Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease. Helping your child follow his or her diabetes treatment plan takes round-the-clock commitment. But your efforts are worthwhile. Careful management of type 2 diabetes can reduce your child's risk of serious — even life-threatening — complications.

Counseling and support

Talking to a counselor or therapist may help your child or you cope with the lifestyle changes that come with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Your child may find encouragement and understanding in a type 2 diabetes support group for children.

Support groups for parents also are available. Although support groups aren't for everyone, they can be good sources of information. Group members often know about the latest treatments and tend to share their own experiences, or helpful information, such as where to find carbohydrate counts for your child's favorite takeout restaurant. If you're interested, your doctor may be able to recommend a group in your area.

Or you can visit the American Diabetes Association website to check out local activities for people with type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association also offers diabetes camp programs, online information, and an online forum for children and teens with diabetes.

Getting your child actively involved

As your child gets older, encourage him or her to take an increasingly active role in diabetes management. Teach your child how to test his or her blood sugar and, if needed, inject insulin. Stress the importance of lifelong diabetes care, which is particularly important for teens to understand, as they may rebel against their diabetes care regimen. Foster a relationship between your child and his or her diabetes treatment team. Make sure your child wears a medical ID tag.

Above all, stay positive. The habits you teach your child today will help him or her enjoy an active and healthy life with type 2 diabetes.

May 03, 2014