Monday, June 8, 2009

Everyday wisdom for families of kids with diabetes

(ARA) – Parents are masters at juggling. But if you are a parent of a child with diabetes, you have to learn to juggle in a whole new way. When a child is diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes, everyday moments like finding a babysitter, taking a vacation or starting a school year become more of a challenge.

That’s why the American Diabetes Association developed a free, interactive resource to help families of children with diabetes live happily and healthfully with these unique challenges. The toolkit, called "Everyday Wisdom," provides helpful strategies for families of children with diabetes to work together in support of the child. Among the strategies, families will learn how to prepare for a new school year, a slumber party, a babysitter or a plane trip.

It takes the whole family to care for and provide personal support for a child with diabetes.
Everyday Wisdom includes specific guides for children with diabetes, parents, teens with diabetes and siblings. There is even an interactive game for the whole family to play together that helps families learn more about diabetes, while opening up lines of communication on topics that may be hard to talk about.

Everyday Wisdom also includes an informational and inspirational DVD, juggling balls, and the Diabetes Dictionary -- all in an insulated lunch bag.

This interactive toolkit was designed for families of kids with diabetes ages 8 and over. It was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Eli Lilly and Company.

Everyday Wisdom addresses a wide range of topics such as:

* Family communication: There is a fine line between caring and nagging, so what is the right balance for a parent? How does the family handle conflict related to diabetes? Tips include reacting calmly, setting realistic expectations and keeping an open-door policy.

* School: Children spend most of the day at school and are likely involved in school activities. How do you work with your school to ensure your child is able to fully and safely participate in all the school has to offer?

* Driving: Getting that first driver’s license is a huge milestone for your teen, and making sure that he or she stays safe behind the wheel is every parent’s No. 1 priority. Learn ways to ensure your teen knows how to manage his or her diabetes before getting into the car.

* Sibling rivalry: When one of your children has diabetes, it affects your other children, too -- in ways you may not even realize. When special accommodations need to be made, how do you make sure that everyone understands exceptions that are about health, not fairness or favoritism?

Everyday Wisdom is one component of the American Diabetes Association’s Family Link. Through Family Link, the American Diabetes Association connects parents of children recently diagnosed to parent mentors who have been there and can provide personal support. Family Link also includes a variety of touch points through which families of children with diabetes can connect to informational tools and personal support.

To order a free copy of Everyday Wisdom and to get more information about Family Link, call (800) DIABETES (342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org/families.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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