FUDiabetes

My Five Year Old's Increased Awareness of my T1D - Not Sure How I Feel About This


#1

As a mom with T1D, my personal goal is to never ever need my children’s assistance with my bg. I do not want them to feel responsible for my well-being. I do not want them to feel like they have to keep an eye on me. Maybe my grip on that will loosen up as they get older…thinking tween or teenager…but they are too young in my book right now. I have not yet ever passed out. I hope to never pass out. I don’t even ask them to grab me tabs or juice boxes. But they do see this stuff stashed around the house.

Having said that, T1D is a big part of our daily household life. They see me test, inject, change pods, etc. My 5 year old is SUPER tuned in to my diabetes. He asks questions. He always double checks where my pod is before he snuggles up next to me on the couch. He asks if different foods have a lot of sugar in them.

Today as he and I were getting ready to take our dog on a long walk, he informed me (in his adorable little speech delayed enunciation) that he had packed Sweet Tarts in his pocket for me in case my blood sugar needed it. And he double checked whether I had my pump supplies (he means my PDM) with me. These points amazed me because he clearly knows Sweet Tarts have sugar in them…but they are not ever something I eat or use to treat lows. And he’s never asked about me carrying my supplies with me.

A few weeks ago, my five year old came out to the garage with me when I was hanging curtains. He let me know that he had grabbed two juice boxes and put them on the toolbox in case I needed them. He never seems worried when he says these things. Just matter of fact.

I love that he is situationally aware. I just don’t know how I feel about him seemingly taking this on as a responsibility of his.


#2

He loves his mommy. :slight_smile:


#3

I think he is like many 5 year olds who begin taking responsibility for things. If you aren’t putting the responsibility on him, which I don’t think you are, then you are fine and it is just a representation of how much he loves his mother.


#4

My 6 year old granddaughter will ask me if I need my special candy and offer to get some. :smiley_cat:


#5

Seems developmentally appropriate, as long as his behavior isn’t coupled with signs of anxiety/worry/stress. Like, if he’s doing the “look at me! I can be a helper!” thing, that’s great and just a sign he’s trying to contribute to whatever tasks he sees you doing. If it makes you more comfortable, you can also thank him, let him know you always have low blood sugar supplies with you, and redirect his helpfulness to other tasks. If he’s asking lots of questions out of curiosity, then it’s likely an inquisitive mind, which is also great. However, if it’s a repeated checking that you have your supplies and if there’s a sense of urgency around any of it (which it doesn’t sound like it at all from your description), then it might be time for a check-in to find out if there are any fears/concerns underlying his behavior and address those. He just sounds like a lovely kiddo though! :slight_smile:


#6

I think it’s no different than, say, a child noticing his mom likes to carry mints in her purse, and making sure she has some. I think it’s awesome that he’s noticing and acting on what he sees in order to be helpful. You’ve got a great kid there!

My almost 2 year old “helps” me lift my shirt for injections in my belly lol He doesn’t have any fears or thinks it’s his responsibility to do it; he just wants to help mommy.


#7

He sounds like such a sweet kid!! Man, you lucked out :wink:

…though I’m sure your parenting had a whole lot to do with it!


#8

Yup.

My older non-T1 kids will notice my CGM reading on my watch and will provide “helpful” suggestions like “It looks like you need some glucose” and “well you ate too many carbs for lunch…”

I am impressed that they have learned what normal blood sugars are and that they know how to treat highs and lows. They just pick it up from listening to my wife and I talk about our younger T1 son.

They also know how to test blood sugars and give shots (I let my older kids give me shots with the hope that one day they can help care for my younger son :slight_smile:) which may be useful when I am old :laughing:


#9

Thank you for the kind and helpful comments, everyone. It does give me good perspective and ideas of what to watch for.

I do have really awesome kids. Won the lottery on that one.


#10

Allison, this made me smile so much. What a compassionate and kind boy you’re raising!! :purple_heart:


#11

Kids, especially younger ones, want to participate in what parents do. I did not take my kids grocery shopping much, but when I did, they want to be part of it. Things like give them something to do, even if it I just holding or passing an inoperable or non-fragile item.

As they get older, they have things THEY want to do, and that cute behavior declines, usually.

IMO, (not worth much) it seems it may(??) also make the little one more comfortable & maybe even more secure. Sounds to me you have been playing this correctly, and not over reacting.


#12

What an lovely, caring young man. At five my grandson just hoped he would get a glucose tab as a treat for himself. Now at ten, he is more aware and asks a lot of questions about diabetes, blood sugar levels etc. The other day my CGM read low. He went and looked at number then went to the pantry and gave me a box of sweet tarts. No big deal. Just seemed to know. Kids absorb a lot more than we are aware of. My grandson is more curious and wanting to be helpful than feeling responsible. You must be so proud of your boy


#13

My 5 year old likes to review my dexcom graphs! He will congratulate me if I am grey and says he is sorry for when I am yellow (high). Recently I had went on a pump vacation and it wasn’t going so well. He asked me to go back on my pump! That made me feel a little guilty that he noticed that I wasn’t taking the best care of myself.
It sounds like you have a very kind child who cares about his mommy. It is tough to have a balance between having them informed and not giving them too much information that will worry them. It is comforting to know that other families have similar scenarios. Thank you for posting about this. It made me realize that this is normal in our world.


#14

Thank you for YOUR post, @JuliaS13! It is comforting to hear from you!!