Initially, it could seem as though you should be able to manage everything by yourself. Your family can’t watch you do everything while holding your hand, after all. You are still responsible for controlling your diabetes, right? Yes. But your family will undoubtedly be impacted by diabetes.

When someone has diabetes, scheduling, family meals, and exercise routines might cause arguments. The entire family is impacted by diabetes. Here are some approaches to the family conflicts that arise most frequently.




Life can be difficult. The delicate balance of your juggling act may be disrupted if you learn that you have diabetes. You cannot care for your 2-year-old while also administering an insulin shot to yourself. When you take insulin and check your blood sugar right before putting supper on the table, your partner can start to grow annoyed with you. If you have to eat a snack right when the feeling is right, sex can lose part of its spontaneity.

Examining your schedule and routines is one method to get your family on board.

Getting their assistance straight away is probably the best course of action in this situation.




Tip for Scheduling

It can be useful to list your regular activities in writing or to sit down with a day calendar and try to determine how to best fit everything in.

Some Advice on Family Scheduling

  • Call a family meeting and discuss the significance of coordinating insulin dosages, exercise, and meals.
  • Seek advice on how to integrate your requirements into the daily schedule of the family.
  • Other family members might be able to help out a little more, or it might mean getting some outside assistance.

You might already feel overextended. It takes time to prepare meals, monitor your blood sugar levels, and engage in physical activity. Don’t be scared to admit that you can’t accomplish it all and that you’ll have to make a sacrifice.


Family Dinners

There may be more changes than just the schedule. You might choose to prepare or eat differently. Again, open dialogue will be beneficial. Explain that you are not starting a diet and that you won’t make your family live on a modest diet. The dietary suggestions for diabetics are essentially suggestions for a healthy diet.

Getting your family’s opinion is crucial. Nobody enjoys being made to do something they don’t want to. Your family can support your dietary strategy as well. This is often the most challenging change to make after learning that you have diabetes.

You might wish to alter some of the foods and mealtimes you consume. If your family is ready to work with your new plan, it will be of great assistance to you.


Conflicts at Meals
  • You might need to consume smaller portions of some foods or stay away from some high-calorie treats that your family likes if you’re attempting to lose weight. Ask your family not to consume these foods in front of you, to have them less frequently, or to not always have them in the house if sticking to your meal plan is challenging your resolve.
  • Your family could refuse to trying new foods and may dislike eating at certain times.
  • Always keep in mind that eating healthfully for diabetes really just means eating sanely. Eating excessive amounts of sugar, fat, and salt is bad for your health whether you have diabetes or not.
Physical exercise

Diabetes management also includes physical activity, in which your family can take part. Everyone, not just those with diabetes, benefits from exercise. It will be simpler for everyone if you can incorporate your family in exercise more.


Advice on How to Exercise with Your Family
  • Invite your family to participate! With you, they can jog or walk. If not, let them know how they can support your work.
  • Schedule family outings that include some type of exercise, such as dog walks, nature hikes, or cycling trips to the local convenience store.
  • Evening strolls or bike rides could improve everyone in the family’s quality of life.
  • Assisting your kids to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness also reduces their chance of diabetes.
Concerns and Emotions

Inform your family if you experience mood swings. Recognize that your relatives will be affected by your illness. Learn to express your emotions in conversation and work to create open lines of communication.


Common Thoughts and Fears
  • You may feel irritable at times due to diabetes and other times due to the pressures of daily life.
  • Your relatives may show worry for you by often enquiring about your diabetes or by making an effort to deny that you have it.
  • They could also let you know to watch out for your diabetes as a way of showing how much they care. It could seem like they are becoming the “diabetes police” or that they are bugging you.
  • If any of this start to cause you problems, let your family know how they can be supportive to you by expressing their worries.

Learn to communicate with your family members to discuss your feelings and theirs, as well as what you can do about it. Perhaps all you need is a snack, or perhaps you should take a stroll. Or perhaps your partner or kids need a break. Recognize when an issue exists and discuss remedies.


Inform Your Family

When family members don’t fully comprehend the sickness, issues might occasionally occur. If your teen complains that he has to wait while you administer an insulin shot before you drop him off at the mall, it’s possible that he doesn’t realize how crucial it is. Your partner might not appreciate how important it is for you to eat healthfully if she is shoving potato chips in your face while you are attempting to cut back.


