Back when, we were called The Diabetes Police; then we were Helicopter Parents; and today we are fully automated as Drone Parents. In reality, we’re just parents. The ones who hover over their child as they deal with their day-to-day diabetes management.
As a parent of two children with type 1 diabetes, here’s my advice on why it’s important to involve your child in their own diabetes care…
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An Important Lesson
When Kaitlyn was in her first years of diagnosis, probably at age 5 or so, a young woman who lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) would change my life. Mindy shared with me that from the day she was diagnosed, her parents took care of everything regarding her diabetes. EVERYTHING! This was in the days before pumps and CGMs (continuous glucose monitors), her parents would check her blood sugar, dose out her medication, and inject her. Her mom believed that she would be dealing with diabetes long enough in her life, so even though Mindy was at an age where she thought she could most certainly handle some of her daily management; her mom wouldn’t hear of it and did it all.
Mindy came home from school one day and her aunt met her at the front door. Instantly she knew something was gravely wrong. In a tragic car accident, both of Mindy’s parents were lost. She shared with me that to this day in her forties, she still is not convinced that she is not angrier that her parents were taken or angrier that she was then left all alone to handle her diabetes.
Now it’s pretty clear just how incredibly low the odds would be of that ever happening but as a reality check, it did.