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Help Please? 13 Year Old Son Sneaking Wheat!


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31 replies to this topic

#16 Gemini

 
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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:18 AM

I'm going to have to go with domesticactivist here and her nonpunitive suggestions. (Thank you for offering them!)

I'm worried that any attempts to punish and/or control your son will naturally be met with resistance or rebellion. It is human nature; children are no different. His health will not be improved, and your relationship with him will be damaged. He will be angry with you and he may even continue to eat gluten just to spite you. I am not chastising or judging, just sad and concerned because I have made these mistakes myself. I believe that you have to talk to him and explain how deeply concerned you are and how it makes you feel (scared to death!), and then truly listen to how he feels, with empathy and without judgment, so that you might reach a mutually agreeable solution. Think of how you would approach your best friend in the same situation perhaps.


Oh geez...looks like it's another cranky day for me......if you wish to raise decent kids that everyone else will want to be around, then stop treating them like your friend. Your kids are not your friend, they are your kids and need strong discipline at times like these. You can be empathetic but you're still in charge and call the rules. Your kids will have a boss someday and if they don't get used to following what's expected of them now, then they'll never be able to deal with real life and having to follow rules set by employers. I see on a daily basis what this type of parenting does and it ain't pretty. They don't fit in and no one wants to be around these people. They have to learn they cannot always have things their way, there will be bumps in the road of life and you have to deal with it or suffer the consequences.


I would recommend that anyone who is interested in influencing your children to choose to be more responsible and self-disciplined (rather than in attempting to control them with parental power/authority and the punishment-reward model) please read the works of the reknowned Dr. Thomas Gordon, especially P.E.T. (Parent Effectiveness Training). This book, and the related program Family Effectivenes Training, literally changed my life and gave me a loving, understanding, compassionate relationship with my child and stepchildren (and fiance!)that I never dreamed possible. He has proven over and over since the 1960s that punishment doesn't work and that it, in fact, produces the opposite of intended results, destroys parent-child relationships, and causes children to grow up emotionally damaged. It may sound crazy to us because hardly any of us were raised this way (and are largely unaware of the consequences of such in our own lives), but the science is sound and in practice it is undeniable.


Emotionally damaged from discipline? :blink: I would say this is true of anyone who is abused by their parents but abuse is entirely different than discipline. Kids need discipline and if done correctly, no damage is done. It's the kids that are treated like their parents best friend who have more problems accepting any authority later in life...and there will be authority.
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#17 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:43 PM

I had asked him directly before the print out of he had been doing this and he said no!!!!

I spend ages cooking for him and buying expensive gluten-free goodies, he really doesnt miss out, but clearly feels he is.

How should I continue with this. 13 is such a tricky age but I feel he should take some responsibility for what he eats, Is that not reasonable?


Kiddos almost always say "No I didn't!" <_< when asked if they did something they shouldn't. (heck, some adults do, too!)
In time, they almost always "fess up". I spent over 25 years working with teenagers and college kids and for a time, with teens who had been arrested and needed placement services in lieu of incarceration and believe me, he probably felt like crap after he told you the lie.

One poster said you should apologize for in her words "going ballistic." I have to say that I do not necessarily agree. You can say you are sorry you yelled at him if you want to, but you had every right to be mad. Expressing anger is as valid an emotion as any other. (It won't scar him for life, I promise you. My Mom yelled at us and we are best buds now :) )

First, he LIED to your face and I think, more importantly, he is not taking his celiac DX seriously.

Some people gave you great advice here including no canteen privileges for a bit, but I am wondering if he KNOWS which snacks are okay? There are many that he could have.

Give him a list maybe?

Also, can you take him shopping with you and teach him to read labels? Takes the burden off you and puts it on his shoulders --where it belongs.

I know parents want to be their kids' friends, but in truth, they need --and actually WANT--guidance and discipline and rules--and when they are older, that friendship will blossom in time. There is no evidence to suggest that providing discipline is harmful (unless you are talking about bizarre gestapo-like cruelty and abuse) As someone who had to deal with other people's children for the better part of the day, I promise you they turn out well when they are given some leeway to make mistakes. They do not "automatically forget" everything good you taught them. They are kids and they do stupid things. I did my share. :lol:

He needs to be in charge of his diet because he has to control the disease and keep it in remission. You've done a great job, Mom--now, it is time to give him more control.

