Woman with her back to the viewer, facing her apprehensive-looking parents seated on a couch.

Train Your Family to Support You

Yes, you read the title correctly. Some of us may need to train our family to support us in the right way. This goes beyond simple teaching. It’s very easy to tell your family not to let us eat a lot of sugar or carbs and to eat healthier foods, but teaching them and training habits are two totally different obstacles when it comes to living with diabetes.

How to train family to support type 2 diabetes management

You can teach your family what is good and bad for you, but if they don’t listen or slack, it’s time to start the training.

Stand your ground

The first part of good training is to stand your ground with family about eating habits. You need to show your family you will not allow them to make bad decisions for you, even if it bothers them or hurts their feelings. This could be different foods they make or buy for you, or trying to get you to change your healthy habits to suit what they want. You can not give in to pressure or emotions. Yes, your family may be upset if they try to do something nice for you that goes against your diabetic lifestyle or diet. It’s ok if they get upset or mad at you. Let them. It’s your life you are protecting, and honestly, if you upset them when they do certain things to or for you, eventually they will learn not to do it because you will refuse.

Take initiative

Another aspect of training your family is to take initiative. Don’t allow them to cook for you all the time or to grocery shop without your input or you being there. Doing this will hopefully have a second, positive side effect. You will be there making sure you have the right foods and meal prep and cook healthy meals. Also, your family will hopefully have some of these foods and in turn, be healthier like you are and help to make better decisions for all of you. Again, this will involve a little bit of standing up for yourself at first. Off the bat, your family will probably be taken aside by your change and may think it's just a phase. You must show them this isn’t a phase. This is your new way of living so you can be as healthy as you can for as long as you can.

Never give up

The last part of training your family is to never give up on yourself. You may never be able to fully train your family the way you want. In an ideal world, you and your family would immediately make the necessary changes and all would be good. This isn’t the case. Sometimes your family doesn’t want to change or need to change. There are people that are lucky enough to eat bad foods and have no problems with it. While it’s not their fault they can live this way, don’t let it get you down or mad at them. You need to always be positive and do what is right for you, even if your family doesn’t want to follow it with you. Yes, making two different meals can be a pain, but it’s a lot better than the possible complications that can result from giving in and not eating healthy to control your diabetes.

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