Family Support Means Better Blood Sugars for Kids With DiabetesAccording to a front page article in the January 1999 issue of Diabetes Interview, "the family's success in working together to support the family member with diabetes often determines his or her level of effective glucose control." Unlike other chronic pediatric diseases, diabetes requires a greater level of family committment. Also, more kids are diagnosed each year with diabetes -- about 13,000 -- than all forms of childhood cancer combined.
It takes about a year to settle into the routine of diabetes management. Families with open, respectful patterns of communication fare better than those with combative and unsupportive patterns. The better the communications among family members, the easier it will be for the family to adapt to the rigors of daily diabetes care. Problems that can occur among siblings who feel that the child with diabetes is getting more attention, for example, are more easily managed in an environment of open and honest discussion.
Parents must also be prepared for changes in their marital relationship. Mothers often bear a larger share of the diabetes care burden than fathers. Moms often feel stressed with all of the new responsibility. When both parents work together, the child with diabetes does better. Single parents face a greater challenge, as they bear the responsibility alone.
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Posted 2 January 1999
Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 20:59:48
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