Diabetes doesn’t just mean a new life for your child - it affects the whole family. Make time to think about how each family member is coping.
While you’re busy getting to grips with your child having diabetes, it’s easy to forget about the needs of any other children you may have. But they will be affected by their brother or sister’s diagnosis, too.
They may feel that their brother or sister is getting special treatment because of their diabetes. They might also worry in case their sibling has a hypo, or even be scared that they’ll develop diabetes.
One thing you shouldn’t forget is that rivalry and even jealousy are common in most families, and diabetes in one of your children can cause upset between siblings. In the early days after diagnosis, it’s only natural for you to be anxious and focus your attention and care on your child with diabetes. But regular hospital visits and attention to diet and everything else that goes with diabetes does have an impact on your other children.
Brothers and sisters are always going to squabble. However, there are things you can do to try to stop them from arguing about diabetes:
- try to listen to both equally; be sensitive to their claims of ‘it’s not fair!’
- be clear about what you expect from each of them
- try to give them the same amount of attention
- if you feel it’s appropriate, get siblings involved with diabetes management so they feel part of it
- to prevent jealousy, try not to put a hold on family life.