Talking to Your Kids about the Economy
Kids know and hear more than we are aware of. Every day they are exposed to the fearful news of the economy and how tough things are for some people. Their friends may come from families that are experiencing real difficulties. It’s worth spending some time with them discussing how the real world is effecting you, them and your family. This is an article that has lots of interesting and useful information for you about talking with your children.
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It’s a good idea to find out what your children have heard and are thinking about the economy, and to reassure them if necessary. You may see warning signs that they’re concerned. “They may act withdrawn, or different from normal,” says Francie Alexander, chief academic officer at Scholastic Inc., New York.
“You can say, ‘It looks to me like you’re worried; let’s talk about it,’ ” she continues. “Start by listening or asking questions, and then share information appropriate to their ages and stages.” It’s important to be factual, and to speak at their maturity levels—which aren’t always the same as their age levels, adds Rick Kahler, CFP, president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D. “Obviously you’ll tell a teenager more than a four year old, but that’s why you start by asking questions, so you can build on what they already know.”
They need to know the situation and that you have a plan. You might say, “Mommy’s company ran out of money and she’s looking for a new job,” says Alexander.
“You don’t need to say much more to younger children, but they’re comforted when they know what’s going on, what might change in their lives—such as not going to the movies for a while—and that you’re working on it,” she says.