If you read many of the posts online about what kids can and cannot do; do you find yourself saying; “why do so many kids look like they are doing so much in this world and my child is losing their youthful years because of diabetes?” Have you ever felt that way or stated that to yourself?
I’m not here today to judge you on how you bring up your child and how much ‘space’ you give them; but I would like to share a few things with you should you have ‘that feeling’ of your child’s life being nowhere near fulfilled because of what restrictions and requirements are needed. How can you inject more independence into your child’s life?
Understand that it’s a progression. Just think how far you have come in your life thus far. The best way to look forward is to understand just how far you have come. You’ve got this; you’ve done it thus far and this is the next stage. Understand it. Decide it is time to allow your child the independence they need. That’s the first step.
Understand that it is not your disease, it’s theirs. You cannot have it both ways. if you think that you want to care for your child as long as you can because they will have it for the rest of their life does not help them ‘own it’. Realize how much you do and how much they are actually capable of doing. You can make the call to travel whatever roadway you want but you must be honest with yourself. If your child is 12 and you want desperately for them to be independent yet you are still giving them their shots and/or changing their site for them every time…….it’s not going to happen. Is it right or wrong? That’s not my point, it’s your call but you cannot be doing everything for your child and expect them to attain independence.
Also, that is not to say that kids do not need a ‘break’ whenever or whatever that means to you. This’s different. This is an overall attitude on achieving some sort of self-management. Here is a thought process for you to consider. You drive your kids everywhere they need to go. It is a rite of passage that they get a driver’s license at some point. You are going to entrust them with the ability to be behind one of the most powerful pieces of machinery they may ever control that could take any life in an instant. Yet figuring how to manage diabetes is a hurdle. Why?
The short answer is knowledge. With the amount of devices available for diabetes management, you have almost every opportunity available to get to where your child should be. But you must start. A whole lot of people have come before you and grown up and lived to ripe old ages with T1 and there are even some studies out there stating that those who live with T1 in today’s day actually have the same or longer life spans than others without T1. So if others have ‘let go’ so can you.
Start small. Start your changes gradually and work up the point that you seek for your child to manage this disease themselves. Many have done it before you and many will do it after you. But you need to start. Write it down. How will you get from point A to point B. Figure out what you need. Ask others. Create a plan and start.
There is very little that your child should not be able to accomplish…..very little. Look around you and see that many are doing it and ask yourself why you are not? Why are you miserable in all that is holding your child back and others are not? Again, if you are living the world that you want for your child and you are okay with it……go for it. I am saying IF YOU DO NOT LIKE where you and where your child is in life…….you have the power to change it.
We have all been there. It’s not easy. But if you see the need, you must search for the roadway to get there….it will not ‘just come’ to you. Seek your answers and you will find them. If you are happy with how everything looks right now; God Bless you as it is all we could ever want. But I have seen too many children who have grabbed life FOR EVERYTHING it has to offer rather than to be held back by……..well……..us. Think about it and good luck. As my dear friend Jeff Hitchcock says; “Always remember, kids with diabetes are just kids”. Help them to be just that. Think about it.
I am a diabetes dad.
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