How to tell my daughter?


I’m new here and new to diabetes. I was diagnosed last week with type 2 diabetes. My BS was 15.
My problem is my 5 year old daughter. How do I tell her? I’m afraid I’m going to scare her. She has only met one other person with diabetes, her fathers cousin. she had type 1 and died only 15 years old from her diabetes. My daughter knows why she died and that it was her diabetes that killed her. So in her mind diabetes in 100% fatal. I don’t want to scare her and I don’t want her to think her mommy is going to die.
Any advice as to what words to use? I really, really, REALLY dont want her to be scared.

Thank you


By the way, I’m scared silly myself!

Hi, Eydna! I have 3 kids ,8, 6, and 5 and they too were scared when I was diagnosed and hospitalized. But they have not dealt with death of a diabetic relative. This is a tough one.

It might serve you toNOT refer to it as “Diabetes,” in your duaghter’s presence – if you think she is too young to make a distinction. You could refer to it as high blood sugar or something, until you get her used to the idea, possibly? If she is only 5 she is not going to understand all the ins and outs of her father’s cousin’s condition.

And in the meantime, get her involved in monitoring your and her blood sugars, and talk about what you need to eat, etc. Because they were so upset, I turned it into somethign to make light of.

It really helped my kids to see me take my meds and check my blood sugar, and to participate in taking my blood sugar, and predict the numbers! Over time they learned this is something you live with, not die from.

Well here’s what I reccommend whether it be the proper way or not, speaking form a personal and somewhat proffessional perspective. I think that it’s natural for you and her to be scared. It is important that you let your daughter know that you’re going to be alright. When you tell her it’s important that you believe it yourself. And as a newly diagnose diabetic I would assume that you don’t know everything there is to know about the disease. Perhaps it would be beneficial to you and your daughter if you both learned about it together. That way she would learn about the disease and find out that it’s not the end of the world. I mean I don’t know if there is any way that you can let her know without her having that initial fear but there are ways to get rid of the fear. It’s not the end of the world… it’s only the beginning.

Haha i dont know if that helped one bit, but that’s my two cents:)

Thank you for your answer. I was actually thinking the same thing. In my language we actually have a word for diabetes. This is the word I think will scare her. If I use the word diabetes, I think she will not know it’s the same thing…

Honestly, type 2 is regulated usually, with diet and exercise. Just tell her that Mommy needs to start to exercise and eat right to stay healthy. I really wouldn’t make it sound much bigger then it is. That is my opinion and she is still very young to understand the whole aspect of Type 2 Diabetes.

I hope that helps.


Simple, honest answers work best :slight_smile: I have never sat down and “told” my kids exactly… but the older two have asked questions. My 4yo knows I need “pokes” (BG checks) to stay healthy, and that I wear a pump (and now CGMS). My 8yo is MUCH more inquisitive… often asking me the strangest questions. I answer whatever they ask… because I don’t want it to be something that they’re afraid of, or something they don’t understand.

Thank you Billy.

You’re right I don’t know much about diabetes myself. Maybe I should wait telling her untill I’m not scared myself?
I really want to tell her in words she will understand. And at the right time, maybe when I know more about it myself. I want to be ready to answer her questions, explain it right! I think I should wait untill I calm down and then plan my words right. I wish I knew just how to tell her…

I would agree with Billy.Even though my children are 11 and 17 I was straight forward with them about diabetes.My children understand a little better about the possibility of what may happen if I don’t watch what I’m doing.If my levels get too high I don’t say anything to them right away because I don’t want to get overwhelmed with the idea of the possibilities.But I did say to them that everything will be ok because my mom had it.I saw first hand what kind of pressure it can put on a child.I’ve always told myself that I don’t want my children to see the complications.I just try to keep my head held high and to show my children that diabetes is not going to stop me from enjoying and being there for them when they need me the most.I think that if you don’t show fear with this then maybe your daughter will learn from it and she’ll be ok with it.If she can follow your lead she’ll be fine.Lot’s of luck to you and your daughter.

