"I didn't think it was a big deal, but Michael got so mad at me when I told our neighbor that he had diabetes. I guess he just wasn't ready."
- Being diagnosed with diabetes is a life-changing event. For many kids, it takes time to accept their new reality and be ready to share with others.
- As a parent, you may want to tell everyone that your child has diabetes in an effort to ensure his safety, especially at school. Though your school nurse, teachers and principal need to know, it's up to him to tell his friends and others.
- Before spreading the news, ask your child how he feels. If he's not ready to share, respect his decision and help him to feel more comfortable about diabetes.
- If he's ready, talk about ways to tell others. Remember to keep it simple and direct. Also prepare him for some of the reactions he may face.
Reactions and What You Can Coach Your Child to Say
Tell them everything is OK. You are managing your diabetes and you can do anything anyone else can.
- Want to know more
Teach them about diabetes, the differences between type 1 and type 2, and how you manage your BG.
- Get scared
Tell them lots of people live regular lives with type 1 diabetes and that you'll be OK!
- Think they're going to catch it
Explain that diabetes is not contagious. You can't catch it like a cold.
- Think you just ate too much candy
Explain you don't get diabetes from eating too much sugar. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease. It's not preventable in anyway.
- Treat you like you're sick
Tell them that by managing your BG, you can do anything they can do.
- Want to help
Thank them and tell them what to look for in case your BG goes low. Also, encourage them to join you and get involved with the American Diabetes Association to raise funds for a cure, as well as education and advocacy programs that help people with diabetes.
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