How To Talk So Kids Will ListenWorkshop for Parents of Children with Diabetes
There is a lot to consider when raising a child with diabetes. On top of all the "normal" stuff that goes into preparing a young person to be an independent, productive member of society, you have this extra(-large) task of handing over the care and responsibility of a serious disease to someone who doesn't always want it or seems to drop the ball a lot. Someone has to pick this freaking ball up, but who will that be? Who should it be? How should they pick it up (without getting yelled at)? When does that need to happen?
The key to a successful team approach in handling diabetes and what you'll learn at this workshop is practical, effective methods of communication that will make this transition of the important responsibilities associated with diabetes a less stressful and more rewarding process.
You’ll gain the skills to:
- Have a productive conversation with your child about diabetes
- Help your child cope with the highs and lows of life with diabetes, including blood sugar mood swings
- Manage your own feelings about your child’s diabetes
- Set boundaries without hurting, alienating or feeling guilty
- Empower your child to own diabetes
- Balance your desire to give your kiddo a “normal childhood” (free of the demands of a chronic illness) with keeping him/her safe
- Walk the line between constant reminders/”nagging” and offering support
- Resolve conflicts peacefully (no, seriously)
Current in-person group:
Dates: Thursdays, April-May 2018: 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17 & 5/24. *You must be able to attend all 6 sessions.
Where: 345 118th Avenue SE, Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98005
Cost: $185 per participant (includes workbook and materials)
Deadline to register is April 10, 2018. Space is limited.
Don't live here? Don't worry!
Workshops are now being offered online. Sign up now to be put on the waitlist and get notified of the next available group!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do the workshop? Because in addition to the crazy love you have for your child, you also need concrete skills to help you navigate the tough issues kids and teens face that are either directly related to or further complicated by having diabetes on board.
Also, as a person with diabetes, there's this feeling of excitement I get when I see pump tubing or that continuous glucose monitor (CGM) lump on someone's shoulder. I don't even necessarily need to talk to them--there's just this "me too!" moment where I know that they just "get it". Parenting a child with diabetes can feel frustrating, isolating, and downright scary. Doing this workshop is a great way to know you're not alone (seriously, you're not the only one who has forgotten the Lantus shot or doubled up on insulin for a meal when your partner thought it was their turn too), that you have support, and that there is a place where people "get it".
Why would I do this? My kid is doing great! That's wonderful! This course is chalked full of skills to add to your toolbox, and let's face it--when it comes to diabetes, it never hurts to have too many resources. One of the trickiest things about diabetes is that it is always changing, whether it's day to day blood sugars or taking over the diabetes independence reigns (and maybe dropping them and handing them back, and then taking them over again but while you also hold one). These roads can be bumpy and scary, and it helps to have a strong foundation of good communication so you are ready in case something should happen. You go to the dentist to for check-ups and preventative cleanings so that you can treat issues before they require an emergency root canal!
What will a session look like? The workshop cohort is capped at 8 people. Whether you are a single parent/caregiver or you do the workshop with your partner, your cohort will serve as a safe community of supportive people who will not ask you if your child's diabetes has been "cured" yet or scrunch up their face and leave them room when you talk about injecting insulin.
How is the workshop structured? Each of the 6 sessions is formatted to cover common issues and topics and then we'll learn specific tools to handle them. We'll go through a step-by-step process where we learn how to implement these tools. After that, we will practice our skills by going through several exercises before we leave so that we feel comfortable with them, and then we'll have a chance to do them at home. There will be readings to help troubleshoot and guide us between workshops, and at the beginning of the next session, there will be an opportunity to talk about how things went.
What will the sessions cover?
1) Helping Children Deal with their Feelings: Exploration of what happens to children when their feelings are denied, especially within the context of diabetes. Specific skills that help children to recognize and cope with their negative feelings including disappointment, anger, grief, envy, frustration, resentment, unfairness, etc. Ways to accept children's feelings, limit unacceptable behavior and still maintain goodwill and strong relationships.
2) Encouraging Cooperation: How children react to the usual methods to get them to cooperate when it comes to checking blood sugars and performing diabetes-specific tasks: threats, warnings, orders, name-calling, sarcasm, lecturing, etc. Five ways to invite cooperation that will leave parents and children feeling good about themselves and each other.
3) Alternatives to Punishment: This one is so tricky, especially for parents of kids with diabetes because it is easy to go back and forth between pitying children for having a disease they didn't ask for, and being frustrated beyond belief when they do not do what needs to be done in order to maintain their health. We'll look at how children react to punishment and whether it is necessary to rely upon punishment as a means of discipline. Some alternatives to punishment that enable parents to express their strong disapproval as well as keep kids safe and encourage children to assume responsibility for their behavior.
4) Encouraging Autonomy: Laying the foundation to help children become separate, responsible people who can one day function on their own. We'll look at how responsibilities can be shifted over and the difference between monitoring and nagging. Specific skills that help children develop their own inner resources and sense of ownership over their own bodies and behavior.
5) Praise: An exploration of the kinds of praise that build a positive and realistic self image and the kinds of things that do not. Learn ways to get a child to become internally motivated to take care of him/her diabetes. A variety of ways to help our children become aware of their strengths so that they can put them into action and live happy, healthy lives.
6) Freeing Children from Playing Roles: A look at how children are sometimes cast into roles (victim, "sick one", superhero) and how we can free them from playing out these roles. Six skills that you can use to help children see themselves in a different and more positive light.
How can I pay? You can pay by check or credit card. Once you have registered I will follow up with you to collect payment information and answer any questions you have.
2017-2018 UW T1D Group schedule:
When: 1st Tuesday of the month
Where: UW Diabetes Care Center (4245 Roosevelt Way NE), 3rd floor conference room
*"T1D Support Group: Becoming You, Not Your Diabetes" listed below is for patients of UW Diabetes Care Center only*
Space is limited. Please email Kyla Tyler at email@example.com to register.
Type 1 Diabetes Young Women's Drop-In Group
ConnecT1D Speaker Series: Type 1 Diabetes:
Not Your Typical BS
ConnecT1D 2016 Retreat
Who: People with T1D (and anyone else who is taking insulin!) and "T3s" (or people who love them!)
What: The 2016 ConnecT1D Retreat is a one- to two-day retreat for adults, teens and young adults with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). It's a weekend to share, learn and laugh with others who face the demands—and oddities—of the daily grind that is T1D.
Where & When: Saturday, June 25 at Bell Harbor Conference Center; Sunday, June 26 (adults only) at Clearwater Casino in Suquamish
Why: People with T1D who connect with others with T1D tend to make shifts in their lifestyles that add up to better T1D management, better health and greater satisfaction in life.
Cost: $185 to register for both days (teens and adults w T1D); $60 for Saturday (teens and adults w T1D); $35 for Saturday evening sessions only (parents of teens, teens and adults w T1D); $35 for Sunday only (spouses/partners of people with T1D)
Please visit http://connect1d.org/2016-connect1d-retreat for more information.
University of Washington Diabetes Care Center
T1D Support Group
Who: UW DCC patients with T1D
What: Supporting each other around T1D issues (such as emotional eating, shame, exercise)
When: 7-8pm on the 1st Monday of the month
Where: UW Diabetes Care Center on 2nd floor
Free parking in the garage underneath the building. This group requires registration, so please contact Lee Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.