I agree, Heidi,

I’ve taught 18 years. KIS – keep it simple. The only reason diabetes gets a bad rap is because people either chose to not control it or are so misinformed they can’t make decisions that will help them.

Put this in perspective: exercise and eat close to the earth. Easy. Compare this to having to tell your daughter you have ovarian cancer or pancreatic cancer. Now that’s tough.

Both you and your daughter will benefit. Just have fun with the new life style changes and empower yourselves to control your future.


Hi Eydna, I agree with the notion that diabetes is not the end of the world but it sure can be if not controlled. You may have these concerned for you daughter because you have concerned and fears for yourself and your own well being. My advise is to get educated right away, find a great education center and start understanding your “diabetes” This will demystify the unknowns about diabetes and help you become less fearfull and more comfortable that diabetes is manageable. As you become more confident in your actions that lead to controlled diabetes you will project that confidence and comfort to your daughter. It will assure her that you have everything under controll and that you will be there for her, forever.

Welcome to the TUDIABETES!

I am a Typ[2] Diabetes just like you!! Come over to the Typ[2] forums and meet other folks. We are all the same but we do have some suttle differences in the medicines that we take and some of the interaction of those meds in comparison to Typ[1]. Since you are new it is important to develop a support system outside your family. Sometimes family may not completely understand all the changes, emotions and new challenges. That is why I am so happy to find you here. Please educate yourself on diabetes. Don’t be scared and live in the dark. It can be an emotional rollercoaster. One day I would like to share my experience of diagnoses 2 years ago.

Please remember children are very perceptive. If something is wrong they will sense it and know it. Just like when the parents don’t get along. Children sense it and know it. I believe it is HOW you explain it to your child that will make it more acceptable than scary. Think how you do explain to kids thrust about santa claus. You evidentually tell them in a nice suttle way. Being only 5 years of age. She doesn’t need to know all the scary details about the disease but that mommy may feel sicky and tired sometimes.

Being Typ[2] is not a death sentence… She has to help mommy exercise and eat the right foods. This is a learning lesson for her to start on a healthy way of life. Just like what a person said in one of the other answers Typ[2] is very managable with diet and exercise. Now you can tell her you are eating and exercising for a purpose.

This is very good!!

I’m just thinking back when my kids were 5, if they were old enough to ask a question we figured they needed an honest answer. One thing we had to be cautious of was that we were giving the answer to the question they were really asking otherwise we risked giving way too much information about something they really didn’t want to know about.

There was a lot of things that we never talked about with our children when they were young, but we always answered their questions honestly, matter of factly and without drama. You are going to be making some changes in your life but how much of that will she notice right now, how much do you really have to tell her today?

You’re going to exercize more and change your diet, you can include her in that, model some great behaviors and have a lot of fun with her.

Thank you everyone. I have decided to wait a little before telling her. I wan’t to get more used to the idea myself. get all the facts and get over the fear before I feel I’m ready to tell her. I want to be able to answer her questions and to help her with any fear that she might feel, and I don’t think I can do that if I’m scared and confused myself.
I know I will figure out the right words to use if I just give myself some time to think things through.

Thanks again for all your advice and support.


Well I finally told my daughter. She took it really well. She did seem to understand that there was a difference in type 1 and type 2. And that mommy’s type was not the same as the diabetes that killed her fathers cousin. Thank you again for your help.

Kind regards


I know you think you can’t handle this BUT YOU CAN! Just tell her that you have to watch what you eat and when you eat it…In other words you have to have a time when you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tell her it’s NOT a death sentence if you eat and exercise right. CONTROL That’s the answer and then show her you mean what you say by just doing it! I’ve had 2 girls and will have a daughter who is a Type 1 (like me) having her 3rd child! YES YOU CAN DO IT!!!