Discipline, Diabetes & Boundaries
I said the same thing to each of my children once they obtained their license; “If you tell me you are going to be home at 12:00 midnight and it is 12:01 am and you have not called, I will think you are dead in a ditch someplace. That’s drastic I know, but that’s what I will think. So if you will be late, call.”
Now I’ll be the first one to tell you that the statement is both drastic and over the top, but for the most part, it worked (well almost). Boundaries. Our kids respect them once they are laid down. Were they not followed, there was a ‘price-to-pay.’
The good thing about getting a license is that once you taste the sweet nectar of driving, you hate walking. Taking the keys away was a quick way to get a point across. Interesting how much that statement becomes exponentially higher when your child is dealing with diabetes every minute of every day, isn’t it? When our kids with diabetes ‘miss’ a curfew, well that seems to have a whole new meaning doesn’t it?
Well not really. It shouldn’t.
If one of my kids dealing with diabetes needed to stay someplace longer to deal with a low, or a high; we looked at it no differently than “I lost track of time.” Call. I don’t care the reason–call. Once you are feeling better and you go to start that car, call and fill us in. Once a pass, twice they saw me irritated, and three times they lost privileges…or something like that.
I always lived by Richard Rubin’s rule of giving choices. Rarely were any of my kids surprised that they were ‘punished.’ It was just not my style. Now doing something really stupid is a different story, and I’m glad there were not too many of those in our lifetime. But in our house, it was explained that you needed to do A, or B would happen; and I would always ask, “Do you understand?”
If our child stayed someplace to treat a high or low and did not call, they did not hear it from me regarding their diabetes. When they arrived home, they heard it from me about not doing what I asked; which was to call. Not because of their diabetes, but because they did not do what we agreed upon.
It’s not our kids’ fault they have diabetes. They need to live life as…well kids. Richard taught us always to be careful, and that indeed there was a way not to mix the two when it came to discipline. It wasn’t about eating something they were not supposed to eat; it was about disobeying. Set the boundary line, give choices. There are differences. Act so you don’t need to react.
How do you handle such situations? Share, please. These things are never easy in this world of diabetes, are they?
I am a DiabetesDad.