Annelies (age 15)
Kid first. My parents always said that don’t hold your kid back because of their diabetes, just accommodate to the situation. You shouldn’t have to give up your life or give up fun.
Andrew (age 15)
I would advise parents of young children with T1 to give their child as much freedom and responsibility for their own diabetes care as possible because it will really help your child in the teenage years and later on in life if they’ve been taught this responsibility at a young age.
Ashley C. (age 16)
I would tell them diabetes isn’t as scary as it seems. It has many ups and downs but it’s all worth it. This disease isn’t all the same – each child’s T1D is different.
Cameron (age 18)
To not overreact because things happen sometimes that we can’t control. We all have days where it’s just a bad day no matter what we do.
Caroline (age 15)
Don’t restrict the child’s food. My parents never restricted what I could & could not eat, so I don’t have a problem with food now, whereas some parents have restricted their children’s food because of their Type 1 and now they have an issue with food. If your young one with Type 1 wants to eat something, let them eat it. Just bolus for it and move on. It’s not a huge deal. I’m not saying that they should have a hugely sugary diet, everything in moderation, but if you would say “yes” to your other kids about that food or if you would’ve told your Type 1 “yes” before diabetes, let them have it.
Christina (age 15)
Since I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 13, I don’t really know much about living with it as a young child. However, as general advice for parents of little kids with T1, I would say that they should not be worried that their kids will be limited because of their diabetes. Diabetes can’t stop you from doing the things you love; you just have to account for it.
Claire (age 18)
Let the kids have their childhood while they can. In my experience, I had to grow up a lot faster than all the other kids, and while this was both a good and a bad thing, I definitely wish that I would’ve been able to spend more time as a kid, rather than having to worry about myself. On the other hand, it is important that you don’t do everything for your T1D child, as eventually they won’t have you there 24/7 to help them. That’s why it’s important that you properly prepare them to be independent, both as human beings and as diabetics.
Haley (age 14)
Don’t give them a hard time if they make a mistake like forgetting a bolus or bg check. Living with T1 is difficult enough without having to be lectured or punished for making a mistake.
Ian (age 15)
Don’t freak out. Stuff happens, and you are not always at fault. Not everything can be explained, and ofttimes, attempting to do so will just waste precious time and energy. Additionally, you MUST NOT let your or your child’s life revolve around the disease. Bring up the topic only when necessary, and do not make them do anything they are uncomfortable with unless they must do so or die. Remember, they are not “diabetic”, they simply have Type one diabetes.
Jordan (age 18)
My advice to parents of young diabetics is to let them do as much as they can themselves, because eventually they’ll have to learn. If you let them do it at a younger age, it will instill good habits into them.
Julia (age 15)
Some advice I would give would be not to be afraid to let your kids do something they want to just because of diabetes. Like sports, hobbies, etc..
Laura (age 17)
Be as understanding as possible and don’t pry. Being a young type one diabetic is sort of awkward and uncomfortable and even embarrassing. (At least for me it was.) Give your kid some to adjust and become more comfortable with diabetes.
Lexi (age 16)
Make sure they always have food and make sure they have a drink with them. Always make sure they check their sugar.
Maddy (age 15)
I would say, it is very important to be involved with the process of dosing, testing blood sugar, calculating carbs, but also teach them how to do it also. Once the kids get a hang of it, they will feel more independent and confident that they can manage their diabetes.
Maggie (age 16)
The advice I would give is to not treat your child like something is wrong with them. Teach them how to manage it and to live a normal life with t1d. Also, let your child go to diabetes summer camps. Making new friends allows them to have the feeling that they are not alone.
McKenna (age 16)
The advice I would give is do NOT take away sweets from your children just because they were diagnosed and do NOT take away “high” carb foods because you can give extra insulin for it, that’s what insulin is for. It’s used so your child can still be a child and enjoy the candy and pizza and cupcakes.
Skylyn (age 16)
I think one major tip for parents would be to teach your child how to count carbs very well; to the point where they just know how many carbs in foods without looking at the package. Knowing your basic math is also very important. It just makes it so much easier especially if you’re eating somewhere you haven’t been before. Just naturally knowing roughly how many carbs is in each thing makes it easy to get your total amount.
Vanessa (age 16)
Everything will be okay, and the more you learn how to deal with it and the child understands what they have, it becomes your new normal.