Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Resolving Parent–Teen Conflicts

by Jean Roemer, MSN, MN, CPNP, CDE

Jake says, “Yeah.”

There are many variations on this story, and your teen may need help in different areas from Jake. But the approach described here — initiating a dialog, listening to what your teen has to say, and offering positive reinforcement and encouragement — can often get things moving in the right direction.

However, if you find that you and your teen continue to struggle in spite of your efforts, it might be helpful to talk to a counselor or to ask your teen’s diabetes care provider for a referral to a mental health care professional. Sometimes a few sessions are all that it takes to get over a tough spot and start moving forward again. A counselor would also be able to evaluate your teen for depression if that is a concern.

The good news is that often, as teens turn 18 or 19 and move into the adult world, their attitude shifts, and they come back and say, “Could you go over that one more time? I’m now ready to hear it!”

So to all parents who are in the middle of it, have faith and hope that with perseverance, patience, love, and encouragement, your teen will do well.

For a listing of books and online resources to help your teens take charge of his diabetes and to reach out to other parents facing the same challenges, see “Resources for Parents and Teens.”

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