Benefits of Parental Monitoring-1 :: Kids with Type 1 Diabetes


This is the first in a series of blogs about the benefits of parental monitoring. If you aren’t sure that this topic is important, or if you assume that excellent parental supervision is a given, try walking through your local shopping mall during after-school hours and just observe how many unsupervised kids there are.Child diabetic being tested.

Parental monitoring is an effective method of preventing your kids from engaging in high risk behaviors. But, this series isn’t just about parents. The relationships and communication of grandparents, aunts, uncles and caring friends with kids can have an extremely positive effect on developing youth.

Juvenile or Type 1 diabetes (these patients produce no insulin of their own) is commonly a challenge for physicians to treat due because kids often have difficulty following their doctor’s instructions. Proper management of type 1 diabetes requires following a complicated, demanding treatment regimen, including multiple daily blood-sugar tests, multiple insulin injections or use of an insulin pump, regular meals, limited fat and carbohydrate intake, regular exercise and adjusting the insulin dosage based on diet and exercise.

Youngsters with Type 1 diabetes often have trouble sticking to their treatment plan, raising their risk of blindness, kidney failure and heart disease.

It can be a struggle to get kids to do everything that they need to do to manage their condition. But a researcher from the University of Utah says, “if we could improve the quality of the parent-adolescent relationship and increase parents’ monitoring of adolescents’ diabetes management, we could improve adolescents’ adherence to the type 1 diabetes regimen and, subsequently, their long-term health.”

It may be easy, but inaccurate, to blame youngsters for behaviors that aggravate Type 1 diabetes when research says that parents may be at fault for improperly supervising their child’s medical recommendations. Admittedly, having a child with Type 1 diabetes is challenging for any parent but the consequences of not supervising are severe.

Bottom line? Talk to your kids and stay involved in their lives. Communicate clear expectations with a smile, even if it means making them follow doctor’s orders.