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The Personal Meaning Behind the Numbers

May 30, 2014 - Part 2 of 2
>Read Part 1

As parents of kids with diabetes, we all try our best to steer clear of emotions like fear, guilt, anger, anxiety and isolation.  Sometimes...easier said than done!  So, how can we promote emotional well-being?

  • Diabetes is not defining – “I am much more/this family is much more than diabetes."
  • Diabetes control is more than an A1c.
  • Realizing and celebrating success in other parts of life.
  • Allowing diabetes to occupy only a small part of thoughts and energy levels.
  • Having the ability to share diabetes with others.
  • Viewing obstacles as learning opportunities, and then getting right back on track.

Above all, effective communication regarding the numbers is the key ingredient.

  • Use “I” versus “You”
    Instead of “You never check your blood sugar,” say “I get concerned for your well-being when you don't know your blood sugar level.
  • Remove value statements
    Instead of “Your blood sugar is terrible,” say “Your blood sugar is below/above your target."
  • Use empathy
    Instead of saying “Just get over it,” say “It must be frustrating for you when you blood sugar levels are higher or lower than you want them to be.
  • Positive reinforcement
    Instead of reacting “432!!! What did you do??” say “I am really proud of you for identifying and correcting the 432. What do you think was the cause?

How should we approach blood sugar monitoring responsibilities?

  • First and foremost, do what's best for your family.  It varies from child to child and family to family.
  • Identify and discuss parent vs. child responsibilities.
  • Define clearly “what” and “who.”
  • Watch your actions and reactions – set realistic expectations.
  • Learn the skills/steps necessary to optimize diabetes self-care.
  • Praise and reinforce.
  • Encourage problem-solving skills. Need to know your targets first.

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SOURCE: Diabetes Research Institute Education Team



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