Parents who are Diabetic: What are you doing to educate your children

Last night I grossed my wife out by letting my 4 yr old, Macey push the plunger on my syringe when I bolused for supper. As those of you who might have read my blog posts I am very big on having my girls know what I am going through with diabetes. I grew up with a T-1 mother who kept things in the closet from me for many years, I just knew she took shots and acted “funny” at times for some reason. I on the other hand have been very open with my children about diabetes. My 4 yr old knows I should eat to many “treats”, that I have to test my blood sugar, take shots before meals and most of all that if I am acting odd that as she says “Daddy you need a treat”. I just am wondering what other parents of young and older children have done to inform their children, not just so the child knows what is doing on but to help prepare the child for if down the road they also develop diabetes.

I think that’s smart. I don’t do that much to educate Mrs or junior.

My son has learned how to count carbs, which foods have very few carbs, and what some good low-carb choices for breakfast or snacks might be. If he has gum or mints he’ll tell me “Mom, you can have a couple of these” based on the label. He was even trying to share his flipz with me (chocolate yogurt pretzels) telling me that each one was 3 carbs. I think this might come in handy later . . .

Aww, that is really sweet! Bless his cotton socks.

My family doesn’t participate much in my diabetes care other than to help with a low if needed. They know where the glucagon is and I occasionally ask for help with sensor placement if I can’t reach everything myself. My daughter also liked giving me shots when she was little. She also got a kick out of the self test on the Minimed pump.

They know how to read a food label and will save labels so I have carb counts for meals they cook. As far as general health goes my daughter (20 now) has seen me exercise pretty consistently over the years and she typically does pretty good with that herself. No food is forbidden but we do try to keep limits on junk food.

I’m a bit older (almost 24) so my childhood memories are before many of the more modern technologies (pens, pumps) but my father is a T1:
I remember knowing the signs and symptoms of a “low” when I was around 3ish and that I couldn’t finish the last of the OJ in case dad needed it.
Around age 6 or 7 I knew how to use his auto-injector (not sure exactly what it’s called but it was “cutting edge” at the time haha!).
When he started carb-counting about 10 years ago (before that he was with a very “old school” endo who deals primarily with type 2s) I did my best but in my teen years was generally more ambivalent (read- teenage ego).
Today however I’m essentially his in home knowledge base. When we eat dinner I tell him the number of carbs and the other day when he was quite low (42) I stopped him from over treating (and he ended at 112!)

I think it’s AWESOME that you’re doing so much to teach your daughter! It certainly can not hurt her…

I totally agree with you that the more educated a child is the better off they are. It becomes less scary for them if they know what is going on. I my father passed away several years ago from diabetic complications and shortly after that I was diagnosed with diabetes. At that time my younger daughter could not understand that just because you are a diabetic does not mean it is a death sentence.

My younger daughter knows how to change out an infusion set, insert a new transmitter for my Dexcom, give me shots, knows how to figure out carb:insulin. You name it, she can do it. Sometimes she has even brought me a testing kit just because I have the strange look in my eyes.

My oldest and husband would not know what to do. They is clueless and prefers to stay that way.

My 2 yr old is getting into the act, coming up asking to push the plunger on my shots now LOL

I am very open and share pretty much everything with my 4 year old little Mamas boy who is very protective of his Mommy. He talks to me about my shots and will ask me if I am “up or down” and knows what Mommy can and cannot eat. I have tried my best to educate him about it in terms a 4 year old can understand. I am also very open with my Husband about it and have educated him pretty well. Bless his heart I’m sure he gets tired of me talking about it lol but he has been my rock throughout this entire process.