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Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 9:37am
iansmom's picture
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Corvallis Mom, I'd just like to thank you for sharing your story. It's given me a lot to think about with regard to Ian. And I'd like to thank everyone who participated in this discussion for keeping it civil and productive. Bravo, everyone!

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 10:13am
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I have found this thread so interesting. My almost 3 year old daughter was diagnosed last month and we are still trying to become acquainted with her diagnosis. I can barely remember to carry her pen, I can't imagine her carrying it, but I may need to reconsider that idea. I am still mourning the fact that I will never bake peanut butter cookies. I guess I need to move on. Thank you all for sharing of your stories. I never knew nap time could be so informative!

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 2:24pm
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PA newbie:
...but you can bake sunbutter cookies and they are very yummy. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] they do tend to turn green the next day (which doesn't affect the taste) but that's all the more reason to eat them up fast. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
joey

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 2:26pm
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Don't despair! Soynut butter makes great cookies, too--and they don't turn greenish...
Cathy
[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited September 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 2:58pm
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My gifted son has also forgotten his previous reactions. It sounds like your daughter has several foods she is allergic to, but he is only allergic to PA and tree nuts. Here recently, age of 10, he has become quite relaxed regarding his allergy. I promptly showed him the thread under reactions that honor those who have died from their allergies. I think he finally 'gets it'!

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 10:17pm
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There is a remedy for keeping the sunbutter from turning green...either add some lemon juice or reduce baking soda/powder. This balances the ph and keeps them from turning green.

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 10:19pm
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.
[This message has been edited by saknjmom (edited September 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 10:21pm
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double
[This message has been edited by saknjmom (edited September 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 10:50pm
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double post
[This message has been edited by saknjmom (edited September 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2006 - 11:31pm
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Corvallis Mom, I just wanted to let you know I think you have done the right thing. My ds is 8 and we always carried his epipens for him. Well, about 6 months ago, I bought him a belt. He hates wearing it and I have to make him put it on when we leave the house. It is not something ingrained in him.
The medic alert bracelet we started when he was 3 or 4 and he doesn't even notice it is on. I wish we had done the same with the belt. I think it helps to start young so it just becomes part of them.
Glad you found the bag!

Posted on: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 5:23am
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Quote:Originally posted by Naer74:
[b]My gifted son has also forgotten his previous reactions. It sounds like your daughter has several foods she is allergic to, but he is only allergic to PA and tree nuts. Here recently, age of 10, he has become quite relaxed regarding his allergy. I promptly showed him the thread under reactions that honor those who have died from their allergies. I think he finally 'gets it'![/b]
Spoke with our allergist about this issue this morning. He thinks that although it can certainly be a problem with [i]many[/i] kids, DD isn't likely to be one of them. He feels that way because we have always had such a tight comfort zone and we are VERY upfront about why with her, she understands it can be fatal, and she has a lot of reminders in the form of contact and aerosol reactions. So she definitely knows she's still very allergic, and she doesn't otherwise make questionable decisions, even when we are not making them for her. He said, "Oh, I don't worry about XXXX....Well, I worry about [i]anybody[/i] with that allergy, but you know what I mean."
This is such a terrible catch-22. Part of me wishes that it had happened when she was 4 and not 2. Allergist laughed about my observation that our kids don't have memories to help them if we do our jobs well... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
But it bears watching, definitely. He laughed and said that the duct tape was always an option for keeping the epipens on. LOL! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Hey-- thanks for the tip about the sunbutter cookies, saknjmom! I'll remember that.

Posted on: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 8:06am
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Thanks for the soybutter and other idea. My daughter had a +1 on soy also, so unfortunately those are out too. (We are just being extra careful.) I will check around for recipes for sunbutter cookies and if you saw my 3 year old you would know that we would make short work on those cookies that they would never get the chance to turn green. Thanks again.
Good news CMom. I am glad that you have such a wonderful and understanding doctor. I agree with giving the information to the kids at every level and you are her parent for a reason. You know your child and what is best for her. (You can buy duct tape in large quantities at the Home Depot!)

Posted on: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 1:04pm
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pa newbie:
both my PA girls' second biggest reactions on skin testing (after peanut) are to soy. however, we have never had "problems" with them eating soy. they do have some eczema but, as far as we know, the soy "allergy" is not dangerous (in our case) and certainly does not cause symptoms of anaphylaxis in my girls. that's not to say others don't have a big problem with soy, but we don't. i would follow your allergist's suggestions. (my girls are also "allergic" to wheat, egg, chocolate, all kinds of pollens, grasses and dust. peanut is our only serious allergy though). my girls' soy skin test reaction is actually a 3+, i believe! we avoid peanuts like the plague (out of necessity...i've seen anaphylaxis and it ain't pretty) but we live like we have no other allergies in this house.

Posted on: Thu, 09/14/2006 - 2:58pm
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Thanks JB. I am still VERY new at this allergy thing (diagnosed last month) and I am trying to avoid anything that might cause her harm, but I don't know where to even start. She has a slight throat thing with soy and her face breaks out. I just thought I should avoid it if I could. I don't want her to miss out on her childhood, but I want to protect her too. (I am terrified of the anaphylaxis.) When you said that you live like there are no other allergies, do you follow the recommendations for dust? My daughter has dust and dust mite allergies and her poor sweet girlie room looks like an industrial dormitory now, because I followed every recommendation for dust prevention. If I could add back cute pillows and drapery I would be in heaven. You sound like someone in the know (your allergy list is extensive) so any help you provide would be wonderful.

