Advice for parents during these rough economic times has never been more needed than now. Life is tough for everyone. But for kids things can be even more difficult, because they don’t understand why everything has changed. All they see are the consequences of the bad economy, such as a lack of Christmas presents, or being forced to move after a foreclosure. These things by themselves are enough to make a child very angry. But if they voice their concerns to their parents, they might be called “spoiled” or “bratty.” They are told they must be grateful to have anything, even if it’s much less than what they had before.
However, if we’re honest with ourselves, even adults have problems always being ‘grateful.’ It’s natural to feel a little angry at your situation, especially if you were used to having everything. So, some advice for parents out there would be…why get mad at your kids when they voice the same concern? Instead, you will want to accept their anger and try to work through it with loving conversations.
During these conversations, be honest with your kid. Tell them that you’re angry at what has happened too. Like them, you wish you could hold onto your last house, or buy what you wanted, but due to job loss it’s just not possible anymore. So, now you have to make the best of what you have, and look to the future.
Explain to your child that they can still be happy despite the financial changes your family has dealt with. They just have to look at things in a different way.
For example, instead of getting toys from the toy store, encourage your child to see the value of the dollar store. At the dollar store, $5 could get them 5 different toys. They still get the excitement of buying something new without stretching out your budget.
For foreclosure situations, try to make the move to your new home exciting, even if it’s smaller or less accommodating than your former home. One way you could do this is by getting your kids to help decorate their rooms. They can even draw on the walls, provided that you have kid-friendly posters or wallpaper.
You can also keep your kids in contact with their other friends by encouraging emailing, letter writing or telephone calling. If possible, try to schedule a special time once a month when your kid can get together with their former friends. Doing so will make your child’s transition much easier. This advice for parents will help most people get themselves and their children through the hard financial times a bit more easily.