Teens with Type 1
Being a teenager is a time to develop your identity and gain independence.
Type 1 can take up a large part of daily activities within the home, during school and outside activities. Teenagers may feel frustrated from this and isolated from their peers. For a teen, social engagements, hobbies, sports and school are major parts of their lives. With your guidance, they can learn to manage Type 1 alongside their hopes and dreams for the future.
As a parent of a teen with Type 1, you may have concerns about giving an increased level of responsibility to your teen. It is important to ensure your teen has safe and optimal control of their Type 1. It is also important that they learn to manage their Type 1 during these years. Setting 'ground rules' and 'non-negotiable' tasks can help with this.This will help them to transition into adulthood with the skills they need to survive and thrive.
"I am a person with Diabetes. Not a Diabetic"
Risk taking is an important topic to talk to your teens about. Their is 'healthy' risk taking and 'unhealthy' risk taking, with 'harm minimisation' at the forefront. It is normal for teenagers to undertake risk taking during this part of their lives. Developing new friendships, starting a new sport, trying new things, employment It can help teens to increase their confidence and strengthen decision making skills.
Alcohol, drugs, safe sex, driving, online risks, truancy, managing relationships and peer pressure are all important topics to be discussed appropriate to your teens age. Often teens will not want to talk to a parent. A close family friend, aunt, uncle or school counsellor for example, may be an option for your teen. A mental health professional can guide your teen through topics that are often taboo or difficult to talk about.
Having Type 1 Diabetes can increase the risks in some of these behaviours. Talk to your teen about risk taking, boundaries and how to manage Type 1 in these circumstances, before they arise in real life. Your teen's healthcare team can be a big part of educating and minimising potential harm. Education is key to helping your teen make the best decisions possible for them.