Posted on: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 12:58am
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if you are referring to me, i wouldn't say i'm in the know so much. i just have been dealing with our allergies and issues for 10 years now. lots of practice and lots of figuring out what has worked for us, what hasn't, and what definitely won't (peanuts). haha.
as far as the dust and dust mite allergies... our ped. allergist told me to keep the house as dust-free as possible but not to worry too much since my girls don't seem to show signs of dust/dust mite allergies. we only found out due to testing.
one of my girls has very mild asthma that only seems to rear its head a couple times during the year (seems to be cold weather coupled with exercise). he said i may need to make further changes to eliminating sources of dust and dust mites if i notice her asthma changing and becoming worse.
i did remove the stuffed animals from their room (we have a toyroom downstairs for that sort of stuff) and any stuffed, plush, or fabric type items that were unnecessary. i covered their mattresses and pillows with allergy type coverings (i'm sure you know the ones....plastic, zippered, etc) and i try to keep their rooms free of dust (but i'm a terrible housekeeper...).
however, they each still have a dust ruffle on their beds (interesting name, don't you think? haha) and a small valance instead of curtains. and, they have blinds in their rooms. one of the girls does have an overstuffed pink gingham chair and ottoman in her room for reading (it probably should have been removed...but it's so cute).
so..i've made some changes but nothing really, really drastic.
i have a younger brother (yes...i'm 40. he's 8. my dad started over with someone my age. long story....) and he has serious issues with asthma and has had to have BIG changes done in their home. they went to all wood floors in the entire house, he has no extra stuffed or fluffy items in his bedroom, they have no pets indoors, etc. they are much more careful with his dust and dustmite allergies; because they have to be. they are big asthma triggers for him.
oh yeah, by the way, we also have two small indoor dogs. the ped. allergist advised us to get rid of them but added that he probably wouldn't if they were his and he was in our situation. they still sleep at the foot of my girls' beds. we'll change that in the future if necessary but so far, so good.
so...it would be hard to compare your situation with ours because the changes you've made for your child may be completely necessary. i guess it depends on what types of problems dust and dust mites cause for your child.

Posted on: Fri, 09/15/2006 - 4:03pm
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Joeybeth,
Thanks for the heads up about dust. My daughter does not have to much of a reaction with dust. When I received all of the stacks of paperwork from our allergist last month I thought I needed to do everything. We spent big bucks on redoing her room with top of the line covers, etc. She gets two stuffed animals a week and they are in rotation with others that I don't have to wash all the time! (Although Mickey and Minnie get hot washed weekly to be taken wherever we go.) I tried to work the allergy angle to get wood floors for the house, but DH didn't go for it. (Shocking, with me staying at home with our daughter and all.) We are learning as we go what works for us too. We are currently doing a kitchen remodel and she has had no incidences and there was so much dust! I know that I am being overzealous with this, but anything for my only child. We will hopefully be as astute as all of you who have done this for a while. Thanks for the information and in such a caring manner. I am so glad that I stumbled, still stumbling, will continue to stumble on, in, and around this website. You girls rock!
P.S. My allergist told us to get rid of the dog too. We told him that she has been here longer than our daughter and as long as we have been married so she isn't going anywhere. Of course now they are like sisters and do everything together. :-)

Posted on: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 2:46pm
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Wow--you're too busy to come to the boards for a few days and it's amazing how things have changed. This thread really took off!
About self-carry and self-administer: yes, a huge difference.
DS hasn't carried but does now on school field trips (and let me say that he hasn't had the kinds of reactions that Corvallis Mom's DD has had--I completely get why she has self-carried for ages).
We tell him and the adults around them that even though he can train them to use the Epi (and he loves to do that), we cannot at his age expect him to self-administer. I usually see a light bulb go off in someone's head when I say that. It takes a second or two.
But I have told him he [i]can[/i] self administer if no one else is clued in to his danger. That he can feel free to take charge if need be.
He's scared of the epi.
But he saw me use it on myself after a shellfish reaction (I'm SFA). And I had him count to 15 while I had it in and rub my leg afterward.
And I told him that if there is a situation where I am having a reaction and am unable to administer myself, he can feel free to administer the epi for/on me, but I tried to make it clear that it's not his responsibility to do so. That I won't be disappointed if he doesn't. I didn't mention that I could be dead otherwise [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img], but I don't want him to feel it's up to him or guilty if something happens to me. By the same token, I want him to feel empowered to use it if he can in those situations. KWIM?

Posted on: Sat, 09/16/2006 - 3:19pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

Wow, a lot of interesting and thought provoking discussion in this thread. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
When my son started school at 3-3/4 years of age, it was a requirement of the school that he wear his EpiPen. I wasn't a member of PA.com and couldn't raise the ? here, so on the fanny pack went.
I just came across, in a search this week, where I had raised the question when I think he was about 6 about when your child starts to wear their EpiBelt full-time (like not just at school).
And I would have to say, just thinking about that thread, that it was probably at 6 that my son started wearing his EpiBelt full-time when he was not in the house - even for short excursions to the grocery store.
In 7 years of school, I think he has forgotten less than 5 times to put his EpiBelt on before going to school and then we'll get there and it's like darn. Then, we go into the school and get his emergency medical bag from the office and he carries that for the day instead.
I guess because it is clipped right on him, even though he would change for gym, he has NEVER forgotten to come home from school with it (or anywhere else). What I find interesting about this (kinda comical interesting) is that this is also the child that will forget a specific textbook required that evening; his lunch bag; any number of things on a regular basis (what's it been - two weeks of school and he's forgotten his lunch bag at school twice already) and yet he's never forgotten the EpiBelt. Again, because I think it doesn't come off of his body.
I'm actually thankful to the school for their requirement because it didn't give me an option, KWIM?
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk up to heaven and bring you back home with me.

