This is a two-part series. To read the first part, click here: http://insulinnation.com/living/5-ways-stay-sane-as-d-parent/.
Here are 5 more lessons I’ve learned about spending 56,328 hours taking care of a child with Type 1 diabetes:
6. Try it their way. Children get frustrated being monitored all day. Whatever the struggle may be, there doesn’t always need to be a line drawn in the sand. If they don’t want to call you when they get home from school, have their sibling text you instead. If they want to be like everyone else and eat what’s being served at the mother-son bowling event, consider giving a little more insulin to offset this indiscretion.
They are going to rebel, so let them “win” once in a while. Then you win, too.
7. Train your pack. Hillary Clinton had no idea the title of her book would work so well in the diabetes community, but it does “take a village” to raise a kid with Type 1. Every moment of his day she has diabetes, so find an ally for each moment, train them well, and shower them with appreciation.
8. Trust your gut. When I speak to parents whose children have been newly diagnosed with Type 1, it always amazes me how much they already know. They already have a great gut feel about what needs to happen for their child. When in doubt, fall back on your instincts.
9. Reach out. There is a world of information online. There are also many “experts by experience” in your local ADA and JDRF chapters. My favorite people in the world are the moms of children with diabetes whom I meet for breakfast once a month. A wealth of real-world, real-time knowledge is shared over a meal. If you are the parent of a newly diagnosed child, don’t be shy in reaching out to make a connection with others in the diabetes community.
10. Most importantly, do what is right for your family. As the diabetes leader in
my family, I’m the one who researches great ideas and new products on the market. However, not every great idea works for my family, and not every idea will work for yours. If your child doesn’t want an insulin pump, it might not be right for your family at this time. If you aren’t comfortable about sleepovers, you don’t have to do them yet. The only thing you have to do is what’s best for your child and your family.
The bottom line is you are the boss in your child’s care. You know what your child needs. Lead the charge and be kind to yourself.
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