DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have two children, ages 13 and 6. Our older son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. Because of this, we must carefully watch everything he eats. We're struggling to deal with it, but lately we have other issues we need help with.
We were out one evening and our younger son wanted ice cream. My husband told him he couldn't have any because it would be unfair to his brother. I, in turn, said that it's not fair to punish the younger one. This has become a huge deal for us lately. Can you tell us who is right, and what's the best way to handle this? -- TRYING TO BE FAIR IN HAWAII
DEAR TRYING TO BE FAIR: This is something you should discuss with your older son's doctor. It is my understanding that years ago, diabetes was treated more with diet. But with the advent of glucose meters and better insulin, most people with Type 1 diabetes, while trying to eat healthfully, do not completely deprive themselves of treats but accommodate them by adjusting their level of insulin. If your husband refuses to budge on the "treats" issue, then your younger child should be given something else to compensate.
The American Diabetes Association offers a free kit that can be sent to you. It can be ordered by calling 1-800-342-2383 or logging onto www.diabetes.org/families. The kit contains a parents' guide, a card game for your kids, a paperback book, "The Diabetes Dictionary: What Every Person With Diabetes Needs to Know," and more.
If you haven't already done so, please contact the ADA. It will be a terrific resource for you, your husband and your son in managing his diabetes, as well as keeping peace in your household.