Raising a Child with Diabetes
Raising a child is a challenge. Raising a child with diabetes is a greater challenge. What is most satisfying is raising a physically and emotionally healthy child with diabetes. What a wonderful achievement! This objective is not only attainable, but expected.
It is important to remember that diabetes is one facet of your child’s and family’s life. Fitting diabetes into your lifestyle is far preferable to fitting your lifestyle to diabetes. Our mutual goal is to help a child to do everything he or she would have done without the diagnosis of diabetes.
The basics of parenting do not change due to a diagnosis of diabetes. However, the issues which diabetes poses may be challenging, and they evolve with the developmental growth of the child.
As your child matures, he or she will have more sophisticated questions about diabetes. Your goal should be to instill not only knowledge, but a positive self-image for your child. With the accumulation of new tools over the years, your child will finally assume self-care. Our mutual goal is to ensure that your child is healthy emotionally and physically. This does not refer solely to blood glucose levels: it means doing our best at each age and stage, with diabetes as well as life in general.
The challenges of caring for a child with diabetes can feel enormous and overwhelming. Try to take it one step at a time, and reach out for support from your health care team, your child’s school, or other parents with similar concerns. Try to make time for yourself.
Remember that diabetes care is focused on maintaining the health of your child and that every member in a family will play a role in that endeavor. With the proper support, you will be able to gracefully incorporate care into your family's life. This is not a solo journey and the best way to avoid fatigue and burnout is by asking for help when you need it.