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SuzySushi

Forgetful Child?

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SuzySushi

Okay, this is a different problem than "difficult teen."

 

My daughter, who is approaching her teenage years, is not trying to "test us" or be noncompliant -- she's just at that stage where her mind is off in the clouds somewhere. Meaning, she forgets to test and take insulin, or she tests and forgets to take insulin, or she can't find where she put the lancet pen, or (like yesterday) she spills the entire bottle of test strips on the floor because she forgot to close it the last time she tested.

 

Nagging doesn't help because she knows what she's supposed to do (and agrees with it) -- besides which she's developed selective hearing.

 

"Dinner's almost ready, time to test your blood sugar."

 

"Okay."

 

"Did you test your blood sugar?"

 

"I will."

 

"Dinner's on the table, did you test yet?"

 

"What?"

 

Sigh.... Besides just living through this, anyone have any hints how to help her become more responsible?

 

Suzy

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mzteacher

hi suzy,

sorry you are going through this with your daughter...but it is really normal!!! there was a great series on PBS called the teen age brain....i think every parent and every teacher should see it....in it is explained that the last part of the brain to develop is the part of the brain for orgaization....which happens around freshman year....but even when this parts is developing it takes a while for the young preson to know how to use these new skill they could utalize.....so lucky for you your girl is not just noncompliant but is just getting this part of the brain to come into use....i was taken back when i saw it because expecially today these young people look so adult and mature but really they are not finished growing....isn't that amazing!!! and to think all that is expected of kids today with school and activities....and diabetes to boot!!

sounds like you are doing the right thing in knowing she is not trying to annoy you!!

i just had thought it was most interesting.....

good luck to you both!!

susan

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HollyB

Hi Suzy,

 

Yep, I've seen this in all my kids -- everyday life just seems to get real fuzzy for them while they're so busy processing all that new stuff going on in their bodies and brains.

 

It's kind of crazy-making, because it feels like they should be getting MORE responsible, not less, but I think we probably just need to do a lot more reminding. (right down to, "OK, here's dinner. Before I give it to you, test and take your insulin !") Maybe also help her think of ways (like programming reminders on her meter) to remember when she's at school or friend's houses.

 

My niece is girlfriend to a boy with diabetes and she doesn't hesitate to ask things like, "did you bolus for that?" Maybe your daughter has a best friend who would undertake to help her remember when they're hanging out?

 

My son has been frustrated lately because he's taken to testing and then forgetting that he did. So he tests again like 30 seconds later, and then goes, "Wait a minute -- did I already do this?!" Or he tests and puts away his kit and then realizes he forgot to actually look at the number...

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fgummett

So far as I can tell with my near 18 year old son this is perfectly normal ;)

 

Holly has some great suggestions - in fact Josh is big on using his cell-phone to program reminders/alarms for himself.

 

Best of luck and be patient... they all grow out of it :)

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Penny

When I was a child, if I did not do something I was told to do, I knew to expect a smack from someone. :o I also remember being smacked a lot between 12 and 14, then I finally figured out I better get my stuff together if I wanted my face to not have a permanent blue hue. I am not advocating smacking, just letting you know that was almost 50 years ago and parents are still having the same problem. The grandkid has to be reminded to do everything, sometimes she gets many reminders and still forgets what I asked her to do. Every 12 year old I have ever been associated with went through the same thing, some got through it quicker than others, but they all got through it. When my son complains about the grandkid, I just tell him to stand over her until she does whatever task he asks of her...homework, brushing her teeth, etc., unless it is not worth him being upset. She will grow up, just like he did and now he brushes his teeth without me telling him to. :D I realize testing and taking her insulin is more important, so if it was me, I would stand in front of her and say "test", or "inject", or "put your test stuff away", until she does it without you standing there. I know someone is going to write in and tell me it is her responsibility, and it is, but it is too important to leave it to chance and she will learn to do it anyway.

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SuzySushi
there was a great series on PBS called the teen age brain.... in it is explained that the last part of the brain to develop is the part of the brain for orgaization....which happens around freshman year....

 

Neat explanation! Found and bookmarked it! frontline: inside the teenage brain | PBS It's available to watch online. :)

 

Good ideas, HollyB, fgummett, and Penny. And I'm glad to hear I'm not alone...

 

(Oh, yes, HollyB, also the testing and forgetting she did a moment ago. Or -- and this gets really scary -- testing and reversing the numbers she reads, so 310 becomes 130! :eek: )

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Scrabblechick

Try to help her make it a habit to always look at the last test result, and the time, and to have the meter on the last result when she takes her insulin. I do that to make sure I've tested, in case I forgot to write it down.

 

It isn't just the teen brain that forgets like that. My brain will hold the most inane bits of trivia ever found, but anything important? Leaks right out my ears. LOL.

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notme

I thought this thread was about my husband when I read the Title.

 

Kids are kids. She will one day outgrow her forgetfulness. Ummm unless she is somehow related to my husband.

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slipperyelm

My kid is beyong the teens now, but I don't remember him ever being forgetful. If he delayed or omitted doing something, it seemed to be a conscious choice and he would say so. That, too is just as aggravating for the parent who knows that certain things should be done.

 

Has the problem been going on for long? My mother noted when I was ten and came down with mononucleosis, that I had had become immensely absent-minded just before I got sick. In years since, I have again noticed that I might become forgetful before I recognize that I am sick.

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SuzySushi

Long enough for me to get frustrated. A couple of months, I guess. The forgetfulness also comes with selective hearing -- which I recall having at a similar age!

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