’t think it necessarily helps from the parenting perspective. It’s just like how I will never understand or be able to provide guidance on what it’s like to be a diabetic child.


yeah of course – there is that chance. But in this case, we have one anecdote about Chris’s son – we have no evidence this is a habitual thing AT ALL. So the assumptions about this being a sign of a pattern are, to me, hasty.


I agree. We should probably split this thread because our current conversations have nothing to do with the initial thread. Lol.


well, i think knowing how it felt to be parented with a certain condition is definitely important information. In the end you have to parent based on your own instincts, but if I knew that, for instance, 90% of kids who were parented a certain way felt suicidal as a result, I’d probably think twice about that tactic.So yes, i do think it’s relevant to know how a person with diabetes felt about the way their parents treated them growing up. But that’s just me. In the end, parents have to make the decisions.


I agree 100% on statistics, if they were present and relevant. But I don’t think that’s where we are with this conversation.


yeah we’re in the realm of anecdata at this point I agree.


We were being given more “professional” advice it seemed like. Had the angle been… Well, as someone who grew up diabetic… I can tell you x. I would have been more ok with that angle.


Also to be fair I’ve heard similar points of view to what @cardamom is espousing from several PWDs at diabetes camp. I’ve also heard a whole spectrum of people saying something different though – i think in the end there’s no one parenting approach that leads to healthy kids with a great, independent attitude towards their D-care – it’s probably very much dependent on the personality of the kid, the parents, and other aspects of their relationship.


But removing diabetes from the equation… We were talking more about the kind of behaviors we find acceptable and ones we don’t… And how we deal with those situations with ALL our children (diabetic or not) No distinction where honesty and integrity are concerned.


I think this thread got pretty long and so I’m missing something – where did @cardamom say it should be okay for kids to lie to their parents about their food? I think she was saying the lying was an underlying symptom of them feeling too stifled and regulated by their parents when it comes to food. Which means maybe you punish the lying but then you rejigger your attitude towards food so there is less of a reason and/or chance to lie (so not “setting them up to fail”)

There I sort of agree but sort of part ways with her – I feel like sneaking food could be a sign of a problem for a D-kid, but is also a normal kid behavior even when the rules surrounding food are perfectly reasonable and healthy for them, so any instance of food sneaking shouldn’t automatically prompt some kind of soul-searching to completely reevaluate your approach to D-care. Punish the lie, set clear expectations for the future, move on and keep a close eye to make sure it’s not part of a larger pattern. If it is part of a pattern, then yes, your approach to food and diabetes care needs a second look. Otherwise, it could just be a normal kid thing.

At least, that’s my take.


That’s exactly what Cardamom was saying. :smiley:. It just took Michel and I a while to understand. Truthfully, I’m not that bright… I’m not sure what Michels excuse is. :stuck_out_tongue:


You are so bad :slight_smile: Probably I was blinded by my own light, a frequent problem unfortunately.


I’ve been wondering how much diabetes cannot be removed from the equation. Of course it’s very different from when I was growing up and there were all kinds of enticing treats that were absolutely forbidden. I snuck things I wasn’t allowed to eat and later when I tested I’d use one drop of urine instead of five so my dad would see a respectable Negative or Trace result. Cheating is probably as old as diabetes itself.

But even today, even if a diabetic kid lives in a household that’s unlimited, I expect they still often get the message (from the wide world, from TV, from uninformed friends and relatives) that they can’t or shouldn’t eat certain things. And that just makes the need to cover up sneaking food even greater. A non-D kid who’s caught out can say, “Yeah, I took a bunch of cookies, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.” Whereas the D kid has to say, “Yeah, I took a bunch of cookies, and then I had to inject so you wouldn’t see it when you checked my Dexcom and my pump history, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.” There’s automatically an extra layer.


Liam truly is unlimited where foods are concerned. Nothing is off limits. We will test until we figure out the right bolusing method.


True. But, from us (I see it is the same for Harold), the message they hear is: “you can eat anything you want as long as you dose for it.”

In support of your hypothesis on other messages, in an email that my T1D son was sending to his brother from my email account, he mentioned the fact that some kids had teased him at school because he wasn’t eating some ice cream “because he was diabetic,” when in fact he told his brother the reason was that he just didn’t like it. So my son is hearing that message from others. Hopefully he is discounting it.

By the way, I asked him if the teasing bothered him. His answer was:" pfft, no, they are idiots."