Many individuals believe that managing diabetes involves only taking insulin a few times each day. Remember that you have the right to request the assistance you require. Each family member must first have a basic understanding of what diabetes is, how it is treated, and emergency procedures.


Educating Your Family: Some Advice
  • Resources such as books, periodicals, pamphlets, libraries, support groups, message boards on the internet, and medical experts can all be helpful.
  • Bring a member of your family with you to some of your medical appointments. Your family can get direct answers to their inquiries by keeping a running record of any concerns or questions they may have.
  • Many diabetes education initiatives promote participation by family members. The more knowledge they have, the more equipped they are to assist you and learn how to incorporate your diabetes management plan into regular family activities.

Last but not least, your family should be prepared for emergencies. Make that they are aware of the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Even though they might be in danger, people with diabetes who are experiencing a low blood glucose episode frequently refuse to acknowledge a problem or accept help. Ensure that your family members are aware of the symptoms of hypoglycemia and how to treat it.


You can anticipate varying reactions from your family regarding your diabetes and varying degrees of enthusiasm for supporting you as you work toward your dietary and fitness objectives. Some people might participate fully, seeing this as a team effort. When they aren’t the ones who are ill, other relatives or family members could object to adjustments being made. You must identify the strategy that suits you the best. Going it alone could be a preferable option in some circumstances.


Remember Your Partner

If you have diabetes, you are aware of the emotional toll it may have. However, you’re not the only person who might experience stress. The strain is probably shared by your partner and family members, especially.

Your partner may feel the strain in two different ways. Your companion could feel alone and powerless if you entirely isolate them. He or she might feel as though you require “rescuing” and that you should not have been left behind. However, if you put too much of the responsibility on your partner, they could feel like they are putting in too much effort to support you and that you should be taking more responsibility for your own well-being. Many partners detest taking on the role of parent or nursemaid.


Speak with your partner

When neither of you is under any pressure or stress, try to be honest with one another. Sharing your emotions and being honest with your spouse can help you two grow closer rather than further apart.


Common Partner Concerns

When you make decisions to take care of yourself, your partner might become concerned.

  • He or she might worry about the repercussions of disregarding your health, whether in an emergency or in the future.
  • It’s possible that you think your partner nags you too much.
  • It’s possible that your partner believes you are purposefully sabotaging his or her efforts to assist you.

It’s critical for the two of you to acknowledge that no one is flawless, regardless of how you may be feeling. Many of these emotions are frequently brought on by love, worry, tension, or fear. It is crucial to acknowledge the existence of these emotions—as well as possibly a wide range of other contradictory ones.

You might require assistance with language learning. Admitting this is not a show of weakness, but rather of power. Be open with your friends. Consult your spiritual advisor. Think about contacting a professional counselor who has received training in coping techniques for those with chronic illnesses. Your healthcare physician might be able to point you in the direction of the knowledgeable individual you need to contact.

And lastly, remember to have fun. You can cope with stressful situations by using humor. Laughter makes things easier.


Other Support Resources to Look For

If your family is unable to provide support or if you live alone, you may need to turn elsewhere for an additional boost. Finding support outside of your family can be made easier by the Diabetes Association, counseling, group therapy, and even joining a health club.


Fitness Centers

You might also think about signing up for a health club. Although you might not have thought of this as a source, creating a diabetes management program essentially just involves creating good lifestyle choices. Whether they have diabetes or not, people who regularly attend the neighborhood health club or fitness center may have comparable objectives. Even a personal trainer, who may be of great assistance to you, might be available at the club. Additionally, you can run into other diabetics.



Even with a loving family and the assistance of support organizations, they may require further assistance. It is not simple to deal with diabetes and all of the emotions that come with it.

You’ll inevitably encounter situations where you require further assistance. You might not have all the abilities you need among your friends and family. Moreover, as your life or illness progresses, new problems could appear.

Whatever your circumstance, you might want to think about seeking out some kind of counseling—individual or group—for those times when you need more assistance. Discussing any issues with a specialist who can serve as an unbiased source of support could be helpful. A qualified therapist can assist you in analyzing your issues. You can need individual, marital, or family counseling, depending on your particular needs.

