Mommy, I Wish I Had Diabetes / What to Tell Your Non-Diabetic Kids About Diabetes

We ran a guest 'Experts' column from A. Kelsey Metcalf about how her young daughter, who does not have diabetes, became jealous of her insulin pump and wished she had diabetes. You can check it out here: Mommy, I Wish I Had Diabetes…

This led me to the question about when parents with diabetes should have "the talk" with their kids about diabetes and its complications. If you are a parent with diabetes, at what age did you communicate the seriousness of diabetes with your child? If you dont have children, what do you think is an appropriate age?

 

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There is no-the talk-becuse it starts from day one of d.The endo office,TV,People that feel they need to share that,like you don't know or worry enough,etc...I try not to talk so much on it with my daughter because she knows already.I will talk about it every once in a while, when asking her to please do all she can to stay healthy...Hope that was what you were asking :)

ok,see you said a parent with d....I would say never,I know that sounds crazy but we were sharp kids growing up and only had to watch and listen around us to know what was what.Today kids seem even sharper and know too much sometimes.My husband has type2-and my kids would ask if they wanted a answer.A short answer and thry were on their way.Then my daughter got Type 1 and I can tell she gets stressed when she thinks too much in that direction,,

I am replying from the perspective of having to talk with my 4 yr old son with D and his almost 2 yr old sister (non-D). My son wants to know when his sister is going to get her pump (a pink one). I have to remind him that she does not have D. He has replied very matter of fact, "Oh, right. Her body makes insulin and mine doesn't. That's why I need a pump." So I am grateful that he understands why he has the pump even at this young age, and so impressed that he can articulate it so well! So I would say that a parent could start talking about D with a child of 3 or 4 and they will be able to understand the basics.

I am sure at some point around age 3, my daughter will be jealous of her brother's pump and/or attention. For now, she is just curious about things and tries to grab stuff during site changes (yikes!) but this is because she is curious, but other than that leaves his pump alone. The only time there is D jealousy at this age is when we are treating a low, I have to make sure I always have a juice box or fruit snack for her too. :)

For her, I think it will be something that she just grows up with learning about, since she was about 15 mos when her brother was dx.

This topic is really interesting to me and I'm curious to hear what those with older children will say.  My daughter is only 16 months, but she's already noticed my insulin pump and my meter.  She wants me to poke her fingers too and I just tell her "no, that's just for mommy." Sometimes she gets mad but I distract her with giving her the test strip case to shake like a rattle!  She'll point to my pump and I say, "Don't touch, that's Mommy's.  Just say 'hi.' "  So now she'll point to my pump, say "Mommy's" and wave hi! It's cute and sad at the same time.  My brother also has T1, so she'll see his pump and point to it and say "Mommy's!"  It's actually kind of funny. 

When the harder questions start coming, I guess I'll just try to be as honest and age-appropriate with my answers as possible...

My youngest keeps asking me when she is going to get diabetes and I have to keep telling her she prolly wont, it was just a case of bad luck that Cassie got it.  It breaks my heart that my 5 year old is so worried about getting it to.

[quote user="Candace"]

She'll point to my pump and I say, "Don't touch, that's Mommy's.  Just say 'hi.' "  So now she'll point to my pump, say "Mommy's" and wave hi! It's cute and sad at the same time.  My brother also has T1, so she'll see his pump and point to it and say "Mommy's!"  It's actually kind of funny. 

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Lol! Sooo cute! My son (21 months) runs around with extra pen needles giving "shots" to the dog, various stuffed animals, etc. I totally agree with you that it's cute but somehow sad at the same time for me to see.

I just hope that when he gets older he doesn't see scary stuff about D on t.v. and worry about his Mommy. I talk to him all the time about D to make it seem natural ("I can't have a bite of your banana now! I didn't bolus for it!" "I'm low so I'll read you a book after my juice!"), but I know there are always stupid people out there who will say inappropriate things to scare a child. A 7th grade english teacher once told me she didn't think I was acting stressed enough about having D b/c it's very serious and dangerous. Thanks a lot!