By Judy Ayala, LCSW, CDE
"There is only one acceptable response to give your child when he tells you his blood glucose is high, 'Thank you for checking.' Then you work together to get it back toward target."
Dr. Richard Rubin
Diabetes care is not easy for anyone. Your child needs your support in managing diabetes. One of the most common comments I hear from frustrated parents who have a child or teen with high A1cs is, “She just doesn’t care.” At that point, the child may roll her eyes, sit quietly, or respond, “I do care!” And the scene continues. “Then why don’t you just test, take your insulin and eat right!” Does this sound familiar?
As a parent you are worried and anxious, but that worry and anxiety often comes out as blame and anger. Instead, think about what it would feel like to manage a disease that is inherently frustrating, requires juggling insulin, food and activity with daily stress, hormones and moving targets every minute of every day.
Here are some things you can do to help your child, and yourself, cope with the demands of managing diabetes:
There will always be ups and downs when living with diabetes. You can help your child by remaining supportive during those times when numbers are off, and by keeping in mind that yesterday’s numbers do not indicate today’s results. Children need parents who are anchors and keep them emotionally grounded when managing diabetes and other life challenges become stressful.