When It's Wrong
Some rare times, volunteering for fundraising and advocacy isn't the right choice. Families and parents need to be careful if this is the case and not push a child into a situation she does not want.
Poster Child Syndrome
Some children start out gung ho, always willing to speak in public and meet with others about diabetes and the need for a cure. Then, in time, they begin to feel as if they aren't living up to what they should be. This is called the “poster child syndrome,” and in the case of a very involved family, it needs to be treated with care.
If your child has been held up as an example of a child who always does the right thing with her diabetes, it's more difficult for her when she slips (and most children do occasionally slip in their care). She might be afraid to let anyone down, and she might keep her struggle with diabetes a secret until it is dangerously late. If your child is a public face in the diabetes world, encourage her to be honest from the start. Don't let her say she's always perfect; make her understand that diabetes is hard, and that's why you're trying to cure it.
Other children can feel as though diabetes takes over their lives if it's what they have to do even in their downtime. If your child complains, ask her if there are events she likes and ones she doesn't. Come up with a compromise that works for her and for you, so you can keep your family working toward a cure and not burn your child out.
It's not easy as a parent to burn out on diabetes advocacy. After all, you know your children never get a moment off from diabetes. So how can you look yourself in the eye if you burn out? But parents have to pace themselves as well. Although you want to give all you can, if you get to a point where you feel you just need to step back, you absolutely should. Sometimes, a breather gives a person just what he needs to become re-energized and renew the fight that most parents can never say they're done with—the fight to cure their child.