Living with Children’s Diabetes

Despina Children's Diabetes Foundation > Living with Children’s Diabetes

“Children are the future of the world, let’s start with the children.”

Living with Children’s Diabetes?

Naturally, in childhood diabetes parents have the leader role, since they must properly educate their child, with the additional task of guiding child’s metabolism responsibly. At the same time, however, they depend on the understanding and cooperation of their children. Therefore, they must first explain to the child his/her situation in a manner appropriate to his/her age and establish strict rules at home. As younger is a diabetic child, he or she can understand less if the exceptions are possible or very dangerous. Instructions that are naturally applied in everyday life by parents can help children to accept treatment, as well as various other tasks, as part of their normal lives. Kindergarten and elementary school children need clear instructions on what and when to eat.

In order to stay strong for the sake of your child, you must not suppress your emotions. You need the support of a friend, mentor, and partner to talk about your experience and move on. The best work is teamwork! If you treat your child’s diabetes together as a punch then you can be proud. Everyone in the family should know what to do if the child needs an insulin injection, what to eat and what to avoid, and to actively support each other. A child with diabetes is a daily challenge. It is different in that it is insulin-dependent. After all, he’s a normal kid!

Let your children speak freely about their problems. Agree with them if they tell you it is unfair or difficult but at the same time make sure you are there to support them to fight it. Do not beautify situations as this is not going to change reality.

Parents are not only obliged to learn the techniques of managing diabetes and applying it to their children, but also to provide psychological support for the changes that occur in their lives, and often seek ways to support themselves in this difficult task.

The transition to a new way of life dictated by the existence of diabetes in children is often a factor in overthrowing the hobbies and attitudes that characterize family members.

A child with diabetes – especially as he or she grows into adolescence – is likely to have various problems. It is not uncommon for children suffering from diabetes – like children with other chronic illnesses – to experience overprotection on the part of the family (from which they need to be detached), to feel discouraged (because they have a chronic illness), to feel anxious about the future (whether they are going to have a family, a career, etc.), fearing any complications of the disease, etc. Addressing these issues can be very helpful with psychological support, either individually or within a group. Psychological support will help the child to feel socially excluded, to be able to accept and live with this condition. Familiarization and acceptance of the new way of life is a process that both children and parents have to deal with in their daily lives as well as psychologically when diabetes appears to be a key factor in balancing the environment and our own self.

Life goes on! The fact that your child has diabetes does not mean that life is over. It is all about learning to live with it and understanding that your child and you can be fully functional as long as you abide by the rules of a child’s medication and diet. In fact, diabetes is a good reason to understand the value of life and not to ignore unnecessary things!

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