Parenting Lessons Learned from Diabetes

Dear Reader,

My daughter has type 1 diabetes (bear with me here; my main point is not about diabetes but parenting in general). Mostly it is a manageable disease (though very intensive). But it can be fatal. Thanks to the internet, one can find a lot of support from other parents of cwds (children with diabetes). But one also hears all the horrible stories of kids who die from this disease.  The instinct when this news comes down the pike, it so ask what happened. We want to know all the gritty details. We want to know what went wrong. This can all seem very harsh, especially to the parents that have lost their child. But I think it is a reaction that comes from fear. We want to know that the other parents did something horribly wrong that we would never do so that we can then say that will not happen to my child. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are parents who do not care for their child’s disease well. Sometimes there may be real fault there. But the truth is it is also possible to do all the right things and still have it all go wrong. There is just too much that is uncontrollable. And sometimes maybe there are little wrong things that are not done deliberately or from a lack of care but just because we are fallible, imperfect, and often very tired people.

All this I was thinking of this weekend in a different context. I think we have similar reactions when we see another’s child go morally astray. This could be the Christian parent whose child leaves their faith or it could be any parent whose child takes what they consider a wrong road. When I hear that someone’s child has drifted spiritually, I have the same instinct to ask what went wrong. Maybe they didn’t homeschool. Maybe they didn’t make church a priority. The list goes on and on. And as with the diabetes example, there can be real wrong things a parent can do. But the truth is also that even if we do all the right things, there are still no guarantees. We cannot control our children’s hearts any more than we can control their blood sugars. And we will all do little wrong things along the way. None of us is perfect. The best we can do is avoid the wrong things we can, persevere, and pray. The results are in the hands of the Lord.


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