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 11:50am
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... [i]and as she hit "submit", her cell phone rang![/i]
(And it wasn't the angry DH... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
It was the ranger's station at the State Park!!!!
Evidently the cleaning crew went through the restrooms about ten minutes before DH's whirlwind tour of the park garbage facilities... finding DD's black satin Tinkerbell bag (with the star-of-life pin)
and returned it to the state park tollbooth a few miles up Hwy 101.
Can you say "Three trips to Newport in one day?" (sigh).... but I am just so relieved that some little child didn't find them. Whew!!!
I think DH intends to ride over with us... the better to lecture DD where she can't get away, I think. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 11:51am
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Ugh, how disappointing that she lost it!
There must be a typo in your post...it indicates she is seven and has been carrying her epi's for 5 years, which would mean since she was 2??? Did I read that correctly? Or do you you mean 17 and she has been carrying them since she was 12?
I have a 2 year old, 4 year old and 9 year old, and I could not imagine ANY of them having the responsibility for carrying an epi. My nine year old is close..and he is very cautious...but personally, it would be unrealistic for me to think any of my children should be responsible for something like that at their current ages!
You must mean 17, b/c it sounds like she left it in a public rest room while in there without you?
I would say if she is 17, then she does need to be spoken to about being more responsible,and I would make her pay for some of the replacement cost.
If she is 7, then I think perhaps your expectations are high for her age....just my opinion.
Also, I had my ped right the prescription so I could get a couple filled at once, one for school and one for home...then a couple of months later I had it refilled again,then a couple of months later again...so I right now have 8 kicking around. 4 packages of 2 in various stages of experation (four in the house, four in the diaper bag/purse)...plus two brand new ones at ds's school.
Fortunately my insurance covers all but a small percentage of the cost.

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 11:55am
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Phew! just saw that you found it! I meant to also post about how torn up I would be about all that personal info being out there...AND the worries of some small child finding them and 'playing' with them! You must be so relieved!!!!!!!!
[This message has been edited by 3xy1PAinNH (edited September 10, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 11:59am
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I know what it's like to have a very gifted child. We expect so much of them. Your DD is far beyond her age in so many areas.
But I've gotta say it . . . I think this should be expected at age 7.
DS lost his school epibag twice last year (it was left in his specials classroom). And the first day of school this year he left it in another classroom.
We are terrified that this behavior will result in his (very necessary) privelege of having it with him at all times revoked.
It should be passed to the teacher once he arrives in class, but this sometimes doesn't happen apparently.
Stern talking to--yes. Trying to get him to understand the possible consequences--yes.
But he's 8. And a bit of an absentminded professor at times.
How wonderful your DD's epipen bag wasn't found by a child. Or her identity stolen.
But I would ease up a bit. I bet she won't misplace it again anytime soon.
[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited September 10, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 12:19pm
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I can see how this would be very frustrating---but as someone who tends to be forgetful and absentminded, I can sympathize with your daughter. Since it is the first time she left her epipens behind, I'd say she has shown quite a lot of maturity for her age, and I agree with you--she is responsible enough to carry the epipens herself.
Glad that it all ended happily!

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 12:58pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

Corvallis Mom, your second post made me laugh. I'm glad to hear you got everything back.
3xy1PAinNH, my son has been responsible for carrying his epi-pen since he was 3. Even when he is with me or his dad, he wears it on his belt. There have been occasions when we forget -- and he remembers. He also knows how to administer an epi-pen (although I do NOT expect him to self-administer). We made a game of it and he learned how to give me an epi-pen, himself an epi-pen, and Elmo an epi-pen. (Who knew? Elmo has allergies to, at least the one in our home does. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 2:08pm
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I hear ya! My dd, now 11.5, has been carrying her epis since around age 3. A couple of times (both in the past 4 years) dd has left her epi kit somewhere. Once on the bus and another time in a restaurant. I really made a big deal about it to impress upon her the gravity of the situation. I told her that she could forget her coat, her shoes, her schoolbag....anything and I wouldn't care. But if you forget the epi it is very serious.
I found out that she wasn't comfortable with the waist pouch ("It makes me look fat" and this from a kid who is on the low end for weight for her age) so she would take it off. We found a cute little purse that she can wear over her shoulder and it sits on her opposite hip and it is much better. She loves it so she doesn't take it off.
I'm glad you got it back in the end. What a relief, I'm sure!