You might come off as a little uneasy about going to a therapist. Perhaps it brings up unpleasant images, or perhaps you believe that going to a therapist is a sign that something is wrong with your mental health. Nothing is falser than it is.

One healthy technique to assist people in resolving some of life’s more challenging issues is through counseling.


What a Therapist Should Expect
  • You and your therapist will have continual discussions while you get counseling.
  • Your therapist will work with you to evaluate your ideas, feelings, interactions with others, and decisions.
  • Your therapist could prod you to begin telling your tale at the beginning. By doing so, you might be able to see your life’s issues from a different angle and identify patterns in your behavior.
  • He or she might also make recommendations that can help you develop new coping mechanisms and perceive the situation from a different angle.

Finding a therapist, you can trust is among the most crucial steps. Your therapist needs to make you feel at ease and like they can be of assistance. Finding the ideal personality fit is frequently required. A person who gets along well with one individual might not necessarily get along well with another. Therefore, if the first therapist you see doesn’t suit your needs, don’t be too deterred. Before you discover one who seems right, you might need to speak with a few.

Adjusting to the intricate interactions between family relationships, personality, emotions, lifestyle habits, and diabetes treatment is part of living with diabetes. Your ability to take the initiative and necessary action to manage your diabetes and the conflicting emotions that come with it will improve with therapy.


Group Counseling

Although some people gain more from one-on-one treatment sessions, others benefit more from weekly group therapy sessions. Many people consider the dual benefits of the combined strategies. These organizations can inspire companionship, foster mutual support, and help lessen the loneliness and depression that frequently accompany a diabetes diagnosis. You can occasionally come up with new answers by discussing problems with others.

The Expectations of Group Therapy

  • Group therapy can be conducted in a variety of settings and formats.
  • Some groups convene at medical facilities, clinics, community centers, and even in therapists’ private offices.
  • Group therapy should have a qualified therapist, individuals who have been carefully chosen, and a social framework with ground rules.
  • The fundamental tenet of all therapy groups is that sharing thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a setting of safety and respect enhances one’s sense of self, deepens one’s understanding of oneself, and improves interpersonal relationships.
  • In a group context, each participant can witness how others respond to their thoughts about diabetes and how they integrate it into their personal, professional, and recreational lives.
Benefits of Group Therapy for Diabetes Patients
  • It can teach you that you’re not by yourself.
  • You can talk about thoughts, feelings, and fears that you might not have dared to express elsewhere.
  • You might come across fresh solutions to persistent issues.
  • It can assist you in discovering who you are and are not.
  • It might lessen stress, which might promote better health.

The dynamics of a family might be thrown off by any change. Numerous things can affect how you treat your kids and how they get along with one another. A child being diagnosed with diabetes is a significant adjustment that will probably have an impact on the entire family in ways you never imagined.

Hearing that your child has been diagnosed with diabetes will certainly cause you, your child, and other children to experience feelings of rage, animosity, and jealousy at a time when you, them, and other kids are undoubtedly afraid of what the future holds. It can be challenging to maintain harmony within the family while you are attempting to acquire information and assist your child in managing their diabetes.

If you have a child who has diabetes, helping them manage the condition and lead as normal a life as they can will be your first priority. Additionally, it will be important to support the rest of the family as they embrace the upcoming changes.


The Health of Your Child

Educating yourself as much as you can is the first step in helping your child manage their diabetes. Starting points include other chapters in this book and online resources.

Healthcare Professionals

Your child’s caregiver and a diabetes educator are likely to be some of the first persons you speak with. You should have a general understanding of how to check your child’s blood sugar, administer insulin, if necessary, implement a food plan, and engage in physical activity.

Additionally, you’ll want to know when your child will be able to start managing his or her own care. It is absurd to expect a child under the age of two to administer insulin or monitor her blood sugar, but a child over the age of ten may very well be able to do so. Different children mature at various rates. Some children may be capable of administering their own shots as early as age 7, while others might not be until age 11 or later.

