Parenting a teen who lives with T1D: Tips for preserving your relationship
Raising a teenager (or tween) who lives with type 1 diabetes? You probably have questions about how you can preserve – and even strengthen – your relationship with your child while balancing their health concerns and T1D management.
After all, the pressure of normal teen development is hard enough, before adding in the self-awareness, restraint and routine that’s needed to manage living with a chronic illness.
We know that this can all be a common cause of conflict for families living with T1D, so JDRF brought together a panel of experts to give parents practical, helpful advice during the 2022 Type One Summit.
Featuring Simone Collins, a senior diabetes social worker who specialises in paediatric and adolescent care, Samantha Barry, a paediatric diabetes social worker, and Melanie Cullen, a paediatric psychologist and program lead for the Insulin Pump Program, the chat covered a wide range of questions to help parents and teens maintain a strong relationship in testing times.
Watch the discussion here. Article continues below.
Some of the highlights and questions answered during the chat included:
02.24: A look at JDRF’s new free teen T1D resource (download your copy here)
03.36: The adult brain vs the adolescent brain
04.45: Teen mental health: wellness, not illness
05.45: Things to consider & keep in mind when raising a teen with type 1 diabetes
06.42: “Why doesn’t my teen listen and follow their diabetes management plan? How can we help make that happen?”
09.22 “Why does my teen feel like their care is for me; how do I help them realise that it’s actually for them ?”
12.17: “How do I work with my teen as a team?”
17.12: “We’re struggling with our teen sneaking food, or eating very unhealthily. What can we do?”
21.07: “How important is the friendship cycle when it comes to good eating habits and mental health with teens?”
24.13: “What’s the best way to go about teaching your teenager how serious the complications of diabetes can be?”
>> Download free T1D guides for you and your teen here
Top tips for raising a teen living with T1D
The panel also offered some important tips to keep in mind throughout the teen and young adult years:
- Healthy relationships are a huge priority. This is a strong protective factor that signals to your teen that they can trust you and let you know when things aren’t working for them.
- Every step of the journey requires an equal measure of empathy and validation. Validate where young people are at. Autopilot is a myth when it comes to relationships!
- Support an open dialogue/environment. When teens feel safe and supported, they are better able to make sense of the world around them.
- Provide the space for your teen to ‘practice’ the skills of being an adult. With practice comes stuff ups/mistakes, and with this comes the opportunity for growth.
- What do you do when internal resources are burnt out (for both teen and parent) – where do you go? Know where you can find mental health support and have a plan in place.
How your gift can help make history: Research that’s changing the future of type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a condition which currently affects over 130,000 Australians, with a further 8 people diagnosed each day. JDRF has a vision of turning these numbers to zero and creating a world where T1D does not exist. How? By supporting the most promising research focused on finding cures and improving lives until […]
JDRF advocate Shanna McGrath receives Mark Butler Local Legend Award
Each year during National Volunteers Week, the Minister for Health, Hon Mark Butler, announces the winners of the Mark Butler MP Volunteer Awards. These awards recognise the local volunteers in his electorate, Hindmarsh, who are dedicated to improving the needs of the community organisations they represent. JDRF advocate, Shanna McGrath, was diagnosed with T1D when […]
Our 2023 Volunteer of the Year winners
It’s National Volunteer Week and this year’s theme is ‘change makers’. At JDRF, we know that no change for type 1 diabetes (T1D) has happened without the dedication of volunteers across the community. We are an organisation who was founded by volunteers and is still powered by them, including (but not limited to!) our amazing […]
Dr Ki Wook Kim awarded JDRF Career Development Award to improve type 1 diabetes risk prediction
Dr Ki Wook Kim, a prominent Australian researcher and emerging leader in type 1 diabetes (T1D) research based at the UNSW Sydney, has been awarded a JDRF Career Development Award (CDA) with US $1M funding committed over the next five years. Dr Kim is one of only 13 Australians to ever receive the JDRF Career […]