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 3:27pm
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Ahhhhh.... my backside may not be the same, but we are finally back. WITH the epipens.
She seems suitably chastened now-- the earlier attitude vanished in the face of understanding that this cost about five hours in the car and about 40 buck of gas. (yowza)
Thanks everyone! (I know we do expect a lot, but I so dearly want her to feel naked without those epipens!) That way this won't ever happen when she's 17. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] We hope.
Her punishment is that she may not go anywhere without DH or I being able to physically [i]see[/i] her for a month. Not even to her neighborhood haunts. Not until we can trust her to be responsible enough to [i]not take them off.[/i] The old rule got laid down again-- she can only take them off to [i]hand them to one of us or hang them on the coat closet doorknob (where they stay at home).[/i] We're also instituting a check system in the car-- we ask before releasing the emergency brake from now on! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited September 11, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 3:46pm
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Wow that's a big punishment. I think 7 is young to really grasp the situation. Kids lose stuff every single day but unfortunately our kids have responsibility for SO MUCH MORE than the kid who loses something trivial.
At 7 they are socializing with friends and doing other stuff at the same time and it is easy to forget to pick up that Tinkerbell bag. Which might be better if it were attached to her body in some way, belt loop etc.
I know you gotta do what you gotta do but maybe I'd rather find a better way for her to carry her epis. You seem to be the ones to let the rules relax when in fact they should be stricter as she gets older.
Poor kid, poor us. Darned if you do darned if you don't.
Good luck.
Peg

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 4:18pm
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Yes- I should clarify a couple of things, I can see. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
She wears (and has always done so) a bag messenger-style, over one shoulder so that it is hands-free and can't come off unless she deliberately removes it. It is a small bag that she chooses so that it is comfortable to wear and has a strap short enough that it doesn't get in her way.
Yes- I forgot to look for the bag when we got back into the car. I didn't realize that she had taken them off in the restroom because there was no reason for her to (really).
She really prefers to be the one who handles them-- truly. And we want them to be on her as well-- that way we don't ever miscommunicate about which parent has them, etc.
We also feel very strongly that we want her to feel a bit panicky without them. That instinct is one of fundamental self-preservation-- her life is in that bag, more or less. (JMO)
Our system failed us for a couple of reasons-- she failed to follow the rule about not taking them off. We failed to check to see that they were in the car. Both serious. I think she deserves punishment for breaking one of the biggest rules in her life (which she has done on a few occasions recently-- this was just the first time it had such consequences...).
So her one month punishment means that she can't go next door to play with our next-door neighbor's little boy or down the street to play with the two older children she knows. She can't grab her epipens and just go, in other words. She has to play where we can see her until she earns our trust back. (So it isn't exactly like being "grounded.") We also talked to her about the possibility for harm to a child who accidentally injects themselves into a hand. This seemed to matter a great deal to her-- one of her friends is a 3yo neighbor.
What I couldn't quite fathom is why the notion of harm to [i]her[/i] didn't seem to faze her much during this.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]
Anyway-- would I treat the average 7yo this way? No way. My daughter? Absolutely. She's a fourth grader who intends to finish fifth grade by June. She is super-responsible about her allergy (and everything else, for that matter) and has a self-awareness that frequently makes [i]everyone[/i] around her forget that she is 7. (Soooo, not typical.) We don't expect her to be older than 7, but we do expect her to be [i]herself[/i] if that makes sense. (sigh) It probably doesn't without knowing her...
But I think McCobbre's point is well-taken. It is very easy to wonder how she could have been so foolish, but in the context of being 7, good judgement isn't all it appears to be at 40. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Just clarifying so that nobody thinks I might really be an ogre...

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 4:39pm
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[b]Yes- I forgot to look for the bag when we got back into the car. I didn't realize that she had taken them off in the restroom because there was no reason for her to (really).[/b]
Couldn't you call it a 'wash' then? She did something that she wasn't supposed to -- but you also forgot part of your bargain. As grown up as she may be, she is still a 7 year old little girl. For some strange reason -- I would say it was her being 7 -- she took off her bag. Why? Who knows -- little kids do all sorts of things for odd reasons. You acknowledge that you forgot to check. If you forgot something -- because, you are her parent and bear some responsibility -- what is your punishment?
Isn't there a way for a lesson to be learned, without it being unfair? Both of her parents were with her -- yet you expect her to hold the entire burden for the loss.
Couldn't all of you talk about what happened, and go over the mistakes that all of you made? You could talk about what the rules are for her wearing her bag, what you expect of her, and also what she should be able to expect from you, as parents. She has a responsibility to herself -- yes -- but at 7, something like this, in my opinion, doesn't rest the bulk of the responsibility on her.
BTW, if you were able to look through the screen at me, I'm not saying this with a wagging finger at you -- my tone is truly coming from me thinking about how upset my own son would be (he will be 7 in 1 month). As mature as he is about some things - this boy who brought me a drawing the other day of a strand of DNA - I couldn't not check,and double check, if he were to carry his Epi-pens. I wouldn't want him to feel as though that weight rested all on him, because I would feel equally responsible.

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 9:25pm
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One thing I've learned being a mom...every child is different and every family's situation is unique. I can't fathom a mature 7 year old because I don't have one...I have a somewhat immature just turned 6 year old.
I have yet to let him go anywhere out of my sight (or his father's or grandmother's). Nonetheless I find he is more responsible about making sure his epi is on his body after 3 weeks of practice than his dad is!
It's amazing how our kids rise to the occasion and take on more than anyone else would have thought possible, isn't it?
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 10:14pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Well, I must say I am relieved that a "mature" 7 year-old lost her epi-pen. My "immature" 7 year-old lost his twice in the last few weeks. The first time I am still a little angry at. We were out running errands, and when we got home, I asked where his epi-pen was. He said in the closet (where it stays when we're home). He even looked to double-check, and said he put it away. About 10 minutes later, I got a call from one of the stores we'd gone to (our phone number is on it, but not my first name, but the owner knows me, and knew who lost it, and did call me by name). So anyway, he was in very big trouble for lying about it.
Then last week, we were in Massachusetts. He took it off in a men's room, simply because how it fits with the waist of that pair of pants makes it very difficult to do what needs to be done. He forgot it there. The problem is, none of us realized it until we were back in CT. His father was still in MA, though, only two miles from where he left it, so he went to pick it up. And in the meantime, I had the one I carry in my purse.

