Butterfly Kisses & Bedtime Prayers

"Butterfly Kisses after bedtime prayer. Stickn' little white flowers all up in her hair. Oh with all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right. To deserve a hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night". *** For parents of children with diabetes and adults who are living with Type 1 diabetes. We are looking to share stories, ideas, concerns, and laughter.***

Friday, December 16, 2005

Sibling Rivalry and Diabetes

Once again it's Friday. That blessed end of the week. For me the excitement this week is that Daddy will be home tomorrow and I won't be the only diciplinarian for a few days. I don't kow if its the excitement over Christmas or the stress of the upcoming move, but it seems both of my children lost their minds this last week. But I have another pressing issue that I am stumped on. I'm wondering if anyone can give me some advise about sibling rivalry with diabetes. Here's what I mean. I have it mastered that D child does not get away with things beause of her disease. Unless the behavior is proven to be related to a high or low. Then I corrrect the BG and the behavior usually corrects itself. If there is no hi or low punishment or a lecture still reigns supreme. But what I have a problem with is Non D child telling me "Carylanne gets more attention than me." I know that this is only something to say to try and push my buttons. We have talked about it before. Carylanne gets medical attention that is needed to keep her healthy etc etc. But she doesn't get more love, toys, or dessert. Then I always have the "everything needs to be equal or its not fair". I guess due to the closeness in age we have always tried to keep eveything equal but its really getting tiring. Especially when Carylanne goes low and her sister insists she needs food too. Usually she wants hers first! She is 8 she understands the whole thing perfectly well. Just lately she is trying to do everything to "use" her sister's diabetes as her excuse for behavior etc. Did anyone else have this as they were growing up or with their children now? How do siblings act in regards to the extra care that is needed. This is so hard because Christianne can be so helpful to her sister and caring when it comes to helping with lows etc. But lately the little green monster seems to have moved in and I don't mean its the Grinch. Then they just seem to be fighting more in general these days. I know that it is normal to compete with each other and have conflict. But I am trying to head it off before its gets out of hand. Plus we will all be in a van traveling in excess of 3,000 miles soon. I think I will have to invest in a good pair of ear plugs. This week we alked about friendship in school. They had read Charlotte's Web and we talked about unique friendships. Then the lesson I had was that Wilbur had to write out Charlotte's name and write one things he likes about her for each letter. I took this as an opportunity to talk about their friendship so I changed that to " write out your sister's name and write one good thing you like/love about her for each letter". Well being in a good loving mood each one was able to complete the task and write nice things about each other. So further more I told them to take their papers and put them in a safe accessable place. The next time they get in trouble for fighting or bickering excessively I explained that they would pull out their sheets and write down those nice things ten times to remind them of the things they like about each other. Hopefully it won't have to happen but I am trying to teach them better ways to resolve conflicts. Unfortunately the diabetes can sometimes get in the way. example: Carylanne gets argumentative when she is hi (meaning 200 or more). So sometimes its the sugars talking not her. Then I have to intervene instead of let them work it out. Then Christianne gets put off that Carylanne was arguing but didin't get in trouble like she would have. So I need to have some suggestions at this. I am trying to get her to understand its the disease not her sister so try not to blame Carylanne. But to an 8 yr old , its all the same. I am afraid that my family (extended) is a poor example. My sisters and brother no longer speak with my parents and I. Long horrible story but the long and short is that my family is divided now and it sets a horrible example for the children. I was not the reason for the split and stayed true to Honor thy mother and father. Which I felt did show the girls that standing up for what is right is nt always popular but is the right thing. However in cases of siblings it doesn't help build a good example for them. Hense why this issue is so important to me to work out and help them learn to work out themselves. Maybe we will just sit in the living room, hold hands and sing songs from the 70's until they give in . "All I we are saying is give peace a chance!"

6 Comments:

  • At 3:39 PM HST, Blogger Ellen said…

    "I have it mastered that D child does not get away with things beause of her disease. Unless the behavior is proven to be related to a high or low."

    Everyone has their own parenting style. My son did receive time-out when his bg was high and he was nasty. He soon learned that regardless of how cruddy he felt, he could not be abusive towards others. He's had diabetes 17 of his 18 years. I once told his teachers in high school if he acts nasty, to please discreetly ask him to check blood sugar. They looked at me like I was from another planet - "Z nasty? Never" they said. Be careful about letting her get away with things based on blood sugar. She still has to live out in a world where people have no clue about blood sugar and will not forgive rude or inappropriate behavior.

    If possible, and I know your cup runneth over, try to find some alone time with each child. Let the siblings vent about how they perceive Carlyanne getting more attention...then talk about it. It's important for them to be heard.

    Carylanne needs the food first when blood sugar is low. See if you can find an analogy for the siblings to understand. Something akin to a car running out of gas first....whatever the sibling can relate to. And if you can discuss it when the diabetes emergency is NOT happening, they will listen better.

    My daughter surely feels my son has had more attention due to the diabetes. We've taken many family vacations that included diabetes conferences, weekends, traveling cross country to meet another family from a diabetes chat room....and overall the experiences have been wonderful. I wish I could say I see my daughter having more compassion than the average, but I don't. She's still young and may find it in her heart in the future.

