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Re: [IPp] Teen troubles

In a message dated 9/19/2002 10:56:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time, email @ redacted 

> The one thing they all had in common was that they all agreed (in
> hindsight) that their parents should have kept helping them with their
> diabetes care.  They may have resented it when they were teenagers, but
> looking back they all felt that taking care of diabetes is too hard a job
> for any ONE person, whether they are a child, a teenager or an adult. 

There was a study, pointed out to us in our Joslin support group, of teen 
compliance.  It looked at adolescents and compliance over a long period. The 
standard twenty five years ago was to make children and teens as independent 
as possible as early as possible.  The result, they found, was that these 
kids burnt out in their teens and dropped out of diabetes care to varying 
degrees, with some disasterous health consequences then or later on in life.  

The new thinking, also well researched with large samples, is to involve 
parents in every aspect of diabetes care throughout adolescence. Kids with 
parents who stay involved do better in the long run. Findings indicate that 
kids need their parents in adolescence as much or more than ever.  This 
finding translates to other aspects of their lives as well.  
Of course, we all have problems with our teens (I had a teenager once, who is 
grown now, and know how tough the relationships become). My solution is to 
seek professional family intervention - it helped then, and it is helping 
now. Also, the camps reinforce and introduce new learnings.  When the kids 
come home, they own the information, so the management model can be more 
cooperative, less top down authority.  Also, they model how to manage 
diabetes during sports - they play soccer, check bg before, during after, do 
the necessary corrections, refrain from playing if high or ketones are 
present, have someone present who can sit out a low with the child, assist if 
necessary.  The kids see how it is done, and repeat it over and over and 
over, in a nice peer group context.  
Good luck, 
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