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 10:24pm
3xy1PAinNH's picture
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SO glad you have the epi's back! I ran here this morning to check the post, b/c I was direct last night. I didn't realize your daughter is gifted academically! That does make it tougher on you, b/c she often probably seems older than she is. We have a neighbor's son who is gifted and skipped a couple of grades (although it turned around and bit him in the butt in HS, and he they just paid $35K for a year of prep school before he was ready for University!) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] and he is also physically BIG...she said they often times had to remind themselves consciously of his age b/c his behaviors wouldn't match what they expected...but then again...he was a boy! I have three boys, and I see that they just aren't wired the same way as girls.
I guess I am saying do what you need to do for your family...I think a couple of us just can't fathom ANY 3, 4 or 7 year old being that responsible, no matter what their IQ...but you know your situation better than ANY of us do! I tell you, it is my nearly 4 yo that has the PA....he is academically slightly above average...and I could NEVER imagine him carrying his epis!

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 10:47pm
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Corvallis Mom -
Glad to hear everything turned out OK. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 11:39pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]What I couldn't quite fathom is why the notion of harm to [i]her[/i] didn't seem to faze her much during this.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]
Anyway-- would I treat the average 7yo this way? No way. My daughter? Absolutely. She's a fourth grader who intends to finish fifth grade by June. She is super-responsible about her allergy (and everything else, for that matter) and has a self-awareness that frequently makes [i]everyone[/i] around her forget that she is 7. (Soooo, not typical.) We don't expect her to be older than 7, but we do expect her to be [i]herself[/i] if that makes sense. (sigh) It probably doesn't without knowing her...
[/b]
Would she be finishing fourth grade by June if she weren't homeschooled? This is not an academic question. Merely a [i]life/self care[/i] type of question. Because your expectations of her are based on a small part of a sheltered home environment. It's part of the reason I no longer exclusively "homeschool" my child. He needed some [i]real life[/i] experience.
*I* needed to know what he was *really* capable of.
He needed to adapt to a [i]changing environment[/i]. An [i]artificial one[/i] if you may point out. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
What my child is capable at [i]home[/i] might be very different from what he is capable in that [i]artificial environment[/i] called "The Public". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Lots of stressors, a new environment everytime you walk out the door.......
But, as "mature" as folk thought I was as a child...........getting out "on my own" was a [i]major overhaul[/i]. I still have my mother living with me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I was very academically advanced, but [i]socially[/i] (including adapting to my environment)--------[i]a flop[/i].
Everything sent me into a tailspin......
I also didn't realize for a long time, what consequenses existed in the [i]public[/i], outside the shelter of my family environment. Probably well into my late twenties, I was still on the "naivete'" scale of a 15 or 16 year old. With an incredible IQ.
[i]Very dangerous combination[/i], if you ask me.
I'm kind of a sassy *** now, since I'm *just* comming into my own. (I think)
I'm just beginning to see the [i]Forest[/i].
I think that "backlog" is *still* causing me clashes. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Might just be my lot in life. You know, the price of tunnel vision---- of that imbalance. I mean, socially, I'm still playing "catchup". It's just not knowledge that enrolling me in park district programs could teach me. It's something I probably should have learned, or been exposed to earlier on. Just last week, one of my coworkers, a woman in her early fifties, told me in a joking fashion (I think): "You're not one of us, but we love you anyway."
I'm still odd man out. Guess I'll *never* catchup.
But it struck me. I thought "the older crowd" were my cohorts. It used to be that way. I mean, I always gravitated to persons older than myself....they always identified with me. I'm suddenly finding myself more [i]alone[/i].
It's not like I'm not used to it.
But IQ and life skills. I wouldn't be so quick to expect they matchup. Ya know?
~no advice, just speaking personally.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited September 11, 2006).]
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited September 11, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2006 - 11:43pm
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I have handled this situation very badly in the past. I admit it, I do forget he is only a small boy. And as a parent I forget to look at things from his point of view.
I see missing epi pens as an accident waiting to happen.
For some time I didnt tell my son that I had spare antihistamine and epi pens in my own bag. I let him think that his bag was all we have to help him.
and on occasions he still has forgot.
However , we do stick to the non eating outside the home or going straight home rules until we get the epi pens.
William sees his bags as a bloody pain in the backside, a bag that interfers with his life and fun.
Football cant be played with your mates down the park if there is a bag on your back.
I do regret being so harsh with him. I bent down looked him in the eye and asked him what were we supposed to do if he has a reaction? who ? was going to need the meds more? , him or mummy?
Mummy's cant make things better if you dont look after yourself a little bit.
The last time he lost his bag was when he was 8, so far , at 10 1/2 he still remembers his meds.
There is no doubt in my mind that children bearing this kind of responsibility have a part of their childhood taken away.
Worse still, it seems that its our duty as parents to do this to them.
sarah ( mrs grumpy today)