Offered IMHO. Best wishes!
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"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference." Virginia Satir

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Misdiagnosed for 25+ years; Finally Diagnosed with Celiac  11/01/10.  Double DQ2 genes. This thing tried to kill me. I view Celiac as a fire breathing dragon --and I have run my sword right through his throat.
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#18 domesticactivist

 
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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

Just to be clear, I was not trying to suggest raising children with no discipline. I was attempting to suggest that simply revoking canteen privileges and yelling does not solve the underlying problems.

I agree that the child needs to *know how* to eat safely, needs to know the consequences (both intrinsic and external) of cheating/lying/whatever else in life he does wrong.

I don't think that apologizing for "going ballistic" invalidates the rightful anger and frustration that may have been experienced. It is about taking responsibility for your own actions and getting a fresh start.

I do think it is reasonable to shut off the canteen account, pack lunches, and not send pocket money. But I wanted to point out that an action such as that is not *in itself* a full solution to the problem. IME, most teens (most people of all ages in fact), are much more compliant with a diet if they understand what's in it for them and have some say of how to go about it for themselves. What that control looks like will depend on developmental level, demonstrated responsibility, and practical constraints. Gaining more control can even be a reward for demonstrated compliance.
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Our family is transitioning off the GAPS Intro Diet and into the Full GAPS Diet.
Gluten-Free since November 2010
GAPS Diet since January/February 2011
me - not tested for celiac - currently doing a gluten challenge since 11/26/2011
partner - not tested for celiac
ds - age 11, hospitalized 9/2010, celiac dx by gluten reaction & genetics. No biopsy or blood as we were already gluten-free by the time it was an option.
dd - age 12.5, not celiac, has Tourette's syndome
both kids have now-resolved attention issues.

#19 xjrosie

 
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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:46 AM

I'm really feeling your problem right now. My 14 y.o. was just diagnosed last Friday and she's really fighting it!

But as for your situation, I have been down your path with the trust issue. It has been a long-standing rule in my house that if you misbehave in school, I go to school with you. If I can't trust you, I need to babysit you. It worked for my two older ones who are in 9th and 7th grades, but my 4th grader had a little problem with doing homework. So for two straight weeks, I walked her into class, put her homework in the slots, got her all set up for school and left. At the end of the day I was there, gathering her books and papers and getting her ready to go home. She went from having b's, c's, and two e's, to straight a's!! And I don't fight her after school anymore to get her to do something.

Point is, a little humiliation goes a long way. Show up twice a week at lunch for a few weeks (not on the same days) - unannounced - and he might start listening. No one wants their mom to come and sit with them at school. It sucks that you would have to threaten to embarrass him to get him to listen to you, but it's for his health. There's no better reason.
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#20 maximoo

 
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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:53 AM

My 13 yo & 17 yo always text me if they are unsure if something has gluten when they are out with friends or something. I am lucky in that respect. It's a non embarrassing way for them to make sure they don't eat something they shouldn't even tho they have no gastro symptoms. If ur son is unsure he cld text u & his friends would nvr know. Also he can keep a short list of gluten-free snacks/foods in his phone or ipod (if he has one).
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#21 Darn210

 
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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

My 13 yo & 17 yo always text me if they are unsure if something has gluten when they are out with friends or something. I am lucky in that respect. It's a non embarrassing way for them to make sure they don't eat something they shouldn't even tho they have no gastro symptoms. If ur son is unsure he cld text u & his friends would nvr know. Also he can keep a short list of gluten-free snacks/foods in his phone or ipod (if he has one).

Ahhhh . . . that's an excellent idea and one that I will keep for future reference . . . my daughter will be getting her first phone this summer (and really?, is the countdown necessary? . . . yeah, she's excited.)
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#22 maximoo

 
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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:57 AM

@darn210 of course the countdown is necessary!! just like counting down to a big holiday or other big event!

no other reasons to countdown in the mind of a child. B) B)
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#23 lexluther

 
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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:11 AM

When my 12 yrs old first was diagnosed he was getting a lot of attention. If he is allowing you to find out that he is sneaking food, even after
you buy him the gluten-free equivalent...I would think it is an attention getting ploy and not a deprivation. I had my son list all the foods he
would miss being gluten free and we replace them with the gluten-free equivalent to show him he will not be deprived. I make sure he packs snacks in his backpack that he would like for the day. Even if those snacks are just cookies to help with a sweet tooth. It is important to have them included in their eating plan. Have him make a list of foods he wants. It really helps to give them some of the power back in the decision making process. Help him to be proactive in his own health.
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#24 cyberprof

 
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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:54 PM

Candygurl, this is a hard one.


