Support from Friends and Family

Telling friends and family about your child being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes may
bring about mixed emotions. You don’t want your child to be pitied, you don’t want
them to be looked at differently, yet you do need people to understand that your child will
need some special considerations sometimes.

When you first tell people they will either provide positive support, be neutral, or there
may be some negative reactions. The first two reactions are not a problem, you may get
offers of support or it may be a non-issue for others. It is the naysayers you need to be
careful of. You know it is a serious disease and you need to be sure your child is aware
of it too but you don’t need outsiders bringing doom and gloom into the situation. There
are tools and support to manage diabetes and your child can still expect a full and happy
life.

The easiest way to deal with negative reactions from friends and family members is to
educate them. Most times they have an incorrect impression of what diabetes is, how it is
managed, and the long-term effects. It is serious but damage can be minimized with
good control.

Your child may be nervous telling his or her friends too – afraid that they will be looked
at as different. Most children will have a neutral reaction or none at all. It is not
something that will affect friendships and it is not a problem. If your child does suffer
from teasing or taunting because they cannot have candy or some other silliness – let
them talk to you about it and express their feelings. Some of their friends may have
questions and some may not. If there is a concern with how your child is being treated or
how the diagnosis will be received speak with your child’s teacher.