Sibling as childcare alternative?


(Jennifer) #1

Mid-winter break is coming up and my children will stay at their dad’s house for that week according to our parenting plan. My son who has Type 1 is 10 and my daughter who doesn’t have Type 1 is 13.
Their dad mentioned he can’t find a camp or someone to watch the kids during that time when he’s at work and suggested that the 13-year old could watch her brother for the whole break. I’m having trouble agreeing with this. A few hours, sure, but I feel it’s just too much of a responsibility to put on a young teenager, even though she is responsible. Additionally both the dad and I would be at least 30min driving distance away during that time and there is no family around either.
I’m open to hearing any thoughts on this. Thank you!


(Laura) #2

As a mom of a t1d child I agree with you. There needs to be someone nearby to reach out to. I am in Loveland. Where are you?


(Luisa) #3

If there was family nearby or you had access to being there in a shorter period of time then maybe but it makes it hard with no one (friend, neighbor, family) close by in case of an emergency. There are many factors to consider when making these types of decisions with our T1D kids. I think it also depends on how under control his T1D is and how responsible he is when it comes to caring for himself and his T1D, while I know he is young (my son was diagnosed last year at 10 and just turned 11) you probably have an idea on how well he is when it comes to carb counting, dosages etc. from watching over him. Hope it all works out! Good luck :slight_smile:


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #4

Hi Jennifer @Jennifer23,
I concur with what @luisa is asking, but in these words. How many “emergency” situations has your son encountered in the recent past - say since December where an adult educated in T1 Management had to intervene?
another question, do you on occasion leave your kids at home alone looking out for one another? Or put otherwise fighting with each other?

Just because your kid has been diagnosed with diabetes does not turn him into a delicate china figurine - he can still be a rough and tumble “real boy”; no need to treat him differently from his siblings - certainly I wasn’t. I continues to play baseball, football, went off for hours on my bike, got lost in the woods, became an accomplished alpine skier, etc., and somehow “survived” and accomplished during way more than a half century while managing diabetes - and just today 20+ miles on my bike.


(sneathbupp) #5

I was the oldest of 7 and was saddled with tons if childcare from the age of 12 on. I adored my brothes and sisters but really deprived of my own childhood. It was nerve racking having to make healthcare decisions at that age, couldn’t imagine having to do it for a T1 sibling. I highly recommend not allowing thus


(Luisa) #6

I understand what you’re saying, not sure that @Jennifer23 sittuation is the same as it sounds like this is not a frequent occurrence and only for one week. @Dennis I agree, yes we have to care for our kids, protect them and love them, however, we also have to balance allowing them to do things they used to do b4 their diagnosis and things that other kids without T1D do. One day they won’t be under our wing but out on their own and as parents we should have the comfort in knowing that we thought them how to be independent and care for themselves the way we would. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, everyone’s situation is not the same and factors vary :blush:


(Jennifer) #7

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on this. It helps so much just putting things out there among people who understand the situation.
We haven’t had any dramatic emergency situations in the 6 years he has had diabetes, and he is very responsible with his care unless he just forgets or gets distracted. :wink: A big part of my concern is more about the responsibility my daughter faces being the one full in charge and her break not being a full break. Also I think, that if I’d allow it once for this break, it will become a routine for the dad to do the same in the summer.
I am giving this some more time to decide though and will also speak to our counselor in a upcoming mediation.


(Genavive) #8

I agree! I was diagnosed at age 10. And was left in a time without cgm- without pumps and my insulin was based on calories! But I’ve never had an issue with going low and not knowing it. My daughter was diagnosed at age 12. For the first 6 months we didn’t leave her alone much. Her younger sister knew how to call for help. We also kept cake gel and everything handy. It’s all about maturity and how stable their diabetes is.