November 29, 2007

Feel Felt Found

At CWD a parent asked for thoughts on approaching her child's school about a situation where her D child was disciplined for behaviors that may have in part been due to high blood sugars. We D parents all know how hard it is to learn to check first and consider BG as a behavior factor in raising our kids.

My thought, from the dispassionate distance of the Internet, was to approaching it using the old “feel - felt – found” technique. The key isn't to tell others what to do but to lead them, in this case the school, to a new behavior. You may feel... Others have felt... doing this they found… something like this:

With diabetic kids it is hard to know if they are acting out from will or from the complications of their condition. We respect that you may feel that our child was acting disrespectfully. We support you and spoke with her about the importance of showing respect.

You may be interested to know her meter readings suggest she may have been having blood issues. We have had instances where we felt discipline was necessary and discovered her blood was so far out of range that the behaviors we were seeing were signs of that blood sugar imbalance. It is hard in those cases to pause and test, particularly where the behavior is out of character and we are disappointed with the behavior. We, and many other diabetic care givers, have found that when blood sugars are well outside range it can and does affect cognitive ability and behavior.Checking first is difficult. Diabetic parent’s around the country talk about the struggle to remember to check blood sugar first and discipline second. It is running topic on web sites dedicated to raising diabetic children, to the point of many folks joke darkly about how they finally to a point where they think, your blood sugar had better be way off or you are going to be in trouble.

So the keys here are:
  1. Recognition of what feelings MAY be (the conditional may is important, it softens things by moving the conversation to a hypothetical maybe)
  2. Call in the experience of others who felt similar (build empathy, you are not alone if you feel this)
  3. Then use what those other - not you, others - found, as a guiding path to what to do.
Sounds easy. It isn't I know doing this feel felt found calmly in real life is about as hard checking blood first when there is behavior that may warrant discipline. Here is the scary part, that technique is something I learned teaching bankers of all people in a training class - ya adapt and improvise what ya can. (Thanks Cohen Brown where ever you are.)

Some people feel the have questions.
Others have felt the same way.
They have found CWD is a good place for conversation. - LOL see ya can use it for anything.

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