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 12:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]What I couldn't quite fathom is why the notion of harm to [i]her[/i] didn't seem to faze her much during this.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]
[/b]
That doesn't really surprise me much. Most young people don't seem to think anything can actually happen to them. Apparently even kids with pa can feel this way.
It's part of why young people with cars or motorcycles whip in and out of traffic, drag race, etc. They really think nothing can actually happen to them -- it's always the other guy.
Big difference here is that your daughter cares about about the *other guy* and doesn't want to cause harm to them. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Sounds to me like you're doing a great job. I also don't think your punishment sounds extreme. Sounds serious, yes -- but not extreme.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 12:21am
Peg541's picture
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I agree with MB. Your daughter is smart but endowed with life skills is another story.
Yes also mature in some ways but her little body and brain are only seven years old and there is a physical/mental maturation process we all go through that does not involve our intellect.
My children are in their 20's now. This is one thing I would change if I had the opportunity to.....
No matter how old they were I always thought they, or at least my daughter, was as old and as mature as they were going to get. I just felt they were so ready for what I threw at them. It wasn't much but sometimes it failed miserably.
I guess I should take my son out of this equation because he was off the charts with not ready. But my daughter was brilliant from day one. I did not know that because she was my first. But I treated her that way. I equated brilliant with ready to face the world.
Now I look back and I see the few videos we have and I say to myself "I sent that BABY to school? How could I?"
When back then she seemed so ready to take on the world. K at just the beginning of five, cried every day on the way to school and for the first hour of school. I just thought it was her way and the school was happy to get my tuition check so they clammed up too. Thank goodness the next school kept her in K!
She was not ready and I may have pushed her into situations where she was so not ready.
That's why I agree seven is young, really young and to ask a seven year old to have to save her own life (like we all have to do) carries some special considerations with it.
One of those considerations is we all learned a lesson today about carrying the epi pens. Lets forgive each other and move on.
Sorry to belabor this point I feel pretty passionate about this.
Peg

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 12:35am
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Corvalis Mom,
Glad things worked out and you did find the bag. Wow, what a day.
Interesting because I have been speaking with my DH about having DS carry his epi pen. He is against it. He says that he's a kid and shouldn't be burdened with that right now. That right now as his parents, we are responsible for his safety. That he has enough burden in dealing with the day to day rules he follows on eating etc. We are with him for the most part, DH coaches his sports activities, is the den leader for boy scouts. If he's on a playdate, the parent has the epi pen. While he's at school, the nurse has it etc.
I understand what he's saying, but I want him having his epi pens to become a habit for him, a part of his normal routine. He is 8 and is very responsible with his food allergies and follows the rules we've laid out for keeping safe. I am ready to add the epi pen to the mix.
DH says no, so I am going to compromise for one more year and then have him start to carry it.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 12:59am
MommaBear's picture
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Interesting thought just occurred to me. The most responsible and "mature" people I have met probably have had "average" or below average IQ's.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 1:17am
anonymous's picture
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Well, I'm ready to be flamed for being too lax in expectations for my son!
My guy is almost 10, and every school morning I ask him if he has his Epibelt on before he puts his shoes on, and whenever his dad or I go out anywhere "in public" with him, WE carry the "pack" with his meds in it. I remind him from time to time to "help me remember" to get the pack, but I haven't turned over that full responsibility to him yet.
He has just started to take on some responsibility for his allergy at school - wiping down desks before he sits at them. (He has carried his epi in his belt since K.) And this new responsibility has already caused an emotional adjustment. I've posted about it elsewhere. I think, for my kid, a slow turn over is the best route to take.
Everyone handles this differently. (It's beginning to be a mantra...)
[This message has been edited by Lam (edited September 11, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 1:32am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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LOL! My goodness! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Thanks, everyone!
-- What about our punishment? Is there anything more punishing than contemplating what could happen if a toddler found that bag and their parents sued us? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Well certainly. The thought of what could have happened to DD without them. Not to mention the two additional trips over a winding two lane hwy loaded with deer and drunks in trucks and SUVs.... We have definitely admitted our part in this to DD-- family discussion was certainly happening on that drive. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Both her father and I discussed some of the terrible mistakes each of us made as children-- and their consequences.
-- I would have to say that my own experience is not unlike yours, MB. But I don't think being sheltered (or not, in my case) matters all that much-- being gifted means your perspective is different from most of your peers well into early adulthood. I didn't begin meeting a lot of other people like me until grad school.(shrug) And based upon DD's experiences with us [i]not[/i] immediately nearby, I think she'd be fine in a fourth grade classroom. (Well-- aside from the allergy issues which have proven to just be too daunting in our opinion.) We do allow "real world" experience. HSing is more about dual exceptionality now, and less about FA. We do consciously allow her many opportunities to make those social mistakes and bear the consequences. It hurts, but we know why it is necessary for a friend to snub you when you say something thoughtless. Thus far? She has little trouble navigating unstructured time with her peers (ages 3 to 14). She is forced to adapt to different environments with that age range-- and I think that adaptability is the important thing. Thanks for the thoughts, MB-- it is good to know that my mind isn't just working OT when I consider those things. I don't think we "push" her into things so much as she seizes them.
-- We are certainly guilty of forgetting how little she is. (As I can see Williamsmummy and McCobbre both understand...) And as a parent, of course kids do things that just seem, well-- for lack of a better term; [i]bizarre[/i]. Maddening. But understandable-- if you are (fill in age under 20). I might have [i]wanted[/i] to behave terribly yesterday afternoon and evening, but I don't think that I did. (I came to you instead. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) It is just so surprising when she uses (age-appropriate) poor judgement-- because she is definitely NOT your stereotypical bright kid with no common sense. She is one of the most sensible [i]people[/i] I have ever known. Very pragmatic and no-nonsense.
Her punishment reflects our desire for her to remake a habit that she has recently been breaking. She has often taken the bag off while at neighborhood friends' houses in the last few months. We are probably guilty of not recognizing how terrible the consequences could be if we were too distracted to notice right away.
In other words-- we neglected to nip this in the bud two months ago... (sigh) But I think "adult" punishments and kids' don't need to seem fairly divided to kids, any more than responsibilities do. (Somehow my 7yo doesn't see "paying the mortgage" as being quite as onerous as "putting away the dishes," if you KWIM!)
It makes me very sad to have my daughter robbed of a "normal" childhood by her FA. So sad that it is very difficult for me to talk about. Suffice it to say that if anything in my life has been a disappointment-- that is it. I had great plans to give my daughter the childhood I didn't have. But "normal" is relative, isn't it? And I have to say that that childhood has made me a very tough and resiliant person.
Thanks again, everyone!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited September 11, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 1:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Lam, I don't see why anyone would flame you. Different strokes for different folks, right?
I have three children, and my expectations of each was completely different -- because they were and are very different people.
Even with homework.
The first, if I left him alone (not even a reminder) he would do it all and do it properly.
The second, I had to hound, ground, and anything else I could think of.
The third, I remind. He's eight and I do have to put him *back on track* every now and then -- he tends to to breaks.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 1:38am
starlight's picture
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Heh, I'm 23 and I *still* occasionally leave my purse (with epi's) in the fitting room after trying on clothes.
And I'm pretty smart. Straight A's in HS, mostly A's in college (I would have had straight A's if I had actually cared about learning at that point).
Absent-minded professor. I usually have too much on my mind to remember absolutely everything. Like today I came thisclose to showering without a towel in the room. I'm surprised she hasn't forgotten it before!

