Letting Go! When To Let A Teen Be A Teen, Diabetic Or Not

As I write this post Jack is spending the first night of a full week away from us, I know arghhh. As a parent it is your worst nightmare, your children staying away from home. Yet part of you is glad you have brought them up to be confident enough to leave you. 
Jack is 13, very nearly 14 but the difference is; he has type 1 diabetes. I cant compare him to another child, he has not got an older sibling. Is it worse because of his condition? I don’t know. 
When he was diagnosed at the age of 10 he was booked on an educational for 4 nights with school, of course we let him go, how could we not, but I never slept for a week. School were fantastic and had all the relevant training, and Jack had a wonderful time.
Jack is becoming more and more independent, as teens do. But I have always controlled his diabetes, understood very high, every low. However lately he has started to take control himself. At first I was horrified, but his team suggested Chris and I take a back seat.
I know they are 100% right, Jack manages extremely well, and in fact he has excelled in diabetes management. If there was a grade, I would give him A*, but his team think he is ready to be more independent. To make his own decisions on insulin, carb counting, sports factors etc.  Yes, he will make mistakes; it is part of learning, of growing. He will learn from these mistakes, but he has to start to take ultimate control of his condition. 

He is away with his best friend Harry and his family this week. I have total trust in Jillian and David (Harry’s Parents) He stays at their house often, they have been a great support on Jacks journey. He feels totally at ease with them, happy to test his sugar and inject in front of them. And he doesn’t feel this way with everyone, so I know Jack will be safe and happy. However he is on a very active holiday, where he must gauge his activity levels and adjust his insulin accordingly. 
As I waved him goodbye this morning I left him with lists of instructions, Jack just rolled his eyes at me and said, “Mum I know what I am doing, and I will be fine.” And I know he will be. 
It will probably feel just as hard when Joe is this age and away with a friends family. Or maybe I will be more relaxed by then, having gone through letting go with Jack. 

Jack we are incredibly proud of you, of the wonderful, kind, funny and hard working young man you have become. The way you have taken on diabetes, dealt with it and got on with being a teenager is amazing. We love your I can conquer anything attitude, it shows real sense of character. Keep up this attitude into adulthood and stay grounded and you will do well in life. 
But please always remember; you have the power to always have control of this.It is just about making the right decisions, and don’t worry, we will be there to help you. But your team are right, we cant do it for you, and you are quite capable of being in control with a little help and guidance from us.

Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. Maria Noell
    20th August 2014 / 7:22 am

    Awwww big hugs!!! You must feel so worried but by reading your posts, he is growing up into an easy going, independent young man and seems to take his diabetes on the chin. That is something for you all to be so proud of. Not every family would treat it that way xxxx

    • 22nd August 2014 / 7:43 am

      Ah thanks Maria, as I write this reply he is on his way home, he seems to have managed really x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.