When one child has diabetes, it’s common that other siblings may feel jealous or left out. They may feel that the child with diabetes gets special attention from adults and other family members, and won’t understand the need for all the hospital visits and the extra time spent caring for them.
It can be hard for siblings to adjust to a situation where they think their brother or sister gets all of your time. They may not be able to understand that diabetes is a serious condition, and may just see it as an excuse for time off school and eating snacks during the day. However, with a few minor adjustments and lots of TLC, there is no reason for diabetes to have a negative effect on your family life.
It’s not just siblings who have a part to play in your child’s diabetes care though. Often it’s the best friend, who spends time with your child both in and out of school, who is the most important. They may be the ones that make sure your child is testing their blood glucose and injecting insulin at the right times, they’ll remind them to snack when they’re feeling low, and will keep an eye out for them during the day. It’s important not to under-estimate the role of your child’s best friend. Make sure you let his or her parents know how valued their child is as well as ensuring their child feels appreciated and important.
There are many ways you can help brothers, sisters and best friends support the child with diabetes. Here are just a few examples:
The whole family should try to take regular exercise, so pick something you can all do together such as cycling or ice skating.
Try and combine a trip to the hospital with a visit to a local park or something similar, so the whole family can have fun together.
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