Chronic diseases touch more people than just those who receive a diagnosis. Nobody knows this better than the parents and caretakers of children with chronic conditions like Type 1 diabetes. Assisting and teaching a child or young adult how to manage their condition can be challenging and stressful. Now, a new website aims to help parents with this stress.
Bringing Science Home – made possible through a partnership between The Patterson Foundation and USF Health – collaborated with the Behavioral Diabetes Institute and its founder and President Dr. William Polanksy to launch Just For Parents, an online resource for parents of teenagers with Type 1 diabetes.
Just For Parents is designed to help parents evaluate the amount and kinds of distress they may be experiencing, what factors may be contributing to distress and ways to deal with it. The platform features a personalized distress self-assessment for parents and provides feedback about parenting distress with suggestions for change based on the individual’s score.
Just for Parents also features sections providing advice and guidance for parenting teens with type 1 diabetes, along with a resource guide for parents.
A recent study conducted by Bringing Science Home found that parents of children with diabetes face challenges and unmet needs in their daily lives due to the demands of diabetic management.
Types of distresses include:
- Psychological and physical fatigue from the daily requirements of diabetes care
- Fear of the immediate and long-term health effects diabetes can have on their children
- Feeling that diabetes magnifies life transitions from childhood to adulthood
- Stress in trying to maintain a safe environment for their child
“We saw through our exploratory research that parents were struggling with stress and seeking better ways to cope with their child’s diabetes,” said Nicole Johnson, executive director of Bringing Science Home. “We also saw that parents needed support in the form of reinforcement and encouragement. The collaboration with the Behavioral Diabetes Institute and Dr. Polonsky was a natural answer to our question of how to help parents and families live better lives with Type 1 diabetes.”