Keep in mind that every child is unique as you conduct your research and work with your child to build a treatment plan. It’s possible that what works for one youngster won’t for your child.

Your knowledge of your child and what will work best for your family is extensive.

When creating a blood glucose management strategy, your healthcare professional should take your child’s age into account. For younger children, less demanding goals could be appropriate.


Appointments for medical care

Try to make appointments that are lengthy enough to handle all of your queries and worries.


Diabetes Type 1 in Children

The most typical kind of diabetes in children is type 1. Diabetes affects more than just “small adults,” therefore your doctor should have a specialized plan in place for your child recommendations based on the age and health of your child.

Children with type 1 diabetes are susceptible to problems like heart, renal, and eye issues, among others. Due to your child’s age and family history, your healthcare practitioner should advise screening for problems.


Standard Tests for Type 1 Diabetes in Children
  • Check for kidney issues, such as through yearly checks for microalbuminuria in children ten years of age and older (and who have had diabetes for at least 5 years).
  • Check children aged 10 and older for elevated cholesterol, including fasting lipid profiles. Children who have a family history of cardiovascular disease or excessive cholesterol may undergo screenings early.
  • Children 10 and older should get a dilated eye exam (and who have had diabetes for 3–5 years).
  • Screening for celiac disease immediately after a diagnosis.
  • The detection of thyroid disease.
  • Measuring blood pressure.
  • If a lower A1C (7%) can be attained without experiencing too much hypoglycemia, it is appropriate.


Diabetes Type 2 in Children

In youngsters, type 2 diabetes is still very uncommon. But minority populations are starting to experience it more frequently. Blood glucose levels in kids with type 2 diabetes should be kept as close to normal as possible. This can be done with medication, diet, and exercise plans, or both. Ask your doctor about the right testing and treatments since children with type 2 diabetes may already be exhibiting symptoms of problems at the time of diagnosis.

Common Tests Used to Diagnose Type 2 Diabetes in Children
  • Measuring blood pressure.
  • Use a fasting lipid profile test to check for elevated cholesterol.
  • Use an examination of microalbuminuria to check for renal issues.
  • Eye exam with dilation.

Children with type 2 diabetes may be more likely to develop polycystic ovarian syndrome or obesity-related issues like sleep abnormalities, foot issues, and behavioral issues. If you think your kid may be impacted by these issues, ask your doctor.

You should schedule a meeting with a diabetes educator after your initial consultation with your child’s diabetes care provider. You can learn how to organize your child’s comprehensive diabetes management plan with the aid of a diabetes educator. This entails aligning your child’s meals with his or her insulin or medication schedule and exercise routine.

You should also schedule a consultation with a dietician to develop an eating strategy. Think about your child’s preferences, your family’s typical eating habits, any cultural or religious influences, how to add treats, and how to handle special occasions.


Advice on Meal Preparation
  • If you all eat the same meals, you will benefit both your child and your family.
  • Don’t cook a separate supper for your diabetic youngster and another dish for the rest of the family.
  • Be careful to involve your child in the preparation of meals and to find out what foods he would like to have in his diet.

Discuss any unique needs your child may have with their daycare providers, teachers, and administrators at their place of education. You will both feel better about living with diabetes if you and your child establish a regular pattern and decide how to handle unique situations and events.

Attitudes and feelings of parents

When you first learn that your child has diabetes, you could feel shocked, incredulous, sad, angry, or even guilty. It can often seem so unjust. You might mistrust your ability to provide your child with the care he or she requires. It could seem impossible for you to handle everything given your life’s difficulties and the demands on your time and energy.

It could feel too much at first, especially. You will discover ways to assist your child live a normal childhood while you learn more about diabetes. You may need to put in a little extra effort as you try to balance your child’s meals, insulin shots, and physical activity. Your child may take everything in stride, and the most difficult aspect may be accepting your own emotions.

Remember that your youngster looks to you for direction. Your attitude will directly influence how your youngster views himself and adjusts to this new way of life. It will be simpler for your child to accept diabetes if you handle it well. Your child will experience these emotions if you do, too.

It is tempting to go above and beyond for your child when you are worried and scared about them. However, even very young children should have a voice in their diabetes treatment strategy.



