How to Explain Diabetes a 10 Year Old
As adults, we often have a hard time explaining grown up things, like illnesses, to children. Often, when children ask in their innocent way, we are hard pressed to find the words to tell them; even taken off guard, when the question comes out of the blue. Please don’t shoo them away like it’s a dirty secret.
You first must become comfortable with your illness, what bought this upon you, and take responsibility for your actions. You have to let blame go. Only then can you open up and talk about such personal information. Children have a way of seeing right to your core. They will know if you are lying to them.
In a matter of fact way, and in simple words, answer just the question the child asks you. Adults often give too much information and in dealing with the young you must answer only the question they asked because that is really all they want to know at that time.
It will also help them absorb the information and feel they have been given the attention they needed. Being open and honest with children will help them trust you.
They are only trying to understand the world around them and if they see a consequence maybe they will heed the reasons why. And they will come back to you for more information or to ask more questions later on.
Some common questions asked by children are:
“What are you doing? “
You can say, “I am taking my medicine.”
“Does it hurt? “
Say “Oh, I got used to it, it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
(Or if it still hurts) you can say, “Yes, but I still need the medicine so I have to do what I need to do.”
“Will I have to do that?”
You can answer, “No, if you eat healthy foods and run and play outside, and keep moving your body, you won’t have to take medicine like this when you get older.”
“Why do you have to take that medicine?”
You can say, “My body can’t process food correctly to get the energy out of it like yours, so this helps my body use all my food correctly.”
Talk to children the way you would want to be talked to. And if you really don’t want to talk to them, tell them that you are not comfortable talking about it now, but that you may in the future. They can understand that, too.
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