Advice from an Expert Low Carb D-Mom: How to Parent a Teen with Type 1 Diabetes


    One of many questions I ceaselessly get requested in my work as a low carb diabetes advocate is why I’m not a “rebellious” teen. There’s a normal assumption that I have to be ignoring my blood sugar, skipping boluses, or consuming junk meals, simply because I’m a young person. However as a result of my mother and father helped me develop the talents I’ve wanted to simply accept and handle my diabetes with out anger or resentment, I haven’t confronted “revolt” points.

    To have fun Mom’s Day, I requested my mother, Roxanne Dikeman, PhD, and licensed psychologist, to take a seat down for an interview with me about parenting a teen with diabetes. My mother and pa have at all times been an enormous a part of my diabetes administration and my major emotional assist community. And far of my mother’s clever method to diabetes care has been guided by her skilled expertise. I feel she has nice recommendation, and I’m excited to share it with you.

    This text is devoted to all of the mothers on the market!

    I’m positive my analysis was terrifying for you. How did you course of it?

    Your dad and I allowed ourselves to be anxious and unhappy for a second, counting on one another for assist. Then, we made the agency determination to regulate our mindset. We rolled up our sleeves and acquired into problem-solving mode.

    We determined to get educated. We learn every part we might and located the Diabetes Answer e-book by Dr. Bernstein. Quickly after, we had a household assembly, together with your 5 year-old brother, and determined collectively that we might change every part about the way in which we eat. Collectively, we crafted a household plan and dedicated to a unified low-carb food and diabetes management plan.

    Have you ever ever been anxious about teenage revolt, and the way it may have an effect on my diabetes care?

    There are such a lot of technical, medical, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges for a Sort 1 teenager/younger grownup to study. It might probably really feel overwhelming, however you’ve stated many occasions when requested that ‘revolt’ by no means occurred to you.

    We understood early on that creating and implementing a joint diabetes administration plan would solidify your sense of well-being. The aim in our household partnership was at all times handy over the torch to you, in order that you possibly can be absolutely unbiased and intrinsically motivated to self-manage your diabetes as a younger grownup.

    Together with your enter guiding the method, we labored at your tempo and mentioned your readiness to tackle diabetes duties at each stage. Over time, you began managing your boluses, packing your insulin for varsity, and making all self-care selections for the whole lot of the college day and athletics.

    As you mastered every micro-goal, we might clearly see your confidence and independence rising.  We liked seeing you search out extra possession and have fun every step of your success, mastery, and independence. My guess is that another excuse you didn’t “insurgent” is due to your give attention to serving to others. You selected to give attention to gratitude and spend a substantial amount of power and time helping other children, teens, and families by way of your internships and displays.

    How can mother and father assist their teenagers navigate the social challenges of Sort 1?

    We realized that you’d must navigate many social situations and challenges that we might have completely no management over. That was extremely scary as a mother or father.

    One factor we might do was nurture a wholesome mindset. We might educate you optimistic coping expertise. We might work by way of our personal fears and be good function fashions.

    Figuring out potential limitations or challenges to success and problem-solving have been key.

    We frolicked considering by way of troublesome situations proactively as a household, reminiscent of learn how to preserve insulin cool at a seashore celebration, or on the soccer area, and what to eat at a barbecue or potluck. Self-advocacy was additionally a important ability that can assist you construct. We ready you to have the ability to navigate difficult social situations, whether or not it was consuming low-carb meals within the cafeteria or at events, administering insulin pictures or glucose tabs in entrance of buddies, or explaining your Sort 1 diabetes to classmates.

    How did you stability taking my situation critically with the want to give me a way of normalcy?

    Initially at analysis, all of us acknowledged our excessive anxiousness ranges throughout the household. Our aim as mother and father was to not encourage you to “disregard” or “not take into consideration” your diabetes, as this could solely escalate your anxiousness with out permitting you the chance to course of and focus on your considerations. We determined that can assist you in your journey to an built-in and wholesome id by way of acceptance, creating acceptable expectations, and establishing an affordable diabetes motion plan.

    This allowed you to take possession of your well being and make knowledgeable, rational, and lifelike selections. Selections with out penalties don’t exist. You understood the horrific brief and long-term penalties of uncontrolled blood sugars, which solely strengthened your dedication to a low carb approach to diabetes management that generated concrete, measurable glycemic success.

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