Helping your diabetic child become independent

When your Type 1 Diabetic child begins to get older, being a parent that wants to help them but teach them to be independent is not an easy task. We want our kids to be able to go into survival mode without our help on the side, hiding behind the bushes to make sure they're doing what they need to do in order to be healthy.

My friends with diabetic children, like mine, share the burden of seeing their teens begin to pull away and want to go on their own and not follow the routines we've diligently worked to put in place for their physical success. I want my son to be independent and be able to live feeling wonderful all the days of his life. But, I also see what my friends have shared. I see where he forgets to check his sugar or do a bolus because he's lost in a game or playing with someone. I've seen where he tunes me out, not on purpose, but he does, when I question if he's done what he's supposed to.

Our job never ends as parents but we have to be aware that we cannot always be there. Our jobs, careers, and other demands of life call out to us today and question us, “Have you prepared your child to grow up and be away from you?”
This is the concern inside me after taking some days to visit family and letting him have a sleepover. Independence. Sounds like a scary word, like a slap to the head and a wake up call. Can my child, soon to be teenager, handle doing on his own what I’ve helped him do since he was four years old?

I guess it all comes down to encouraging our children, teenagers and young adults. We need to let them know that their lack of commitment will render hurtful consequences that will be painful for them and for us to see. We want the best for our kids, especially physically. Today I want to concentrate on teaching my son the value of knowing he can do all things,not only with God’s help, but that he has the ability to take care of his diabetic needs.

My goal this month is to make sure he really knows how to set up his Medtronic Pump with insulin. I truly want to make sure that when I am not near and it comes off or is running low on insulin or battery, that he will not panic or wonder who will come to save the day. My son will be able to handle it all stress free. But, I have to teach him, model and continue to encourage him. Is it going to be as easy as it sounds as I write it? Oh, no, I don’t think so. But, we have no choice but to begin.