What do I say to my 8 year old daughter to keep her spirits and motivation up?

My daughter was diagnosed in Feb with Type 1 Diabetes and she has been doing a fabulous job controlling it. We went last week for a 2nd 3 month check up and her A1C was 6.1. She goes up and down but for the most part I think she is still in the honeymoom phase. Well of course since the appointment she seems to be running high. That I can deal with her team about. It’s her attitude lately that has changed as well. Could that happen with higher blood sugars? She is on the OmniPod and has been since April and lately doesn’t want to change the pod when she should, wants to eat more and gives me more of a hard time if I say no to her. She doesn’t really understand the long term effects that she could see if she doesn’t take care of herself. Do I tell her some thing that might scare her or do I just try to keep her under on the straight and narrow without telling her the scary stuff? I mean should we be telling her what could happen now, at this age, 6-7 months into it? Any comments might help.


Renee, you might be interested in joining our Group here for Parents of Kids with Type 1 - they have 402 members! I was 13 when I was dx’d, 42 years ago this week. My mother took care of me, but I can’t say that my parents took an active role. I see you are friends with Lorraine here. She and Caleb are awesome. Have you and your daughter seen Caleb’s videos? He wears the pod, too.

the scare tactic never worked for me because I had a million people tell me that every flipping day. I understand where you are coming from. stay positive and ask her how she feels when her numbers are out of whack vs. when they are in good control. talk with her instead of beating her over the head with scare tactics. that’s just my opinion though.

I’ve been doing this since I was her age, maybe she needs a “break” from it? I know you can’t get a total vacation from it, but is there maybe some fun family activity that you haven’t done lately because the big D decided to jump into the middle of your lives?

Also, remember that everyone goes thru the 5-stages of grief with something like this, she may be in the denial stage which is perfectly normal and to be expected.

It might be a good idea to let her get really involved with websites such as this one as well. (I haven’t seen you around so I’m not sure if you might already be doing this) I know she’s young so she probably won’t be on here all by herself but when you get the chance to come on and talk to people, let her do so as well. I know someone mentioned Caleb’s and Bill’s videos…things like that can really help lift all of our spirits, including your daughters :slight_smile:

And yes, the moods could also be going along with her high (or low) blood sugars. I’m type one too, and I have had my share of mood swings :slight_smile: I know it’s easier said than done but as a person related to a diabetic, you are required to have a lot of patience! Sometimes I feel worse for the people around me than I do myself! Unfortunately for you there’s going to be a very fine line between being on her back too much and not making sure she’s doing what she needs to do. I know something we all struggle with is the concept of looking at your blood sugars as “information” and not “good” or “bad”. You really want her to avoid the lows or highs but without making her feel upset or angry with herself when that doesn’t happen. Ahh! I’m sorry! I wish I could make it all better for all of us but all I can do is try to give advice!

Good luck and hang in there (both of you)!

I"m sure you’re just using the phrase “scare tactics” to make a point. But who is moved in any postive way by fear?

Knowing that other kids (try childrenwithdiabetes.com, too) have to go through the same routines is great. Yes, reach out to other families who live with diabetes.

Tight blood glucose control does help prevent, delay, minimize complications. But please don’t expect a standard of perfection that is unachievable. I mean, we’re talking 24/7 for a lifetime (I’m at 36 years and counting). Scare tactics don’t work. What scares an 8-year-old is different from what scares a 13-year-old … and a 21-year-old … and a 40-year-old. The amount of info should be tailored to the maturity level of the individual. And positive reinforcement (“You really rock at testing your own blood sugar. Not all 8-year-olds can do that!”) is the key.

And some things simply must be learned by trial-and-error. That’s life.

How many of us long-term PWDs have kept our A1Cs steadily under 7% since diagnosis? Not that many (especially before glucose meters and CGMs and better insulins). Yes, studies repeatedly show that tight control prevents complications. But tight control and scare tactics and the unrelenting burden of diabetes don’t always allow for just … being. And just being is sometimes very, very important during the constant vigilance required by living with diabetes.

Best wishes to you both!

I agree with those who say don’t use the scare tactics. I remember being a kid with diabetes at my hospital support group and the kids whose parents and grandparents played the complications card were always miserable and depressed. Diabetics are in this for life. We have to learn how to live with this. We could do everything “right” and still won’t have stable blood sugars everyday. Just keep encouraging her, praising her efforts, and, if you can, taking the brunt of the responsibility until she’s ready to handle it. She’ll get there.

yea, here’s what scare tactics can accomplish for a seven-year-old

Thank you all so much for your comments. And I don’t want to scare her at all. She has been so great these beginning 7 months. I think someone said the 5 stages of grief, I think there is something to that. She is definitely in a down phase where she is sick of doing it. She started right on the pod after 3 months but i think has allowed us to let her have more freedom in her food choices. She has also had alot of changes in thelast month, school started, gymnastic, soccer etc. So we’ll keep our head up, keep on encouraging her and be the most patient we’ve ever been. I also think I would like to get he and myself more involved in groups, either on the internet or through the hospital. We are doing the JDRF walk in Oct. in Boston. Our goal was to raise $1000 and we are almost at $2000. Go Ryanators!!! Thank you all again. This is a great website and I will be using it more often.

You know what? I think that the best way to support her in taking care of herself is to focus on HER, not her diabetes. (I’m not criticizing you at all!) If she feels heard and understood and valued as the wonderful, unique person that she is, she’s far more likely to be motivated to do all the zillions of things that we diabetics have to do to take care of ourselves.

I recently read the following quote in the September issue of Oprah Magazine. It expresses what I’m thinking better than I can. It’s from Marion Woodman, a Jungian analyst and author who focuses on “bringing the feminine into our culture”.

“As a child, who saw you? Who heard you? Was there anyone with whom you could be totally yourself and to whom you could trust your heart responses and speak your soul responses? Someone who made you think, ‘Gosh, I am somebody. They’re happy that I’m here.’”