“Why did you forget your diabetes supplies??”
“You should check your blood sugar more often.”
“It is SO important for you to take your insulin on time because if you don’t you could go into a coma!”
I spent my Saturday morning as a participant in a research study conducted by Dr. Jan Kavookjian at the Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University. The purpose of the study, per Dr. Kavookjian’s materials, is to “gather parent perceptions about what it is like to communicate with a child or teen who has type 1 or 2 diabetes.”
As parents and caregivers we want to FIX IT. Both the big things we know we can’t fix (our kids are stuck with T1D until there is a cure) and the smaller things (my kid won’t bring along the needed supplies).
So much of being a T1D caregiver is about communication. It is also one of the things I actually can fix. There are positive changes I can make in how I talk to my child when he is ambivalent or resistant to change. Motivational Interviewing is a technique that facilitates a person’s own internal motivation for change. It is going to take work and patience on my part but I think the benefits will be huge for Grasshopper and for our family as a whole.
“What would help you remember to bring your diabetes supplies?”
“That is great that you checked your blood sugar before you ate. Knowing what your levels are helps you make the next decision.”
“May I share with you some ideas I’ve heard from other kids with T1D about how they take their insulin on time?”
FIVE MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING (MI) COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Develop Awareness of Differences
Avoid Arguing/Roll with Resistance
Support Confidence for Self Management
It was a very informative and empowering experience! I am excited to use the tools and communication techniques that Dr. Kavookjian teaches.
Note: This was a paid study, so I was compensated for my time.