Teens With Type One: I Can’t Believe I’m Quoting Nick Jonas

March 4th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

How has week one of the March Challenge been treating you?  Have you been thinking about ways to ask for help or ways to help your son or daughter living with diabetes? 

This blog is primarily directed at parents with pre-teen and teenage kids with type one diabetes.  Note that ALL parents of kids need to think about these issues because even if your son or daughter is four years old right now, these issues will be in front of you before you know it.

Diabetes Forecast featured another article on Nick Jonas this issue (March 2011).  It’s entitled “Checking in with Nick: the pop star grows up” He sounds like he’s got a good head on his shoulders at least for now.  Good job, Nick! 

They asked him whether his feelings about his type one diabetes have shifted from the time of his diagnosis at age 13 to now, when he is 18.  I like his response:

“One of the biggest changes has been that I think the mind-set of a man came on when I was diagnosed, at 13—realizing this is something I had to take on, on my own, and grab hold of.  Obviously, I had the help of my parents and doctors, but I’m an independent parson, and I really rely on myself in situations like these.  I have been independent for a while—I just am that way—but when it comes to my diabetes, in the past four to five months, I’ve been taking even more responsibility.  I’m really taking it on myself—relying on friends and family when needed, but knowing this is something that I have, that I have to deal with.

It’s just about, with my parents and my family, knowing they’re there when I need them, but also that they trust me enough to take care of it myself, which is important for me…”

If you are a parent of a teen living with type one diabetes, do you think they would say that their parents trust them to take care of some diabetes things on their own?

I’m guessing they wouldn’t say that in large part because how many teens compliment their parents voluntarily, really.  But think about it for a minute:

DO YOU TRUST YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER WITH ASPECTS OF THEIR DISEASE?  Do you trust that they will be able to ask for juice or a soda if you aren’t there?  Do you trust them to flag their own low blood sugar?  Do you trust them to count their carbs accurately?

If you don’t trust them to do any of those things, is there a reason you don’t trust them?  Is that reason itself preventing the development of that necessary trust?

I’m sure you don’t trust them with all of these issues all of the time, and that may very well be appropriate.  But you all need to work toward a balance every day as your teen transitions into a young adult.

No one benefits from a micromanaging parent who is so afraid of what “might happen” that they prevent their son or daughter from ever taking over management of their own diabetes. 

Now is the time to think about ways you can work with your son or daughter on their diabetes—just like you work with them on everything else. 

Taking out the trash, making their beds, being on time, completing homework assignments, changing sites, counting carbs, checking blood sugars before bed.  They are each responsibilities kids with diabetes need to learn, accept, and master. 

I’m here if you are looking for support with your daughter or son as they wrestle their tough teen years.  We all want them to make it out with as few scars, bumps, and bruises as possible!!

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