Holidays, Diabetes, Your Child, Relatives — Feeling the Stress?

So you are home enjoying the holiday preparations when your doorbell rings. You answer the door and the deliveryperson is there with a box from a relative. The size of the box surely peaks your interest and you carry your new found delivery to the kitchen table and carefully open the box. As you open it you see the contents inside: a load of goodies that sort of resembles the picture; what goes through your mind?

Options:
1. What a lovely gift, so nice of them to think of us?
2. They know we have a child with diabetes, why would they do something so hurtful?

Which one did you choose?
If you chose the first one, go about your day.
If you chose the second, pull up a chair.

If you chose the second, your feelings are real, don’t just push the aside. We, as parents, are constantly asking ourselves, “Why do others not understand what we go through?” With the upcoming holidays, people will say and do things that, very well, might enrage you with their actions or words.

Since you cannot do anything to prevent people’s words or actions, you need to create a buffer for yourself or you will be pulling your hair out before the turkey cools. First point; I have learned after 27-some-odd-years at this that no matter what the words said or the actions done, believe it or not, people’s comments are because THEY THINK they are helping.

When any of these occur, which of course, are usually said in the presence of the entire family:
>We are having gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and stuffing and I know little Susie has to be careful of carbs so I cooked her her a stringbean for dinner.
>Kids help yourself to the cookies and candy but remember Little Johnny can’t have any…….Johnny I have a Ritz Cracker with cheese for you.
>Oh Honey (being said to you) are you sure she should eat that with her disease?
>I have candy canes for each child and Johnny I know you cannot eat candy canes, so here is a beef-jerky to chew on.

Okay—-over the top, I know, but if you read these and smiled a little, you are on your way to realizing how you handle the clods when they say the wrong thing. Do not feel the need to correct them with a lecture at this time (and you’ve already nixed hitting them with Christmas Tree branch with the angel on it) but with a few words and a genuine smile you will accomplish your goal. “Really it’s okay, Johnny knows how much of the candy cane he can eat….please give him one too.”
“Dinner will be fine, we’ll help little Susie, thanks.”

Short and sweet. If they do not know the right thing to say or do before you arrive for the holiday festivities, I promise you they are not going to learn it on the day the family is gathering. SO YOUR JOB is just to diffuse the situation and move on. Don’t see ‘Christmas Red’ because of a stupid statement because here’s the thing; it’s not as important for them to know as it will be important that you and your child know. And even more important to know that your child is, once again, reminded that you have their back.

If they see you getting upset, they will too. If they see you getting angry (and hear me on this) they will think they are causing the strife and not your family member. It will impact them as well, THIS you do not want, ever!. Take the high road. Smile. Be straightforward, direct, But make it quick and move on. If you do this, YOU CONTROL THE SITUATION AND THE OUTCOME. And THAT is why you will feel better about the situation, and yourself.

In our house, we love the Christmas Holidays. They are a BIG deal, My daughter, since the day she could unwrap a Christmas gift, truly and honestly gets excited about opening gifts——even her stocking stuffers. Her face is priceless and genuine when she opens her gifts——she has ALWAYS been this way for all 29 years of her life. When Jill or I were feeling that ‘Christmas Red’ coming to our face, we would think of her eyes, her face, her smile—–THAT WAS IMPORTANT to us to maintain, no matter what. And no idiotic or misguided statement/action from anyone was going to ruin that.

You may not succeed right away but in time, your persona will take on a confidence that will demand that everyone check with you privately and in the correct one-on-one setting it needs to be. Jill’s very presence in the vicinity of my daughter (and then later adding my son also) demanded that anyone wanting to know anything diabetes related ………..came to her first. And they did!!!!!!

This came about because Jill has an electric smile, but when she said something about our children’s diabetes lives, one knew, quite frankly, it was law. I promise you, you will get there but don’t give into just getting angry, because you will get frustrated, and feel like you are not in control of the situation. You cannot do anything about what people say or do, but you can do something how you hear it. So when the Grinch shows up, you control the outcome—hold up a piece of mistletoe and kiss them on the cheek, and let them know who is in charge.

Happy Holidays
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

3 thoughts on “Holidays, Diabetes, Your Child, Relatives — Feeling the Stress?

  1. Hear Here! Your blogs are so much a reflection of my own journey as a parent of a child (now adult) with T1d and you invariably hit the nail right on the head. Enjoy the holidays, enjoy life …. one day at a time. Oh, and keep fighting for PWD’s your effort will not go unrewarded, eventually governments will sit up and listen to your requests for assistance. One person can make a very big difference to the lives of many.

  2. Ive always thanked my parents for not being uptight about sugary food. One time my dad was eating (I am going to kid you not) a sugar and butter sandwich. He asked if I wanted one. Sure I said. known full well he woudl never give one to me. but he did. But with a question, are you sure you want that? Sure do I said. He gave it to me and I took two bites and I said dad, you know I have diabetes dont you? Sure he said, but more important i knwo you know you do.

    Some lessons last a lifetime.

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