Raising Happy Diabetic Kids

The first thing I suggest you do is very important. Remember, our children are who they had in mind when they coined the phrase “monkey see monkey do”. Trust Yourself! It’s okay to do it your way. There’re three components to raising happy kids, diabetic or not. They are Self-Confidence, Self-Reliance, an Self-Control. The more of these components your monkeys see in you, the more of these components you will see in your monkeys! I’m going to put out some ideas here but you’re the boss of your situation. Do it your way.

Upon reading the three components you might ask “but where is self esteem?” I’ll save that particular ramble for another day. Let me just assure you that if your child has self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-control then self-esteem comes naturally.

What is Self-Confidence?
Self-Confidence is:

Trusting your ability to form and sustain relationships

Trusting your ability to complete various tasks well, knowing that others value your abilities

Trusting your ability to manage new siuations

Trusting your own judgements and common sense

As you can see trust is a key element of self-confidence. When our children don’t have that measure of consistency and predictability in their lives it becomes difficult for them to gain the necessary trust either in themselves or in others to become self-confident. So if our children see that the people who are most important to them (us as parents) trust them and will provide them with a consistent environment, they will begin to trust themselves, their judgements, and those of the people around them. This is the beginning of common sense.(Yahoo!)

How do our children acquire Self-Confidence?
Self-Confidence comes from:

Being accepted for who you are

Having someone show confidence in you

Knowing there is something you are good at

Having firm expectations of other people’s behavior

Not being afraid of failure

Developing competence with the safety of a parent close by

Seeing others you admire and copy, being confident and happy

It seems so easy when you write it down. When you think about it three main components have to be in place: Trust and Predictability, competence, and sociability.

Trust and Predictability – We all know that routines are important for developing feelings of trust and security. Think about the routines and relationships between you and your family and friends. How much do they keep to a pattern? Will your child begin each day with a reasonably clear idea of what will happen and when?

Competence – Being good at things. We all have different talents and abilities. We need to help our children identify the things they are good at and encourage them. These skills fall into a couple of different categories.

Practical: Seeing how to make or mend things, and build things

Physical: Good at sports, kicking or catching a ball, swimming, running

Mental: Good ideas about things, good at solving practical problems, good at schoolwork

Social: Good at playing with others, kind and considerate, good at making new friends

Process: Being good at tying new things, sticking with difficult tasks and so on

Sociability – Trust and develop their social skills. Involve them moderately in your social life. If we have our children with us it shows not only are we happy to have them with us but also that we trust they will behave appropriately. Getting used to being in new situations, and learning to talk to different people will increase our children’s confidence considerably. Here’s one that took me a while to figure out. Give your child advance warning of your feelings, of short temper, tiredness, sadness, or whatever. “I’ve had a lousy day at work and I’m very crabby. It might be smart to keep your head down and your mouth shut.” Or “I’ve had an argument with so and so and I’m feeling hurt. If I’m short with you I’m sorry.” This not only teaches them techniques for managing their own feelings, but gives them a chance to learn sensitivity to the feelings and moods of others. These are essential social skills not only for now but for later on in life.

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