From Las Vegas, Nevada, USA:
What is the best way for my husband and I to handle our three year old who was just diagnosed last week? When do we begin teaching him about taking responsibility for his health, and what is the best way to approach this with him?
A three year old is at the developmental stage that requires trust, comfort and support. Make diabetes a routine part of your life. Insist, however gently, that finger pokes and injections are mandatory. Use phrases like "this will hurt a little" and "this will keep you healthy".
Independence and responsibility are a way off, for you and your child. Keep close ties with your diabetes team now, call for dose adjustments and meal planning advice. Your learning curve is very steep right now. Include as many support people as you can in this learning phase, so you can have help when you need it.
Take one day at a time. It gets easier. My daughter, diagnosed at 3, is now a happy, healthy 12 year old. It's been a long and wonderful road. Take baby steps, you're in for an adventurous journey. Like I've said before, "Diabetes is a rotten club to belong to, but you meet a lot of wonderful people!"
Original posting 4 Jan 1999
Posted to Daily Care
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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