I think its impossible to keep a teenager from eating (or drinking) something that they want (and vice versa...you can lead them to food but you can't make them eat). No parent can have that much control. I'll tell two stories (as the veteran of two teens, now in college):

First, my daughter was always into meat and when her friends were becoming vegetarians, she said she'd never be one. My hubby/her dad is/was a big Paleo Diet proponent so he eats tons of meat and veggies. When daughter was 16.5, she became a vegetarian almost overnight. She wouldn't tell us why. Said it wasn't peer pressure. Hubby/Dad was apoplectic. Irate. I advised quiet, calm and no push-back. Told him that if he pressured, shed stay a vegetarian for life (not that theres anything bad about itit just bothered him). I made him zip his lip and I prepared a veggie meal every day special if I needed to. At age 17.5, daughter resumed eating meat with no fan-fare just Boom!

Second story: My son was 15, not in puberty, 96 pounds and 54 in 9th grade/high school. No beard, no body hair. Looked like he was 12. He was unhealthy. Without a celiac diagnosis he went gluten-free and dairy-free and grew to 63. With him, we had to find out what he could eat, how to avoid peer pressure, how to handle pizza events, burger events, teriyaki events. Son is strict with himself but not as strict as I am as he doesnt have symptoms. But he knew that if he wanted to look like an adult male and be attractive to girls, he had to grow and get healthy. I packed his lunch every day and made it things that he liked chili, corn tortilla chips, dried fruit roll-ups, cracker jacks, fruit cups. I tried to pick things that looked normal that non-gluten-free kids would eat. Special homemade brownies and cookies.

By the time he was 18 and a HS senior, he had the diet down. More importantly, his friends knew how to help him fit in. The whole group choose Maggianos restaurant for Homecoming dinner because they knew he could get gluten-free pasta there and they choose a steakhouse for prom because they knew he could eat there. There was also another celiac in his group by then and two who were dairy free too.

I would emphasize to your son that he may not grow tall, may not be strong, may not have the right hormones if he doesnt follow the gluten-free diet. Stress the things that he wants to do but wont be able to do if his body doesnt grow and develop. Kids think theyre invincible, so cancer stories wont scare them but disability may: Outcomes of celiac like diabetes, skin rashes, and disabilities like MS or ataxia those might. (Firefighters who speak at schools say that telling teens theyll die in car wrecks is not as effective as telling them that they might end up in a wheelchair.)

So work with teenagers natural tendencies and remember that they have to put on a brave face to their friends and random classmates. Having your son text you whenever he has a question is a great idea. I did that all the time.

And find the places in your town that have gluten-free pizza and places like Red Robin, Taco del Mar, Wendys and Chipotle that have gluten-free options. Having your son know that he can eat French fries at McDonalds, chili at Wendys or a Baja bowl at Taco del Mar is a way of helping him fend for himself.

And another idea is that he should keep spare food around so that he isnt hungry and vulnerable to a snack attack someplace where there is only gluteny food. Keeping a gluten-free protein bar, KIND bar, Lara Bar or some of the new gluten-free Nature Made nut bars in his backpack and locker will allow him to pull something out to eat at any time. You may have to try a few until you find one that he likes.

Best of luck to you!
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Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

#25 xjrosie

 
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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:42 AM

Second story: My son was 15, not in puberty, 96 pounds and 54 in 9th grade/high school. No beard, no body hair. Looked like he was 12. He was unhealthy. Without a celiac diagnosis he went gluten-free and dairy-free and grew to 63. With him, we had to find out what he could eat, how to avoid peer pressure, how to handle pizza events, burger events, teriyaki events. Son is strict with himself but not as strict as I am as he doesnt have symptoms. But he knew that if he wanted to look like an adult male and be attractive to girls, he had to grow and get healthy. I packed his lunch every day and made it things that he liked chili, corn tortilla chips, dried fruit roll-ups, cracker jacks, fruit cups. I tried to pick things that looked normal that non-gluten-free kids would eat. Special homemade brownies and cookies.