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 4:37am
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[b]-- What about our punishment? Is there anything more punishing than contemplating what could happen if a toddler found that bag and their parents sued us? Well certainly. The thought of what could have happened to DD without them. Not to mention the two additional trips over a winding two lane hwy loaded with deer and drunks in trucks and SUVs.... We have definitely admitted our part in this to DD-- family discussion was certainly happening on that drive. Both her father and I discussed some of the terrible mistakes each of us made as children-- and their consequences.[/b]
I guess you missed my point. Her punishement will last 1 month. She will have to give up something that she finds to be fun -- going out to play.
If you consider the car rides punishment for you and DH, wasn't she on them too? If your discussions about liability associated with losing the bag, and also talking about past mistakes, was your punishment -- she was there for those as well.
I guess my point is, that with a 7 year old, her punishment is going to last well past that day. If you and DH admit to being partially responsible, why doesn't the punishment for the two of you equal that for her? If car rides and discussions were your punishment, she was there for those, so you all should be even.
I'm thinking the possibility exists for a child to come away with the wrong message. "Let the punishment fit the crime" - children do have a sense of fairness. If you don't hold yourself to the same level of accountability, with equal consequences, what will be the lasting lesson? Could she come away with a sense that she got the short end of the stick in all of this? That really, the more important thing, is working on not taking off her Epi-pens. Reminding her how important they are, and also asking for her help to remind you too. She has no power to turn back to you and ground you for not doing what you were supposed to as parents -- no matter how grown up your 7 year old daughter is.
To me, it just seems that the ending to the experience that all of you had, is unfair to your daughter. Children remember when unequities happen to them.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 6:46am
MommaBear's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]-- What about our punishment? Is there anything more punishing than contemplating what could happen if a toddler found that bag and their parents sued us? [/b]
I'm still having a problem with this. I fail to see the liability. Is it just me?

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 7:07am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Wow. It really sounds like you are questioning my parenting. With all due respect, you don't know everything about this situation.
Please re-read my posts more carefully. This IS about retraining her and regaining our trust about [i]not taking them off.[/i]
This was a long-standing rule in our house that she has been lax about recently-- our real mistake was in [i]not laying down the law with her sooner.[/i] Gentle reminders were not working (or yesterday would not have happened at all). More is needed right now or it will be a recurrent problem. That is unacceptable.
This isn't about "punishment" so much as it is about correcting a problem. We are turning back the clock about 18 mo--to a place where she had less personal responsibility, but less autonomy, as well.
It [i]does[/i] seem "fair" to her. She understands why we feel we can't trust her not to take them off. She knows what she needs to do to regain that trust.
We want her to think about her mistake-- the restriction will help her to do that over the next few weeks, and will reinforce the need to follow the rule. Her father and I don't need any help remembering and understanding what we did incorrectly.
[i]I[/i] am not the one who will need to think about those epipens every day for the rest of my life. She will. As harsh as that is, the only thing I can do is to help her be in a place where she has no trouble doing it. I want to teach her [i]not[/i] to rely on anyone else to do it for her. I feel it does her no favors to "share" the blame for her leaving them. Reality may decide to punish her far more harshly-- and permanently-- for the same mistake.
I fear her making such an error with fatal consequences when she's 14 and I'm not with her. In this house we're pretty big on personal responsibility, but we firmly, passionately believe as parents that this is something that you [i]grow[/i] into. Right now she's responsible for [i]not taking off her medications, and for reporting all symptoms immediately.[/i] She isn't responsible for treating a reaction, though she has been taught how, and she isn't responsible for judging whether or not foods are safe. She is being coached to own her allergy, but it is a slow process.
Not that we really owe anyone an explanation for a well-considered decision made in our capacity as "Mom and Dad." We love her and are doing what we know in our hearts is the right thing. For [i]our[/i] daughter.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 7:27am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] I'm still having a problem with this. I fail to see the liability. Is it just me?
[/b]
Well-- that was probably my own paranoia about being the victim of spurious litigation.... (you'll recall my mind works OT a lot [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) on the other hand, I vaguely recall a case in which a diabetic was sued because a child got stuck with an insulin syringe... don't recall the exact details, though.

