Type 1 Teens
Teenager. Merriam-Webster define a teenager as “being or related to a people in their teens [13-19 years of age]”. Parents understand a “teenager” is more than a age. It is a time for growth towards adulthood. How each teenager manages this growth can and will be vastly different. Some teenagers need constant guidance and supervision. Others appear to be born ready to launch into adulthood. Either way this time in a person’s life is exciting, challenging, and rewarding.
Now add the daily challenge of diabetes to the teen years. As parents we want to give our children wings to fly. But when daily our children’s lives can be at risk, letting go may become a challenge. How do we allow our type 1 children to thrive and still be healthy and alive in the end? I think this is a question daily we ask our selves.
Consider where your teen is at in their own care now. Are they able to recognize low blood sugars? treat for them accurately? testing and understanding what to do with their blood sugar?
Basically start small. Teach them what to do with a low blood sugar, because lets face it a low blood sugar is the most immediately dangerous aspect of type 1 diabetes. Then move on to what to do with the blood sugar number at meals and allowing them to take the time to research their own carbohydrate counts. See small steps. The smaller the step the easier the mastery.
Also enlist the help of the endocrinologist and educator. Let them tell your child what to do and how to do it. Some times in those teen years guidance from a different adult followed better.
Below are some resources for helping teens become independent in their diabetes.
-WHEN YOUR TEEN JUST QUITS: DIABETES AND TEEN YEARS http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/about-diabetes/kids-diabetes/when-your-teen-just-quits/
-TEEN TOOLKIT http://www.jdrf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/JDRFTEENTOOLKIT.pdf
-PARENTING A TEEN WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES https://diatribe.org/parenting-your-teen-type-1-diabetes
Also look forward to our book that will help your teen take ownership and control of their diabetes in a reasonable way!