Friday, July 22, 2011

Any advice out there?

So, I have a question for all of you out there. Have you noticed that since your child (or yourself shoutout to Val! ) was diagnosed with Type 1, that they have become harder on themselves? I've noticed this trend in Emma's behavior over the past 3 years and it seems to be getting worse. I definitely hope that I am not doing something to make her feel like she has to be this way. I have actually spoken with her teacher a couple of times last year about it because Emma is NOT fond of making mistakes. It upsets her to the point of tears sometimes honestly. I have tried talking with her about it and explaining to her that the only way any of us will ever learn things in life is by making mistakes. I've tried telling her that it doesn't make her less smart or less special or less of a good girl if she does make mistakes. I have told her that she needs to give herself a break and try to realize that it's ok and that she will be ok. I've had these conversations with her numerous times over the years and at the time she always sees the reasoning and tells me that she will try to think of things like that next time...and sometimes it works for her for a while...but then it seems like she is right back to being too hard on herself again.
For example this evening we went swimming at a local pool here just to have some fun and try to cool off (it was well into the 100's here today...set record temperatures actually for the hottest July day on record!). Well, Emma is comfortable in the water...but she has never actually taken swimming lessons. She has an aversion to getting her face wet and getting water in her eyes...which would make taking lessons a pointless effort I think. I always envision horrible crying and freaking out episodes poolside when I consider signing her up. So, anyway...I've been trying to start teaching her the basics of swimming myself. Granted I'm no Michael Phelps...but I do know how to swim.
So, there we were practicing floating on her back and her stomach...just to get the feel of it. She was doing quite well actually, so we moved on to kicking her feet and moving her arms to stay afloat on her own. That was not coming so easily for her...which brought on the tears of frustration for her. I asked her what was wrong and she shouted, "I JUST WANT TO GET IT ALREADY MOMMY!" For anyone that knows my kid, they will know that she does not get riled up like that or shout at me ever. It breaks my heart to see her be so hard on herself.
I think a lot of it is that she really is very smart...and she's used to picking up on things super when certain things come along that require more time and patience to learn or master...she gets overwhelmingly frustrated with herself. Any advice out there? :o) I need to stop beating myself up and blaming myself for this I suppose...but I guess it's what I do...I'm a Mom.


  1. I can totally understand this because as a little girl, I was a perfectionist and always wanted to do my best or be good at something right away. Even now, I hate making mistakes when other people are around watching. And my parents still tell me it's ok to make mistakes--no one is perfect and that's how we learn. And tha you get good at things by one is an all star the first time around. It's still hard for me to grasp this though! As far as D goes, it varies...sometimes I am patient and understanding with myself and other times I beat myself up over things and am hard on myself. I don't really have any advice because I think you are a great Mom and I think those talks you're having with her are good, too.

  2. Oh boy. Sorry, I don't have anything helpful here. My guys are mistake makers and they seem WAY TOO OK with it ~ LOL.

    You are doing a wonderful job by her. I would talk to her about it when you are tucking her in at night or during breakfast or something. A time when she is totally focused on the moment and not "frustrated". Talk about ways to handle frustrations...and maybe call attention to any mistakes you make to show her that it is "OK" to make them (a teacher told me that tip once b/c she thought Joe had a "perfection problem", but trust me...he doesn't).


  3. this is a hard one for me to answer, because Kaeden has *always* been such a perfectionist (just like dad, sigh).. to the point when he was learning how to spell, he wouldn't want to write *any* sentences if he couldn't spell all of the words correctly the first time (even in kindergarten!!). it's always been a chore to get him to try do new things (swimming included, sounds alot like emma there!)... to just try, not expecting to be perfect at it. with alot of things, he just expected himself to do things perfectly the first time, which is so unrealistic! so hard. i feel your pain.

    so i don't know if diabetes has magnified that trait in him or not. i've noticed recently that he's been willing to try a few things, but it had to be on his terms (like dunking his head in the water on our vacation), and he had to feel like we weren't going to criticize him in any way or laugh, etc... which i'm sure you're not doing anyways.

    so, is the diabetes? or is it just the way she is? who knows. i can see how all of these BGs and A1c's can feel like you're always taking a 'test', and sometimes failing despite your best efforts. we're constantly reminding kaeden that no one is perfect (even if they want to be!), and that people rarely get things perfect on their first try. swimming.. and lots of other things, take alot of time, patience and practice.

    sigh. sometimes i wonder if diabetes has made this part of kaeden worse, you know?

  4. Sounds so much like Elise who gets her perfectionist side from her Mom. Sigh. It's hard, but I think by talking with her like you have been, using gentle reminders is the way to go. I like what Reyna said about talking to her when she's not in the moment.