It’s hard to know exactly what it’s like for kids with diabetes when you haven’t experienced it yourself. We asked some Gen Z Instagrammers what they wished their parents understood about living with type 1 — here’s what they said.
I Am Trying Really Hard
“I wish my parents knew that just because my blood sugar levels fluctuate drastically does not mean I’m not trying my hardest to keep it under control. Believe me, I try all day, but some days it’s harder than others. So please don’t ask, why is your blood sugar so high/low? Why did you eat too much or too little? What’s going on, lately your blood sugar is out of control? Instead just ask, are you ok? Is there anything I can get you? How can I help?” —Rodnyemail@example.com
It’s Going to Be Okay
“I would like D-parents of young kids to know that with the right tools your child can do anything they want to do. With the support of my parents, I successfully played collegiate softball! Also, celebrate diaversaries!! This is our new normal, and putting a positive vibe around diabetes makes it easier to accept the diagnosis.” —Kacey/@type1tools
Tomorrow Is Another Day
“I wish my parents had understood that sometimes it’s better to say, ‘Never mind, tomorrow is another day,’ and give your T1 warrior a hug and maybe their favorite snack (white chocolate buttons for me), and then, yeah, ‘Tomorrow is another day and it could be great!’” —Lucyfirstname.lastname@example.org
It’s More Than Blood Sugar and Insulin
“What I wish parents knew about T1D is how much of a battle it can be on you not just physically but mentally… managing levels can be overwhelming.” —Michael/@t1diabeticwarrior25
Try Not to Let Me Grow Up Too Fast
“What I would share with my parents and other parents of kids with T1D is that having type 1 at a young age makes you grow up really fast. As a teen, you now have to check in on and be in control of your health all the time. Friends running out to grab doughnuts and ice cream isn’t something you can always do. You have to be responsible and make adult decisions. So for parents, give your T1D kid more opportunities just to be a kid. Let them know you’re there as a parent to help and that they’re not doing this alone. Teach your kids to be responsible, but they don’t have to grow up all at once now!” —Margaret & Anna/@WeAreSweetSisters
It’s Okay if I’m Not the Center of Attention
“If I could tell my parents something, it would be, don’t worry so much about me. I know this diagnosis has been hard on all of us, and it felt to my sibling that I got all of your attention. Please drop me off at Grandma’s for the afternoon and go off and do something special one-on-one.” —Claire/@claire_.bear
I Appreciate You
“There is one thing I’d like my parents to know… without them I would not be here. Being a caregiver for a teen with diabetes can feel hard and helpless and scary, but they did an amazing job.” —Kacey/@type1tools
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.