Question: How closely should parents oversee their child's care while still fostering independence?
Answer: This is very age-dependent, and individual-child and family-dependent issue, and it's a very similar issue to what parents struggle with throughout the child's life -- how much should I be involved, versus how much should I step back and let the child take over.
Clearly for very young children, parents will be involved in running the whole diabetes care plan. As the child gets older, the child will be able to take over some of the tasks initially, but even in older children, it is important for parents to still remain involved to some degree, and to know what is going on with the child's diabetes. This is true even for middle and older teenagers.
Data show that when parents turn over care responsibility at too young an age, metabolic control often suffers. Parents also need to be flexible enough to allow the child to make independent strides, but then perhaps even slip back a little and have the parent move in at times that are difficult for the child.