The teenage years are never easy—for kids or their parents. But when type 1 diabetes is involved, it can cause even more confusion, frustration, and fear for both of you. This is because it is the time when, slowly but surely, diabetes care shifts from you to your child.
It is only natural for there to be some bumps along the way. But remember, millions of people have managed to get through their teen years with diabetes—and they still turned out okay.
So, here are some tips to help you both get through the transition.
Sometimes you have to accept that your teen’s blood sugarBlood sugarOr blood glucose. The main sugar (glucose) found in the blood, and the body’s main source of energy. may not be within your control. But knowing the conflicts and challenges your teen is facing may help you give him or her better guidance.
Here are a few issues that you and your teenager may need to work through:
But, as you know, life with diabetes requires planning. So, even though they feel invincible, you know that how they take care of their diabetes today matters for their future.
Teens though, see the future as far away. So, reminding them that poor care now can lead to health problems later may not do a lot to motivate them.
But testing the limits of their diabetes care plan can be risky. As a parent, it may be scary if your teen and the diabetes care teamDiabetes care teamYour diabetes care team may include: a primary care doctor, a diabetes and hormone doctor (endocrinologist), a registered nurse, a diabetes educator, a dietician, a heart doctor (cardiologist), a foot doctor (podiatrist), an eye doctor (ophthalmologist/optometrist), a kidney doctor (nephrologist), a dentist, a pharmacist, and a mental health professional. come up with a care plan that involves fewer blood sugar checks than you are used to.
Remind yourself that it’s your child’s diabetes, not yours. Though also be aware that you can’t ignore things if they stray too far from their diabetes care plan.
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