By the time he was 18 and a HS senior, he had the diet down. More importantly, his friends knew how to help him fit in. The whole group choose Maggianos restaurant for Homecoming dinner because they knew he could get gluten-free pasta there and they choose a steakhouse for prom because they knew he could eat there. There was also another celiac in his group by then and two who were dairy free too.




Good story! I worry all the time about how my daughters will be included in the group when it comes to things like that.
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#26 sreese68

 
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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:18 AM

Not sure if gluten does this to your son, but for me it caused severe cystic acne. I had it for almost 25 years. Two rounds of Accutane couldn't make it go away permanently. Couldn't handle most antibiotics. Allergic to some topicals. Anyway, after being off gluten for 2 months, and my cystic acne was gone! Did a 4-day gluten challenge, it came back in FULL force. Disappeared again once those sores healed. Dermatologist was amazed.

So avoiding acne may be a good motivator! Especially if he gets break outs after eating gluten.
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Sharon
gluten-free March 2011
Failed gluten challenge May 2011
Diagnosed celiac 5/25/11

#27 Ninja

 
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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:11 AM

I think he needs to understand what is going on inside of HIS body. Teenager-hood tends to bring out the "I'm invincible" attitude, especially when there is an opportunity to prove something. I would suggest (if feasible) you try showing him pictures of the damage to the villi in his small intestine... assuming he had a biopsy. I think things need to become more real for him — this is not a disease he can dismiss as pretend. Gluten does real damage to his body which will only get worse. (That's what would have worked with me — not trying to scare him here!)

Thirteen is a tricky age. You did a great job figuring out what was plaguing his body, now he needs to embrace the changes that will lead him to good health. He is in control of his own body now — sadly, we all only get one. Learning about all of this now will give him all the more wisdom later on, too. :)

Poor guy, it's so tough. :( Keep at it, you're doing great!

~Laura
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#28 weluvgators

 
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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:57 AM

My kids really enjoy being able to go buy stuff like the other kids do. We have worked it a couple of different ways, depending on the circumstances. You may want to see if you can work with the canteen to ensure that he has options there so that he can go get extra food if he wants. We also tend to pack lots and lots of different snacks with my kids so that they always have something to eat should they get extra hungry in the day. I cannot imagine how much food a teenage boy could go through!
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My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

#29 mommida

 
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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:35 AM

This is a quote from Max Lucado about chidren to parents....

"You've been given a book with no title--read it!
A CompactDisc with no cover--listen to it!
An island with no owner-- explore it!
Resist the urge to label before you study.
Attend carefully to the unique childhood of your child."

Open up the communication to see what is going on. What is the underlaying reason? Tell him again how much you love him. How special he is, just the way that he is.

I also suggest the Lizlovely gluten free cookies. (I order from the website. They are not cheap!) What a nice concept they are sold under!!? Two HUGE cookies per package. One for you and one to share. Not even a gluten eater can resist! I would hang on your every word for a cookie, I swear! Makes a conversation like a special bonding experience! (I keep them on hand when My friends need a venting time and they end up spilling their guts and feeling pampered.)

I great way for him to fit in and make more friends by sharing gluten free with his peers.

Good luck!
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Michigan

#30 jenn42

 
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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:16 PM

My 11 year old daughter just diagnosed with Celiac ( blood only ) has told her friends and teachers everything, from blood work to doctor appts. to getting the biopsy done next week. She's very open with everyone. I have her looking up gluten-free recipes online, grocery shopping together and even comparing prices of the "old" food to the gluten-free food. I even discussed with her the problems she may encounter if she eats gluten. She is well aware of the consequences and complications. She's a social butterfly and is always going places and to have a "tummyache" and "headache" would be devastating to her social career...ha ha! So, she better stick to her diet or else no play time!
She does pack her lunch and I have packed enough gluten-free cookies, and candies to share with her friends at the lunch table. I was amazed to find out that most of her friends tried and even liked the food. They have all learned about this and it's important to teach her friends what's happening. Her true friends will support her!


Now, in a few years she may rebel, but for now I'm pretty rough on her about eating what she supposed to eat.


Good Luck!
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