Yesterday, Noah's teacher (Mr. S.) called to let us know that Noah's been "increasingly difficult" in class. Not getting along with the other kids...throwing full-on raging hissy fits over relatively minor happenings, and being so nasty to one of his friends, that the teacher had to separate them. Mr. S. explained to Noah that he's pushing his friends away by acting like this. Noah's defense is that he's being bullied, and he gets so angry that he loses his cool and lashes out. I told Mr. S. that Noah has told me about the bullying in the past, and my advice to him was to not react like he does, because that's what is fueling the fire for these kids.
Mr. S. says he's not quite sure Noah is being truthful about all this bullying, because he said Noah overreacts and blows things up so much...like the boy who cried wolf. I agreed that Noah can and does overreact, but he does not lie, and told him of a few recent instances of the bullying. Mr. S. was not aware of these, and wondered why Noah didn't tell him about it. I said-" just because he didn't tell you, doesn't mean he's lying." He said he would investigate what I told him. Most of it, he went on to say, is the age...5th grade is tough and all that, and I understand, but what worries me most is that Mr. S. believes Noah is seriously lacking coping skills. I agree with him there. It's like he's so innocent, that he takes everything at face value. He has no "street smarts". He can't recognize when some one's being sarcastic in a mean way, (as kids are known to do ) and can't seem to understand when someone doesn't like him, or doesn't want to be his friend.
I let Mr.S. know that we have talked this through with Noah till we've been blue in the face, and that we feel at such a loss for what to do next. Counseling? More talk? what? I can only give him so much parental advice, and at this point, it seems like it's falling on deaf ears.
My husband and I spent a good amount of time last night going over what we could have done wrong. I feel like we broke our kid. It seems like before diabetes came into the picture, he was doing fine coping with life, he had school buddies and was generally a happy camper. We realized his diagnosis didn't change him...it changed us. We went from letting Noah be this free and easy little boy, to hovering over every move he made. I tried to make everything easy for him, because my thinking was that he had so much to adapt and adjust to already being a person with diabetes. I overcompensated and tried to make the days go smooth for him. I babied him too much. I didn't let him live and learn, like a kid is supposed to. My dad says a kid has to eat a little dirt sometimes. He's right.
So, after some mulling it over, I think some kind of counseling is the way to go. Now begins a search for someone who hopefully has some knowledge of Type 1...not that it's essential, but it may help.
April 7, 2009