Your child – with or without diabetes

There are a number of behaviours and stages that any child goes through regardless of whether or not they have diabetes and it is important as a parent to understand these behaviours and how they may impact on the child’s diabetes.

Your 5 to 7 year old is usually busy exploring the world. In general, they:

  • Want to play and have fun
  • Want to learn and achieve new skills
  • Can be impulsive
  • Are learning to get on with others at school and at home
  • Become more helpful, can help to tidy up toys, makes their bed with guidance
  • Can make simple foods like sandwiches
  • Copy you
  • Are learning to read
  • Feel more independent but still needs adult supervision. For example, do not understand danger such as being careful around boiling water
  • Are easily distracted by peers and environment

8 to 12 year olds become more practical, leaving their magical thinking and vivid imagination behind. They start to separate from you, becomes more independent, and may have secrets from you. In general, they:

  • Become more self-aware
  • Become more social
  • Usually prefers to have friends of the same sex
  • Begins to understand their strong and weak points and those of others too
  • Solves problems more easily
  • Starts to express themselves more clearly
  • Enjoys being creative
  • Becomes more self-conscious
  • May have school phobia and “pretend” illnesses
  • May sometimes lie or steal to avoid confrontation
  • Becomes more interested in the outside world
  • May worry about family issues like arguments, illness or death
  • May worry about disasters seen on television or in movies
  • Starts to rely more on the approval of friends and are interested in people beyond the family
  • Becomes more sexually aware, although this can happen earlier
  • Begins to want more control and may start questioning rules
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