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 8:41am
Momcat's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]I want to teach her [i]not[/i] to rely on anyone else to do it for her. I feel it does her no favors to "share" the blame for her leaving them. [/b]
I agree with these goals--DD recently forgot to put on her epibelt one morning and I noticed it was missing just before the bell rang for school. I pointed out that she forgot it and she became very upset. Fortunately, she has two spare epipens in the office in case hers was ever lost, etc. DD told me she was afraid to go into her classroom without the epibelt on. I was torn between agreeing with her that she always had to have it and reassuring her. I told her that it would be ok because there were spares in the office and I would go straight home to get the epibelt and bring it to her.
I told her teacher that " *** forgot her epibelt today" and was upset and that I would bring it in as soon as possible. I chose words that said it was DD's responsibility.
Everything is a balancing act! I didn't want her to miss class. Realistically, the risk was small to rely on the office epipens for 20 mins. However, I do want her to feel that she needs to wear the belt at all times at school. I did the best I could to balance these concerns in the seconds I had to decide how to handle the situation.
I did not feel that DD needed punishment because she was so upset. Instead, after school we talked about strategies to prevent ever forgetting the epibelt. Now, when she takes it off after school she clips it to her backpack so it won't be forgotten.
Of course, I am not questioning your handling of your DD's situation. You are the best judge of that. I just wanted to relate a similar experience and let you know I understand how difficult it is to find the right approach to every situation. I would add that now that you have told her what the consequences are, I would not second guess myself and change her punishment. That would certainly be counter-productive.
We are all doing the best we can as parents, we can't expect to be perfect all the time! But I do find that reading about the experiences of others does help me when I end up in a similar situation.
Cathy

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 8:57am
gvmom's picture
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[b]Wow. It really sounds like you are questioning my parenting. With all due respect, you don't know everything about this situation. [/b]
I am not questioning your parenting. I am commenting on the post you made. Two different things.
[b]Please re-read my posts more carefully. This IS about retraining her and regaining our trust about not taking them off.[/b]
I understand about 'training' a child. But with some things, it isn't always about what they need to do about our trust for them, but their trust for themselves.
[b]This was a long-standing rule in our house that she has been lax about recently-- our real mistake was in not laying down the law with her sooner. Gentle reminders were not working (or yesterday would not have happened at all). More is needed right now or it will be a recurrent problem. That is unacceptable.[/b]
Maybe the rule is one that is too much for her. This really is about her. Those Epi-pens are about her -- not your trust. It could be that what is going on with her has more to do with her being 7, and having a responsibility placed on her that is too much at the moment.
[b]This isn't about "punishment" so much as it is about correcting a problem. We are turning back the clock about 18 mo--to a place where she had less personal responsibility, but less autonomy, as well.[/b]
She is 7. However grown up a child may be, at that age there is a certain amount of automony they should never get and a certain amount of responsibility that is too much. If you are turning back the clock 18 months, look at that for your cue about what is going on with her -- not that she broke a rule.
[b]It does seem "fair" to her. She understands why we feel we can't trust her not to take them off. She knows what she needs to do to regain that trust.[/b]
Again, she is 7. Why is it about your trust? She, as she gets older and more mature, will have to become responsible for her medications, allergy, etc. You may never trust her, though she, one day, will be capable on her own. Why couldn't it just be, that maybe what is going on with her is that she might not be ready for the responsibility of those pens -- instead of her breaking your rules & your trust?

Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 9:06am
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One of the reasons we bought an E-Belt is because it's so easy to just put on a keep on. Stephen doesn't need an entire medicine cabinet with him - just the Epipen in my opinion (and inhaler depending on the season!).
I think that sometimes it's hard to "remember" or keep on a bag that isn't just attached to you. If it's something you have to hold onto or pickup or would have to wear like a back pack I can see it being easy to put down and forget. Maybe it's different with a girl, but for our guy he puts it on when he leaves the house, just like he does his shoes. He wouldn't forget those . . .and he doesn't forget his Epi.
For a long time we would ask him "do you have your epi" and there would confirm. Now (he's 14) I still find myself asking him occasionally "do you have your epi" and I get a very annoyed, "YES - eye's rolling".
He has only forgotten once in grade 2 for school and once when we went shopping and we were at a restaurant parking lot and had to go without supper cause he forgot it . . .that's it. I guess we're pretty lucky. My biggest worry now is the independence thing where he thinks he's invincible and doesn't need it . . .we're not there now and hope we never get there.
As for repercussions for their actions - to each their own [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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