Should my teen with diabetes tell his date about his condition?

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Many parents, wanting their child to be safe at all times, prefer their teen tell every date about diabetes. But teenagers have competing needs, including the need to choose who they want to tell about their diabetes and who they do not.

Remind yourself that there is no right or wrong decision. And the decision is not yours -- but your teen's -- to make.

Regardless of whether or not your teen decides to share, try not to nag. Be cautious of how you say things or ask questions because often parents hover with tone rather than words. Feeling ownership over diabetes will build confidence in his ability to manage diabetes as he matures into self-sufficiency.

Help your teen make this decision by asking:
  • How would you react if roles were reversed?
  • What do you think your friend's response would be?
  • Will it complicate things if you decide not to share?
If your teen decides to keep it private, it might help to consider the following questions prior to leaving for the date:
  • How will you handle dosing for a meal or snack?
  • What snacks will you bring and how will you carry them around?
  • Will you be too anxious about how you're going to manage diabetes to have a good time?
  • What if you guys want to play tennis? Are you okay with checking your blood glucose (BG) if you need to?
  • How would you handle a serious high or low?
Tips for sharing:
  • Suggest making it quick and simple, like, "I have diabetes so I have to plan a little when I eat. I keep track of my blood glucose levels and give myself insulin."
  • Reassure your child that most people are very caring and concerned, sometimes curious, too.
  • Prepare your child to be ready to answer a lot of questions. In fact, that's a good sign - and it could mean a second date!

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.