Be Clear-headed

Deal with diabetes in a straightforward manner. Don’t minimize your child’s worries or fears; instead, deal with them directly.


Tips for Promoting Responsibility in Children
  • Give your child some of the duties associated with diabetes management, such as helping to prepare meals or snacks.
  • Gradually increase your child’s level of responsibility. But at the same time, confirm that your child is capable of doing this duty.
  • Without exception, accept injections and blood glucose checks as a given. If you neglect your child’s diabetic care, you aren’t actually doing them any favors.
  • Making diabetes care routines a way of life is the greatest approach to establish them. Your youngster will be more receptive to cooperation as soon as they realize that these are non-negotiable.


Looking After the Other Members of the Family

The time you spend caring for diabetes will inevitably lead to some family conflict if you have more than one child. Because of all the attention the child with diabetes is receiving, his siblings could feel envious of him. Siblings, on the other hand, might pay your child with diabetes too much attention and make him feel like they’re looking out for him. He might sense that everyone is breathing heavily on him.

Diabetes in the family is best managed by treating it honestly. Tell the other kids and the rest of the family what’s going on and ask them to be patient while you figure things out. Simple information is understandable to even young children.

In general, you should approach your child’s diabetes in a practical manner. Feelings of rage, envy, and anxiety typically start to fade as your child and her siblings accept diabetes as a regular part of your family routine.

However, if there is still strife in your family, you might want to think about family therapy. To find a family therapist, ask the diabetes educator and your child’s doctor for recommendations.


Make your siblings feel unique

Try to plan special times with your other kids to make up for any feelings of exclusion, or see if they’d want to help with your diabetic child’s care overall. For example, a brother could assist in recording blood glucose measurements.

Changes in Your Child’s Role

How much of his diabetes care you can expect your child to manage will change as he gets older and depend on his personality. When your child is diagnosed, you will be solely responsible for their care, whether they are a newborn or a toddler. But you should continue to include him. Although you will need to monitor your child’s vaccination schedule, check his blood sugar levels, and assess the outcomes, you may offer them a voice.

Giving Toddlers a Choice

If your child uses insulin, he or she might get to pick the finger to poke or the injection site. For your child to become accustomed to having a say in how they are cared for, do this. It will aid in the development of their sense of responsibility, allowing you to progressively hand over more and more of the duties associated with diabetes care as they get older.

Even if your child is in preschool, you are still in charge of making sure they eat well-balanced meals, regularly monitor their blood sugar, and use the appropriate insulin. However, there is nothing wrong with giving your child some of these responsibilities under your supervision. Your child might find it simpler to assist with injections if you use insulin pens.

Talk about your child’s developmental stages and when he or she can take on some of their own self-care with your medical team. Your youngster will be able to handle more and more of the tasks as he gets older. Because she will frequently be with friends or at school and away from your constant supervision throughout this age of development, it is crucial that your kid learn to accept responsibility for her own care and decisions.

You and your child with diabetes will face the biggest hurdles during adolescence. Because of hormonal changes, managing diabetes is frequently more challenging.

As they become older, children demand greater freedom. Your teen will occasionally be angry with you and hold you responsible for all the ups and downs associated with diabetes. This is a typical aspect of growing up and would occur whether or not having diabetes was a role.

Glucose Pumps

An insulin pump might be something to think about. While this might provide your child much more freedom and independence, it also comes with a lot of responsibilities.

Diabetes Teenage Uprisings
  • Your adolescent may attempt to rebel by skipping out on diabetic care.
  • In an effort to blend in and seem normal, your child may try to downplay the existence of diabetes.
  • Checking glucose levels, counting carbohydrates, and taking insulin might be challenging while a person is at school or out with friends.
  • Reminding your adolescent that maintaining healthy blood glucose levels is the greatest way to fit in and prevent diabetes from interfering with life may be helpful. Your child will undoubtedly feel different if they experience a period of severe hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis.

It is common for kids and teenagers to experience depression. Eating problems are widespread, particularly in girls. In youth with diabetes, skipping insulin is one form of eating disorder. This enables one to eat without putting on weight. Consult a trained counselor right away if you have any concerns that your child may be depressed or is exhibiting any type of coping issue, eating disorder, or behavioral issue.