I don't think I've been giving my son enough sympathy or credit

My 10 year old son was diagnosed about 7 months ago and he’s been taking it all in stride. He has a moment every now and again and rightfully so. But I just realized i think I’ve been taking him for granted (shame on me), just expecting him to do as he needs because it’s his new t1d life, but after reading some blogs, I’ve realized he is probably a mess inside his own mind. I mean i have my moments and I’m not the one getting shots and pricked and having a cgm fall off at lunch or during a basketball game. His friends and school and coaches have been outstanding with all this, very understanding. I guess my question to anybody and everybody is, how do i know how he’s feeling and how do i help him understand how important insulin and testing is when does have a bad day.
Thanks

Hi shane @wheats74,
In my opinion you are doing just what you should be doing - letting your son lead a real life. There isn’t any reason that he he should not just take his diabetes into stride and deal with it and observe a few necessary items like taking insulin as needed, keeping an eye on what he eats and allow him to do what any other ten year old might do. Well, that is how I grew up along with my six siblings - we were all the same except i’m the only one with diabetes.

Well, in the 1950’s blood sugar tests took a couple of days to do and one was done only a couple of times each year and there wasn’t anything like a CGM. What you MUST do Shane is learn what you can about diabetes, refrain from being negative and know in your heart that there really isn’t anything in life that your son can not do “just because” he has diabetes. Help your son to learn best practices and do keep a watchful eye on him without being over protective of him - he should not be considered as “special” amongst your children.

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It sounds to me like you’re doing a fine job. One of the worst things a parent of a PWD can do is to treat their child “differently” or limit what they’re allowed to do. Growing up with T1, my parents often kept me from doing things because they were worried about how I would manage my blood sugar. I completely understand why they took that approach, because they were naturally scared and wanted to protect me, but it certainly didn’t make things easier for me going forward. I think it’s important that you don’t let T1 change how you treat your son; obviously you will have to keep an eye on his blood sugar but try to find that balance between watchful and “helicopter parent”.
It might be good to sit down and have a talk with your son; let him know that you’re proud of the way he’s been handling things but that you want him to know he can come to you if he needs help or support. That way you can keep letting him have his freedom but know that he will alert you if he’s feeling overwhelmed.

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You have touched on something that has been on my mind the last couple of weeks, I too have a son who was diagnosed about 9 months ago (he is 11 now but was diagnosed at 10). It has been on my mind because the last month has been though on him and I can tell, and I mean though on an emotional level. Since diagnosed he has been such a trooper and has done his best to continue living “a normal life” (whatever that is supposed to mean lol) along with all the new things that came with the diagnosis but he has began to question “why him” or voice how much he dislikes T1D (which he had not done before). As parents I do think it is important that we recognize their efforts and struggles. I can only imagine how my son feels and why the recognition and support is so important, after all the last thing I want is for him to feel alone or not supported. I also think that the recognition is a great tool at their age as far as motivation to continue doing well etc. I have found it helpful to not be so upfront when I am asking my son T1D related questions, I try to sneak the “more serious” questions I have while we are doing something pleasant and he is in a good mood, a little distracted you can say (so his thoughts and feelings kinda flow without doing too much thinking) it takes a little bit of the edge away and leaves room for more of a candid conversation where he may express himself without hesitation. You are doing great mom, continue to inform yourself and reach out for help & advice, we can never be too informed! :slight_smile:

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hi @wheats74 Shane and @luisa Luisa,

you are both awesome and doing a great job. the absolute last thing I ever wanted from anybody, was for them to feel sorry for me. this goes double for my family. treat me the same way you treat everyone else.

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You deserve credit for recognizing he may need more support! Diabetes is overwhelming for parents too. You just need to be really honest with hm and ask him directly how he’s feeling. If he has any other kids in his school with T1, it could be helpful to reach out to those families to reassure him he’s not alone. If not, try reaching out to your local JDRF chapter to help you connect with other T1 families. You sound like a very caring mom, just try to keep communications totally open with him! My son and I could not be any closer, he’s T1D for 15 years. He still consults me for advice when he feels frustrated. Best Wishes

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Sounds like you’re doing a good job Mom. I agree that he should not be treated as if he were “different” or “sick” etc.

I’m not sure where you live, but I’d strongly recommend sending him to Camp Sweeney this summer. https://www.campsweeney.org/

It’s a really fun camp for D kids and they teach them a lot about taking care of themselves and dealing with it. It also lets them know in a real way they are not alone.

They have a medical staff and medical students for counselors, so they are well looked after medically. My son went there and it is an amazing place.

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Thank you one and all for all of your excellent and compassionate responses. It sure helps this grandma of a four-year-old type one.

I was your son’s age when I was diagnosed, and I’m 20 and in college now. I think it’s wonderful that you’re trying to support your son in the best way that you can.

Looking back on those first few years, almost all that I can remember is the exhausting roller coaster of emotions. Some days, I was fine with talking about diabetes and other days I would have begged to talk about anything else in the world. I didn’t want anybody to treat me differently than they had before my diagnosis. I would get irrationally angry when people would bring up my type 1 diabetes when I didn’t feel like talking about it. I was petrified that my classmates suddenly viewed me as “the girl with diabetes,” when before I might have been known to them for qualities that had much more to do with who I really was as a person. I resented my parents for sending me to diabetes camps where I had pretty bad experiences. They wanted me to make friends with kids who would understand what I was going through, but I didn’t want diabetes to be the reason that someone wanted to spend time with me — I wanted other kids to like me for me, not something about myself that I didn’t choose and frankly really hated. Mostly, I just needed my parents to hug me and listen to me when I felt like talking — or crying, or venting about my classmates who would say judgmental and ignorant things. I also needed them to advocate for me with my school at first. I was spending most of the time in the nurse’s office because the school didn’t trust me to manage things myself. All I wanted was to be independent and to be treated like any other kid, and my parents were wonderful in helping me get to that point of self-sufficiency. By high school, my parents had no idea about my day-to-day handling of my numbers because they trusted me to take care of myself, and I think that was wonderful in preparing me for college.

I hope something in there was helpful. God bless you and your son; I know how hard it is, but it sounds to me like you’re doing a great job so far.

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