    Try to catch them in the act of "getting along" and praising that...they love to be noticed for doing the right thing. Something like "Wow you girls are playing so nicely together, you should feel very proud of yourselves."

    Your ideas about having them write something nice about one another was precious. I hope YOU kept a copy :-). And how nice it is that you find literature and good role model characters. I hope you recognize what a treasure you are.

    Remember, I'm in Florida and can help you find a goddess endo - especially if you move to southeast Florida. :-).

     
  • At 4:24 PM HST, Blogger Penny said…

    I just came across you post and enjoyed it. My son, who is 3, was diagnosed a little over 2 months ago. I'm still strugging with the discipline thing. I know he needs it, but it's so hard when I'm giving him shots too. My other son is 14. He's old enough to understand we Riley might get more attention, but Riley does get away with more than Holden does. I need to work on that.

     
  • At 9:44 PM HST, Blogger bethany said…

    in my house there was always issues with one sibling getting more attention then the other ... there were 4 of us ... and when i was in 1st grade my little brother (in kindergarten) fell on a screw driver and became blind in his one eye - spending many many nights in the hospital and having surgery - then there was my other brother who broke his leg at one point - or my sister who would break an arm - or me who was constantly sick and then diagnosed with d. i think that at one point we all just realized that our parents did everything possible to make us all happy. there may have been things going on that may have caused one of us to gain more attention then the other at some point - but look at us all now. we're all over the age of 17 (17 18 20 24) and we're all ok. the thing is - my brother (who's blind in one eye) and i - well i feel like we still get more attention then the other two - but they have their special moments also ... and we all seem to be doing good - sit down with the non -d child and explain to her that occasionaly her sister is going to need special attention ... but i also agree with ellen - for a while i would use my d as an excuse for my attitude or something that i would do - but years later i've realized - it doesn't work - i still get in trouble for it ... it'll all work out - i promise!!! good luck!!!

     
  • At 6:24 AM HST, Blogger Shannon said…

    I take the same stance you do by punishing Brendon for his behavior if it wasn't caused by his blood sugars. But at the same time I tell him he can't hit or scream even when he is high or low. I try to step in right away to help him cope because I can imagine how difficult it is for him to control his feelings.

    As for sibling rivalry, I try to play equal as much as possible. No one gets their meals until Brendon has been checked. Everyone gets a juice if Brendon is low. From time to time my 2 yr old pretends to prick himself and wants me to wipe off the pretend blood off of his finger...I play along.

    I haven't heard my 4 yr old complain that Brendon gets more attention. They all were babies when Brendon got diabetes, so the attention we give Brendon is normal to everyone.

    I once asked my dad's cousin how she felt about her brother having diabetes and what she thought her parents should've done differently. She said that she never had issues with her brother receiving more attention than her and she drank and ate whatever he did, so there were no favorites so to speak. The one thing she wished her parents would've done differently was to not leave her alone with her brother when they went out. They'd tell her what to do just in case he had a seizure, so for the time they were out, she'd be petrified that something bad would happen.

     
  • At 3:41 PM HST, Blogger Vivian said…

    I love what Ellen said about the discipline. We discipline Daniel high, low or in range. As for the all things being equal, not a big believer in it. It is impossible. I tell all of my kids that I will not treat them the same they are not the same people. We have 14, 7 and 5. We have two girls and a boy. They all have different personalities. Things will not always be even steven, and it is not in the real world anyway. I do try to find the something special I can share with each of them, but it is based on who they are instead of the fact they are my child. I hope you find your way with all of it. I think you are an amazing mom and wife. I hope the move goes smoothly for you and that you are happy with your fresh start.

    Vivian

     
  • At 10:44 PM HST, Blogger Red (Aus) said…

    A couple of years ago Miss 13 (then 11) complained bitterly that Taylor got much more attention than she did. Never mind the other 2 children. I spoke to the d centre about it to see if they'd had any experience or thoughts that may help. They spoke to Rhiannon who is a stubborn bugger at the best of times. The end result was that she didn't care what it took she wanted to be just like Taylor. She demanded to be treated the same, even if it meant pretending she had d. We also spoke to the child psychologist who said, if that's what she wants, go for it! So I went home armed with a weeks supply of saline for injections, and a spare tester they had there. Rhiannon was to test her blood sugar every time Taylor did. She also had to inject saline every time Taylor had to, in proportionate amounts. This was totally her choice and I admit that I thought she'd baulk at the first test, if not that then most definitely the first injection. Nooo, you guessed it, she is even more stubborn that I gave her credit for. For an entire 2 weeks she tested 6 times a day and had 3 or 4 injections. It was only at the end of the two weeks when she got a cold that I 'invented' the high bsl's she would have if she truly was d, and made her wake and test during the night. She did this twice. The second time I told her she needed a top up shot to bring her high bsl down and that was it! Tantrum city... OMG why don't you ever leave me alone. Every time I move you're shoving a tester under my nose or more food, or wanting me to have another needle. I stood in her room at 4am seriously laughing my butt right off. It took her 5 full minutes of ranting before it occurred to her that she didnt' have to do all of this, it was totally her choice.
    The next morning she apologised to Taylor and I for her behaviour and apart from the normal sister crap has never complained that I do more for Taylor again, and neither have the others after watching the entire 'display'

     

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