Mistakes Happen

As you and your child set out on the journey of life with diabetes, you'll find that each day is a little different and you both may make mistakes along the way.

Mistakes can make you feel guilty, scared and stressed. But try to focus on the next step. The important thing to remember is that you can't be perfect and everyone makes mistakes.

When Mistakes Happen

  • Prepare for the "what if's" by talking with your diabetes care team. For example, ask what to do if your child misses an insulin shot, eats without covering, takes too much insulin or has a high or low blood glucose (blood sugar) level.
  • Remember that everyone with diabetes has high and low blood glucose levels even if their diabetes control is considered very good or excellent.
  • Don't play the blame game. Whether it's your mistake, your spouse's or your child's, learn from it and move on. Remember that some blood glucose highs and lows are due to things you or your child cannot control. Out of range blood glucose levels can be caused by stress, hormones or for no obvious reason at all.

Communicate About Mistakes

Children are very aware of parents' reactions (even the silent ones!). For reasons as simple as love or fear of disappointment, many children lie to spare their parents from stress.

Keep expectations realistic and help your child feel more comfortable about admitting mistakes. Some tips to help you:

  • Emphasize that mistakes happen.
  • Emphasize that blood glucose highs and lows are not "bad" or "good" and will happen.
  • Remind your child that no one is perfect — not even you.
  • Remind your child that telling the truth is vital and will not upset or disappoint you.
  • Don't offer rewards for keeping blood glucose levels in the target range.
  • React to mistakes calmly and productively.
  • Try not to nag — and try to move on.
  • Continue to let your child perform self-care tasks — it'll build confidence.

Diabetes Education

Treat mistakes as a chance to learn about your child's diabetes. Think like a scientist. Ask yourself:

  • How might this have happened?
  • Could it have been prevented?
  • What could we learn from this?
  • What could we do differently next time?
  • Last Reviewed: July 31, 2013
  • Last Edited: October 28, 2013

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Diabetes Forecast