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Parenting a Child With Type 1 Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Parenting a Child With Type 1 Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Finding out that your child has type 1 diabetes can be difficult to deal with. After all, type 1 diabetes is a life long condition, and parenting a child with type 1 diabetes can be quite challenging.

This is why we created a handy guide that lets parents know how to best take care of their children.

Parenting a Child With Type 1 Diabetes

parenting a child with type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes used to be a deadly disease. But with the advances made in modern medicine, especially the discovery of insulin, type 1 diabetes is no longer as deadly as it used to be.

With the right diet, medication, and management of the condition, children with type 1 diabetes can live happy, active, and productive lives. Here are some of the things that parents should remember.

Be sure to follow the right treatment plan

When it comes to type 1 diabetes, following the right treatment plan is very important. This means that you need to listen to the advice that your child’s doctor provides, and follow it exactly.

In the case of type 1 diabetes, this means taking the right type of insulin at the right time. It is important for your child to not miss their dosage of insulin as this can have detrimental effects on their health.

Aside from the insulin injections, your child should also get used to having their blood sugar levels checked. This is very important, and your child should know why their blood sugar needs to be checked often.

Having the right diet is also important. This means eating less sugary foods, and eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Staying active is also important as exercise helps keep their body strong, control blood sugar levels, and improve their heart health.

Be sure to teach your child these habits at a young age so that as they grow older, these things become a part of their daily life.

insulin injection guidelines

Give your child some control

Children with type 1 diabetes might feel restricted, especially when it comes to their diet. One way of dealing with this would be to give your child some control.

For example, you can ask them to pick what foods they want to eat, or let your child join with grocery shopping. Letting them choose what healthy foods they want to eat can help make them feel more in control of their lives.

Try to avoid punishing them if they’re not careful about their health

Parenting a child with type 1 diabetes is not easy. This is especially true when your child makes mistakes, or neglects their health.

Whenever children make mistakes, parents usually resort to some form of punishment. This helps let their child know what they did wrong, and to avoid making that mistake in the future.

But what should you do if your child forgets their insulin or eats something they should not? Does disciplining by punishment work?

According to one study done on this topic, punishment usually did not work. It might cause short-term change in behavior, but it doesn’t usually last.

The best thing to do would be to talk to your child and let them know how important it is for them to take care of their health. You can also discuss solutions so that your child avoids making the same mistake in the future.

Make time for your other children

Parenting a child with type 1 diabetes is a full-time job. But what should you do if you have other children?

It is important to let your other kids know why you are focusing on your child with type 1 diabetes. Make them aware of the situation, and explain why you need to make an extra effort in caring for them.

It would also be a good idea to set aside some time for your other children. Reassure them that they are loved as well, and spend some quality time with them.

Finding the right balance can be difficult at first, but over time, you will definitely figure it out.

Teach them how to take care of themselves

You can’t always take care of your child 24/7, as much as you want to. At some point, they’ll grow up, and have a life of their own.

So it is important to teach them everything they need to know about their condition while they are still young. Make it a part of their daily routine, so that they won’t forget or neglect taking care of themselves even without your guidance.

This helps them become more independent, and puts them in control of their health.

Learn as much as you can about their condition

Lastly, read up on as much information as you can about type 1 diabetes. Being informed about your child’s condition, and knowing what they are going through is very important.

Having a child with type 1 diabetes can also give parents a lot of anxiety. So reading up on what you need to do, and doing your due diligence also helps make you feel in control, and reduces your anxiety about your child’s condition.

Learn more about Type 1 Diabetes here.


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6 Tips on Parenting a T1D Child – Taking Control Of Your Diabetes, https://tcoyd.org/2018/03/what-we-learned-after-our-child-was-diagnosed-with-type-1-diabetes/, Accessed October 28, 2020

Treating Type 1 Diabetes (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/treating-type1.html, Accessed October 28, 2020

Parenting a Child Who Has Type 1 Diabetes – JDRF, https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/living-with-t1d/relationships/parenting-a-child-with-t1d/, Accessed October 28, 2020

Being mothers and fathers of a child with type 1 diabetes aged 1 to 7 years: a phenomenological study of parents’ experiences, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6022225/, Accessed October 28, 2020

Parenting Children With Diabetes | Diabetes Spectrum, https://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/14/4/182, Accessed October 28, 2020

Sharing My Story: Our First Month as Parents of a Type 1 Diabetic | ADA, https://www.diabetes.org/blog/sharing-my-story-our-first-month-parents-type-1-diabetic, Accessed October 28, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Nov 03, 2020
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel