We, as parents, pretty much have our minds made up on many things when it comes to our kids. When they can stay up later than 8:30 pm, when they can no longer sleep in our room, when they can see a certain movie depending on violence and other such content, when they can go out with their friends ‘unescorted’ and the list goes on and on and on.
When diabetes enters the picture, do you find yourself having to ‘trim a few corners’ as you move forward in parenting? Isn’t it wonderful explaining to sibling why your child with diabetes is allowed to have something sweet right before bedtime due to a low? Isn’t it just wonderful to have to return home and be late for your other child’s soccer game because you left the diabetes bag at home?
I think we have all been there.
There is a new phenomena sweeping our diabetes community and I want you to know two things: 1. You are not the only one facing this phenomena and 2. It has been going on longer than you think.
This phenomena……should my child now have a cell phone?
As you look toward answers here, I want to tell you how we came up with our answer. Now I admit that I may be older than most and I can tell you from a parent’s perspective of having a time when we had no choice in cell phones because they were not in every day use (yes, I am 🙁 THAT old) and when they were available to all; I would choose hands down, and unequivocally, to make sure my child had a phone as soon as they were able to use it and understand when and why it should be used.
Cell phones, in this day and age, are almost as important as every other tool your child has in their ‘diabetes toolbox’. It’s not just to call or text in an important matter, phones are now electronic screens for many devices, serve as an ‘upload’ link, and connect so many at unthinkable speeds—and their use is growing.
Certainly lay the ground work when the phone can be used and not used. Set the parameters, make sure the rules are adhered, there is no negotiation regarding the use and the privilege of using it…….but in this day and age, it is almost a necessity. Those rules should also include no teasing the siblings who do not have a phone, in our house if they did not have diabetes, they had to wait until they were sixteen (now that was in 2004 so those parameters might have changed—to be clear). Now I can surely understand why many parents can say ‘no’ to this feeling and that is surely a call each family needs to make. But that access to our child, and the ability of them to use the phone for so many things-diabetes, well it was a godsend for sure.
I still remember the odd looks, back-when, when I placed the phone in the 504 plan at school; but in the end everyone agreed that it “just made sense”. So it was included and a pass was given stating so.
Never did I think such a thing would be ‘on the table’ in 1992 when we started our journey; but then again we had no pumps, CGMs, Cloud (well we did but they were fluffy things in the sky), Blue Loop, and a whole lot more either. Tell me again how nothing has change over the years.
Today’s technology……embrace it. Trust your child’s judgment. Guide them. You will all win.
(buzzzz buzzzz) Gotta go, I have a text message waiting………………………….
I am a diabetes dad.
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