Monday, February 13, 2012

I cannot tell a lie

It happened. I knew it would. Hoped it wouldn't. We have a long way to go on this journey, and I thought maybe we'd be able to skip this.

Elise snuck food.

Then lied about it.

We have an open door policy about food. If you want something, just ask... but I reserve the right to say no.

We had a bowl of M&M's (left over from Christmas), sitting on our island counter in the kitchen. Elise was helping me make dinner and I had turned around to stir something on the stove. When I turned back around, she whipped her hands behind her back and had a guilty look on her face. The following conversation ensued:

Me: Elise, what were you doing?

She: Ummm, nothing?

Me: Elise, what were you doing?

She: Maybe I ate an M&M?

Me: Just one?

She: Yeah, only one.

At this point, I though a BG test was in order, and surprise, surprise... 364. I told her that *just one* M&M wouldn't not make her BG that high, and I would appreciate the truth from her. She then replied that she "maybe ate 4. Or more. I can't remember."

I then explained to her about why it is important for her to ask me when she wants to eat something. And why it's important to tell me the truth. We talked about trust, not sneaking food, and when I say no, it's not to be mean... it's for a good reason.

The whole incident surprised me. Elise has always been a very compliant child; quick to listen and obey. I never saw this coming, and I hope I handled it properly. I don't want food to become an issue and cause problems later on.

Has your child snuck food before? How did you handle it? And I'd love to hear from adult PWD who went through this when they were kids. What do you wish your parents had done?


  1. Well, crud. I was hoping there would be comments before mine.

    I have no advice. We have an open policy like you. He can basically have whatever, but within reason. You know...

    Anyway, Matthew was diagnosed at 9 and never tried to sneak food. He understood how sick he could get.

    I hope others chime in with good advice. At least this opens the door to talk about it.

    I will say, if Matthew tried that now, I think I would punish him. Just because he disobeyed.

    I would make it completely separate from "diabetes." But if he doesn't do what I ask, there is a consequence.


  2. @ Tracy - She did get a punishment of sorts... no sweet treats for 3 days. She was very unhappy about it!

  3. Ugh. I am sure this is coming at some point for us. I don't deny Adam anything, either (unless it's right before dinner, or we're not having dessert that night...or whatever.) There actually was one time he ended up eating some candy in his room...but I honestly think he did it because he was being *four* and not rebelling against diabetes. It's so hard!

  4. I'm a whole lot older than Elise and like her I know better.
    Which is not to say that a bowl of M&M's is one tough thing for me to ignore. They're so small, just one can't hurt, right? But it's never just one...
    I have no advice, just hugs as you continue to be such a great mom and pancreas. :)

  5. I think Tracy's right. A punishment, just because they disobeyed is good enough for me. And the explanation that they have to be responsible with diabetes. I don't think they're too young to hear that; they need to know. But, oh, how I used to love sneaking Chips Ahoy cookies, by the sleeve, and hiding out under the playroom table...I can understand her temptation.

  6. Justin's has never really snuck food... that I know of. We have an open door policy also. Its rare that I say no. I may right before dinner, or he's been eating crap all day or if its late... stuff like that. On occasion, if his BG is high, I will ask him to wait until the "insulin kicks in before he eats". This has just seemed to work for us. Like you, I don't want food to become an issue. I never use D as a reason he cant eat... even if in my head it has something to do with it.

  7. Sending many HUGS your way! I am hoping to skip this too with my little guy but your right you never know what will come our way on this "D" journey. Looking forward to hearing what others have done in this situation.xoxo

  8. Maddison snuck food once when she was about 8 or so, that was two years in to diabetes and she knew better. Just like you said, it was the candy dish left out! She got the lecture of why sneaking food is hurtful, and never again has snuck food since then. This is a tough one, for sure!

  9. Bean has snuck food a couple of times. We have had the 'serious ramification' conversation with her so she can understand that food comes with real consequences for her. But along with that conversations always comes the reminder that she CAN have pretty much anything she wants.
    Oh, and Bean did get in trouble for lying...that's something she's had some issues with around the same time, so we totally had to address that part of it as well!

  10. Ugh. This hasn't happened to us yet. But I'm sure it will... Love reading the advice.

    I like how the punishment has nothing to do with D. I think that's important. But I'd love to hear from some PWD, too!

  11. I know that TJ has just said that his parents always made a point of asking him how he felt when his BG was high if he "forgot" to give himself insulin for food. He now reminds Isaac that he needs insulin for every morsel because otherwise he'll feel like crap.
    So, it hasn't happen yet...however, I do know that if we had candy in a dish out on a table it would be devoured within moments of it being placed, we'd SWAG and hope we got it somewhere within the real amount. Isaac is koo-koo for CANDY!
    I think you handled it well and as TJ always points out to me, a 300 is punishment enough. I believe him because he definitely knows better than I do with how it feels. ((HUGS))

  12. Not an easy one at all. We have had a couple of occasions when I have found sweet wrappers in weird places so I asked my 2 about them.
    It is hard not to say you can't do that because you have Diabetes and I don't like the whole conversation to be focused on Diabetes.
    I have emphasised that taking food is not ideal and what I like even less is if they lie about it. The lying upsets me more than the taking.
    Aleksi is starting to understand that he can't eat freely and is getting better all the time about asking for something. I don't allow my daughter who doesn't has Diabetes to eat freely either.

