Talk to your kids about difficulties you might be having and assure them that you are working to make things alright. Enlist them to help - they typically want to be involved. Give them simple things to do (e.g. don't run the water while brushing teeth, turn lights off when you leave a room). Use Ms. Schellenbarger's article as a guide for your conversations and, if you still don't believe that involving your kids is important, look at they study she cites about the importance of focusing on the family in times of distress. Your problems are your family's problems. Face them together as a family.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
"I don't want my kids to be stressed about our financial situation. They're too young." One mom said this to me at a recent event and because it has become such a common refrain, I felt that I needed to highlight a post I made about Sue Schellenbarger's WSJ article last September. It's even more relevant today. Many families are in serious financial distress and a common reaction to this is to shield the kids. This is virtually impossible to do. Your kids are going to feel your stress and if you don't explain to them what's going on, they'll make their own leaps.