Parenting and Relationships with Type 1 Diabetes


September 14th, 2023

Parenting and Relationships with Type 1 Diabetes

Supporting and loving someone with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) can have emotional and practical impacts within the family, friends or in romantic relationships. 

Managing T1D as a family, with friends and romantic partners can bring you closer together and strengthen the bonds you already share. 

It’s important to have regular and open communication in all relationships so that you can support one another. 

Being aware of the pressure that T1D can add to your relationships and the common issues that can come up will help you manage difficult moments in your relationships better.

1. Family Relationships and Type 1 Diabetes 

Sibling rivalry

  • When you have a child with T1D, it can be easy to not give your other children as much attention. 
  • With regular hospital appointments, attention to your child’s medication, diet and exercise can make other children feel left out or like they have less of your time. 
  • It is difficult to be strict with your T1D child on what they eat and other things to keep up good management. Try to remind your child that this comes from a place of love and that you want them to stay healthy and happy.
  • A way to try and lessen any feelings of jealousy within your family is to involve the whole family in Type 1 Diabetes management and share as much as you can.
  • Share HelloType1 with all your children to help to educate them and feel less alone. Share with the other children so they understand what their sibling is living with.

Separated parents

  • Going through a separation can be painful and difficult for many reasons. 
  • When you have a child with Type 1 Diabetes it is important to ensure continued good diabetes management between both houses and both parents.  
  • No matter how difficult, it is important to keep good communication about your child’s Type 1 Diabetes. 
  • It is important to plan how you will keep each other updated about your child’s treatment and routine. 
  • You might also have to consider how to involve new partners and family members. 

Single parents

  • As a lone parent, you might face difficulties because it might feel as though the pressure is all on you.
  • Find out who you have around you and your children for support. Ask and accept their help.
  • It is important to have a social network or extended family to support emergencies, childcare or just someone to talk to.
  • If appropriately aged, you can involve siblings in your child with T1D’s care but be careful not to give them too much responsibility.

Extended family

  • When your child is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it’s natural for the grandparents, aunts, and uncles, etc to be as upset and worried as you are. 
  • Some extended family members might be confused as to what Type 1 Diabetes is and what this means especially if they come from a different generation/culture. 
  • Share HelloType1 website and facebook page with them! Then they can read or listen to learn about what T1D is and what it means for you and your child. 
  • Sometimes it can feel tiring having to educate everyone so you can use HelloType1 to help with that!

2. Other Relationships and Type 1 Diabetes

Romantic Relationships

  • Having T1D does not mean that they cannot date or have romantic relationships. 
  • Encourage your child who has T1D to be honest with their partner about their condition, peoples reaction can inform them on if they are right for them. 
  • They should find a partner who is open to learning about T1D and can be understanding, that can support T1D management. Share HelloType1! 
  • They can invite their partner to join them for hospital appointments.
  • Someone with T1D, can get married and start a family if they want to, just like everyone else! 


  • Having T1D does not mean that your child can’t have friends and get involved in fun social events and activities!
  •  You should encourage your child with T1D to be honest with friends and their reaction will tell them whether or not they will be a good friend to have.
  • Encourage them to involve their close friends in T1D management, they can help them and look out for each other. 
  • Share HelloType1 and encourage your child to educate and involve friends in T1D management.

Despite your child having Type 1 Diabetes, they can still have healthy, happy and loving relationships with you, family, friends and romantic partners. 

Remember to ask for help and accept support from your loved ones and the medical teams. It can lessen the stress and share the load. You are not alone. 


HelloType1 content is based on published, internationally recognised guidelines and then reviewed by local experts to ensure it fits local context. The translation is based on simplified English language to ensure it conveys the safest and clearest possible message in regional languages. Basic insulin and blood glucose testing access is still an issue in the South-East Asia region and our chief aim is to address this. HelloType1 content is not intended to replace the advice of individual healthcare professionals but as a collaborative tool to help them improve the outcomes of disadvantaged people with Type 1 Diabetes in the region.

HelloType1 content is curated for the topics using information only taken from accredited sources such as the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).

This content is then reviewed and adapted by a panel consisting of healthcare experts (e.g. endocrinologist, nutritionist, diabetes nurse, psychologist) and members of the South-East Asia T1D communities, helping ensure the information is appropriate in a local context.

Writers of HelloType1 content:

Kara Winney – Programme Manager – Digital Innovation at A4D


Content Reviewers – healthcare professionals:

Prof Dr Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin – Paediatric Endocrinologist, Malaysia

Khamtavanh Khambuapha – A4D Doctor Coordinator, Laos

Usa – Student Doctor, Cambodia


Content Reviewers – people with Type 1 Diabetes:

Marlena Laura Wilson – Nursing Student, A4D Coordinator, Thailand

Emelyne Carmen Ho – College Student, Malaysia

Le Khuong – T1D advocate, Vietnam

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