  13. My son has so snuck food.. and also lied about it.. we only have been dealing with D for a little over a year... he is 7.. This happen very early into diagnosis.. and honestly we dealt with it probably not in the best way.. we would yell at him about how it hurts his body and for lying and then try and do a correction for the high.. but truthfully it didnt work.. it didnt stop him from sneaking food.. I believe *fingers crossed* we are throught that stage finally.. we are now pumping and he is enjoying trying to guess the carbs of things and then enter the carbs in himself.. wow through all that I have no good advise just lots of (((huggs))) and you will need lots of patience!

  14. Oh I definitely snuck food - even into high school when I remember buying candy bars and eating them and hiding the wrappers under my bed. (Of course, things were different then and diabetes meant you couldn't ever have sugar). I think it's a normal thing for her to try, and I think you are handling it just fine!! Hang in there!!

  15. The only advice I have is stuff I have heard at diabetes conferences so I'm not sure how helpful it is (because I haven't lived it).

    I would try to separate the punishment from diabetes. If she didn't have diabetes and snuck food and lied about it, she would still get punished right? So this isn't any different really.

    The "experts" talk about how you don't want her to feel like she is getting punished because of her diabetes so avoid bringing it into the conversation at all.

    It sounds like you are on the right track though with the open door policy so she doesn't need to sneak food as long as she asks.

    Wow this is tough!

  16. I agree she should be punished for lying but not for sneaking food. She did not "sneak." She ate. It's easier to control what they eat the younger they are. But they are human. So I would not punish if she ate food without asking... just stress that AFTER she eats the food she comes clean. Then I would bolus for the food without comment. I really mean that, to bolus without comment. As our DD has gotten older and is out with friends, we have told her to eat what she wants and bolus for it. No, it does not always work out and her blood sugars can be a mess. But we allow her that choice. Otherwise she may rebel and sneak or worse eat and not bolus at all. The way we used to approach it when younger was never ever to offer treats. But if she asked for it we would give it to her and bolus. If her blood sugar was very high, we would say no, wait for later. We fed her a low carb breakfast, about 20 grams cause she is not hungry at this time, 40 gram lunch, 60 or 70 gram after school snack (which contained a desert or snack of choice, also 70 grams. If home during puberty when she was always hungry, we would bolus an extra unit and a half at dinner, and give her the snack for this an hour and a half after eating. At this time, we would also be adding food for insulin on board, because the large bolus would result in feeding the insulin even though the ICR was her normal one. Elise can't bolus herself so she has to ask. If she was not high, even though I did not feel it was time to have a snack, probably I would usually say yes. She's a kid. She wanted the M and Ms. Why the heck haven't they done something with insulin in the years since it has been invented so we don't have to worry about giving too large a bolus? So we don't have to worry that it takes three hours for our kid's blood sugar to come down every time they eat a darn apple? There are many parents whose kids don't have D who do not allow their children to eat M&Ms or any sweets at all. We try to keep candy out of the house except hard candy which does not tempt her except for holidays. Valentines Day, candy is around the house. Basically, remove items that are extremely tempting from the pantry and areas Elise can reach. Hide the sweets. Bring them out when you want the kids to have them. Because it is hard to resist temptation.

  17. Oh man, I was hoping we would avoid this too, but now I'll be more alert to it. Such a tough situation. I think you are right to emphasize the lying as the issue and punishing for that. With Natalie we have talked about the importance of us knowing what she eats or she will be high and not feel well. It's so hard!

  18. yeah this is a tough one of those 'rites of passage' situations i think all D kids/parents have to go through. it's different for my fam though, since my kid is 12, so she really really REALLY knows exactly why she's not supposed to do it.

    she went out on halloween with her friends and without parental supervision, and she came home super high. so i just assumed she had candy without correcting. but i've never actually caught her red-handed, so to speak. it's possible she's done it on other occasions as well, but the point we are at right now (transitioning to her having more independence and control of her care) means that we have to trust her to make her own mistakes and deal with the consequences, as difficult as it is for us. blarg.

  19. It's too bad that kids don't come with an owner's manual. I'm long past the child-raising years, but I think I remember ever worrisome incident. Best wishes to you.

  20. I am a PWD. I was diagnosed at the age of 3, long before pumps and CGMs and fast-acting insulin. Yes, I snuck food. Keep in mind that back then, the diabetic diet was all about NO SUGAR and staying on a rigid schedule. My mom really struggled with how to deal with the whole food issue (I would sneak cookies and even steal food from other kids at school). Sometimes she would get angry and other times she would try to reason with me. But it's hard to reason with a child about something as innate as eating. And remember that back in the NPH/R days, I often had to eat when I was not hungry and not eat when I was hungry. Sometimes I was sneaking food simply because I was STARVING.

    Despite my mom's less-than-ideal ways of handling things sometimes, it all worked out. I did rebel a bit during my teen years, but getting on a pump and learning how to carb count really changed my life. I don't have any significant food issues and allow myself to eat whatever I want, in moderation. I generally stick to a lower-carb eating approach (because that works for me), but I sometimes indulge in desserts and other sweets when I really want them.

    I think modern D management is much more normalized and, therefore, you can be a little more normal in your parenting. D can be less of the focus! Treat her as if she was any other kid who lied about what she did. It's the dishonesty, not the act, that is wrong. Correct and move on. And don't make a huge deal of it because, like anything, the bigger deal you make of it, the bigger issue it will become!!


Comment moderation now in effect because of jerky comment spammers.

Now please leave your message after the beep.