January 31, 2013

Diabetes, Parenting, College, Alcohol

Part of the process of parenting is that the kids grow. - Earth shattering observation isn't it?

Growing means a process of separation and the kids moving to independence. Nature has some natural signals that this separating needs to happen. For example the teens can develop a odor parents may rather have a showered off, move out or both.

This is why college was invented. (OK there is also the higher learning thing too.)

College also has the party thing. With the keg. It isn't new. 

All parents of college kids need to talk with their kids about alcohol. Those of us with T1D kids need to talk about how alcohol and diabetes mix. Guess what T1D complicates it.


Our culture is awash in alcohol. It is insane to pretend otherwise. Our kids need to learn to navigate the world they live in and part of that world is lubricated by alcohol.

Just as your diabetes may vary your kid's attitude towards alcohol may. YDMV - Your Drinking May Vary. Sadly I fear this may be an area where parental projections of their kid's behavior may miss the reality of college. I think it is a lot better to talk about alcohol than assume it is not an issue and have it become one.

To help start conversations, we created DrinkingWithDiabetes.com with a grant from the Diabetes Hands Foundation. It is a resource for students and parents to get ready to talk. It is new and the site needs need feed back to become stronger. Your comments are most welcome.

Alcohol is a reality. Talk about it. Here. With your kids. 


  1. Thanks for this. My kiddo with type 1 isn't quite there yet though we have age appropriate conversations about it. I worry about it still and know it not too far of in the future. Good to know that there are resources out there.

  2. Call me crazy but I started talking about this when my daughter was 13-- and so did her endo. She drank for the first time in high school ... I know becuase she was not afraid to tell me, which I thought was a great thing, By the time she went to college she was well educated on it all and I had little fear. She had one miscue on bolusing and had a hearty low from it, but other than that it's been great. I also find that while she may "think" she's a wild partier, she really isn't. I believe the challenges of drinking and diabetes make her hold back some, just naturally. That said, I have a photo of her at the pool bar on our family vacation with two drinks in her hand (she's 21 now). and it's all good.

  3. As a Type 1 and a higher education professional, I certainly appreciate bringing this dialogue further into the open.