The D-Teen Conundrum


Diabetes and the teen years mix like oil and water. As their bodies change and their mindsets shift, teens with diabetes often place their self-care priorities somewhere on a dusty shelf in the back of their expanding minds.

Parents find this d-boredom or d-resistance as one of the most challenging periods in their d-child's life. The attentive, invested and cordial child morphs in to the surly, moody, argumentative adolescent who seeks to thwart every proactive diabetes move the parent or physician suggests. The phrase “leave me alone” aptly sums up what many teens are going through. Ironically, early teens want nothing more than to expand their social network with others their same age. Or at least not at an age close to their parents. It’s all an expression of the innate need for the teen to establish an identity apart from the family they have been a part of since birth. It’s also quite natural. Diabetes, or another chronic condition, sours this process.

What used to be important no longer seems worthy of some d-teens attention. Priorities shift to becoming part of the peer group. That means fitting in with their besties, distancing themselves