I definitely think any child who is diagnosed with type 1 is forced to grow up too fast. We have way more responsibility (even if parents are concious of it and try not to let it) and the constant threat of going "low" or "high". I often wonder how much type 1 molded my personality. I'm often told I'm very serious, very direct and have been since a very young age (I was diagnosed at two).
As for why I feel this... gosh, friends growing up without type 1 have no idea what it's like to sit on the side watching life pass by. Whether it's because of a high or a low, a site change, an injection or a BG check: there are times when type 1 causes a child to stop what they want to be doing to be a PWD (patient with diabetes). And there is the whole laying in bed awake at night wondering when those complications are going to start showing up instead of thinking about whether "Bobby" will ask you to the dance on Friday.
I'll also tell you my husband and I struggle daily with giving our daughter, Ellie, freedom to be a kid, but also trying to teach her the things she needs to know to survive (what insulin does, what carbs do, how to count carbs, how to bolus). She'll be nine in three weeks, and was diagnosed in August 2004. I see diabetes chipping away at her childhood. It's heartbreaking. I hate having the conversation about how she can't just help herself to a popsicle like all her friends - she can have one, but she has to bolus too. It just stinks.