Raising a Child with a Chronic Illness

When I first embarked on this journey to provide ongoing education for parents of children with type 1 diabetes, I asked a diabetes educator what are some of the issues parents struggled with most. He replied that what he and his colleagues often spend much of their time  providing basic parenting advice. Advice such as: “Just because your child has type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you should let him have Lucky Charms for breakfast so that he doesn’t feel different.” Or “Just because she has type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t expect her to clean up her room and do all of her homework.”

Parents often feel so sad and guilty over their child’s diagnosis, that sound parenting gets cast aside and replaced by indulgence.

Parents often struggle to maintain a healthy balance and keep the focus on all the children in the family once they have a child with type 1 diabetes, or any chronic illness. (see my previous blog on “Our Invisible Children“). The other children in the family may feel left out, ignored, and resentful both toward their sick sibling and their parents.

And lastly, the stress of caring for a child with a chronic illness can introduce new tension into the couple relationship and jeopardize their relationship and the marriage. The statistics aren’t on our side, but how can we prevent our marriage from becoming a statistic?

These questions have been on my mind ever since that first conversation two years ago.  I have been searching for the right person to teach and facilitate a three-part workshop on family dynamics when raising a child with a chronic illness. I have met many great people in my search and found excellent speakers on other topics, but it wasn’t until about six months ago that it all came together.

I am thrilled to announce that this November Carb DM and Parent’s Place are co-sponsoring a three-part workshop titled: “Raising a Child with a Chronic Illness: Navigating Family Dynamics in the ‘New Normal’”

Mimi Ezray, Parent’s Place’s director of special needs will be facilitating the workshop along with myself. Parents of children with all chronic illnesses, not just type 1 diabetes, are invited to attend.

Dates & Times: November 8, 15, 29; 7 – 9 pm

Location: Parent’s Place, 200 Channing Avenue, Palo Alto

Cost: $30 per session; $90 for the entire series. Spouse or significant other: $75 for the series.

Register online at Parent’s Place Online. If you are registering as a couple and would like to receive the discount, please call to register: 650 688 3040.

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