Hi, My child’s dad thinks our T1D 14 year old can be left home alone overnight with her 18 year old brother. I do not think this is acceptable but recognize that I may be overly protective. Thoughts?
Hi “T1D Mom” @vmccord ,
I can understand your concern about if “your little baby” will do alright with HER diabetes if left alone, almost alone.
A few questions to ask yourself before leaving her with her brother:
A. How long has she had diabetes;
B. How well does she manage on her own without your intervention; in other words, have you given her a chance to understand and learn;
C. Is her brother “T1D Educated”, what he should do in an emergency.
A suggestion, stand back from managing her diabetes for her for a few days and see how well she does on her own. I don’t mean that you should divorce your self entirely but just to keep your suggestions to yourself unless asked - but be ready to step in if a problem arises.
You must know that “problems” can come for all of us [like me with 60+ years T1] without warning - just as they might if you were there.
That’s a tricky question and there’s no one right answer. It depends on how long your daughter has had T1 and how independent she is. I was diagnosed when I was 7–I’m 15 now–and I think my parents (who are the stereotypical “helicopter parents”) would be comfortable leaving me alone overnight because I’ve proven that I can manage my condition on school trips, sleepovers, and other occasions. Every case is different… I recommend letting your daughter try managing her own condition for a few days while you watch and give her advice (doing her own injections or pump, etc). That might help you figure out whether or not she’s ready.
And if she ever wants an email pal… my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to talk to her!
Best of luck.
I would say it depends on the maturity of the 18 year old and wither or not your daughter is able to fully take care of herself and her diabetes. Overbearing parents can be pushed away by teens and the last thing you want is your daughter no longer reaching out for your support.
HI, I agree with all the responses above but I would like to add a couple of things for you to consider. Would you leave your daughter at home overnight if she were NOT diabetic? Personally I would not have been comfortable with that, but my daughters don’t have an older brother either. Secondly, we all need to remember to take care of ourselves first. We can’t do our best as parents if we forget that. So if you need to get away for a weekend for yourself, then you should. Make sure to have support ready if it is needed. Maybe a neighbor who wouldn’t mind popping in before bed and letting you know how things are going? Good luck working it out as you only know what is best for you and your family.
Thanks all for the suggestions.
The one item that came up repeatedly from you all and the educators was “Would you leave her alone if she did not have T1D?” The answer to that question is, “I’m not sure I would.” Her older brother should not be designated caregiver just because he was born first. This has been a theme their entire lives. Everyone who is an eldest child knows exactly what I am talking about.
Then, depending upon that answer, the next question is how to mitigate the risk since she is T1D. My child has been exceptionally angry lately. (On top of diabetes, her dad and I divorced.) The outcome has been trouble following basic self-management: testing enough during the day, testing before eating, checking for ketones, and worst of all, lying to me and her about testing.
With all that mind, we opted not to allow her to stay at her dad’s if he was not going to be there (regardless of where her brother was).
Hi @vmccord , you thought that through and made what for your family appears to be a logical decision. I agree that “born first” should not of itself be criteria; my folks only had eight kids but when it came to providing care for little ones I [#4] and a sister a year older [she was #3] were the designated ones.
For your daughter’s anger all I can say is be there and listen to her; really try to hear what she is saying and why and try to help her understand that she isn’t a lesser person because she has diabetes. It is good for her to check her BG often, but if she will only check a few times during the day encourage her to check a couple of hours AFTER eating. True that checking before eating may get things off on the right foot if she pays attention to making corrections and takes the insulin needed to cover what she will actually eat. Checking AFTER [maybe three hours after] may explain to her why she is feeling so horrible and it will allow her to make corrections which may improve her outlook on life. The “correction” could be either something to eat or insulin - get informed guidance.
I agree with Dennis very good suggestions!