Children can also worry when their parents are unemployed. Some know what that can mean and the consequences it will have in life. As a father or mother, you should not keep this secret, you will have to discuss it with your children and explain how this can affect you all. But it is the most important moment for united santeros.
Before sitting down with the children to have a conversation, talk to your partner and come up with a plan of action to find out what steps to take next. Your kids will be relieved when they know there is a next step to follow. So whether you plan to reduce unemployment for a while, look for a new job, go back to college, or start a new business, you will need to explain to your children what will happen next. Even if you don’t finally finish following the plan, you have to make sure that your child knows that he has some ideas in the works and that you will not sit idly by.
THE CONVERSATION: AGE APPROPRIATE
Your child’s age plays an important role in how you approach the issue of job loss. After all, young children won’t understand if you talk about layoffs, downsizing, or any other economics topic. For the little ones, it is better to say things like that mom or dad will be home longer because work no longer requires me to come every day.
An older child, 6 to 12 years old, will be able to understand some more details, you can explain that the company closed or that you were fired for example. As you might expect, teens will want more detail, and their thoughts will likely turn immediately to money, so do what you can to assure them that the family will be okay and that you have a plan to get through the next few days, weeks, and months. … and you may even need their collaboration to reduce expenses.
Your first instinct may be to sugarcoat the situation so it doesn’t sound too bad, but minimizing the seriousness of the situation too much is a mistake. However, you don’t want to go overboard by being dramatic, so find a good middle ground in hopes of being realistic about what job loss means to your family. Some examples of what you can say are:
- Next week I won’t have to go back to work. Until I find another one, we will have to cut our expenses. That means not eating out and not buying new things unless we really need them.
- I lost my job today. I will work hard to find another job soon. But you might not be able to find one in the same city. We may have to move.
- My job was not suitable for me, so I will no longer work there. I will be working hard trying to find a new job . But until I am hired elsewhere, we won’t have that much money to spend.
DON’T TALK ABOUT IT WITH JUST ANYONE …
For older children, you need to make sure they know who they can share this information with (but don’t make them feel as if they have to feel ashamed or have to stay quiet forever). If you’d rather not have your child announce it on social media or share your job loss with their friends yet, make that clear at the family reunion .
Explain that it is something private in the family that other people do not have to know about. For now, tell them, you prefer to keep the information a family affair.
CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS
If you cannot control your emotions, you will have to wait a couple of days until you can talk to your children calmly or slowly. A efore talk to them can take steps to calm … like taking a bath, meditate or exercise. This way you can be as calm as possible before starting the conversation. While it’s okay to admit that you’re feeling a little nervous or insecure, crying or sounding panicky during a family gathering can make your kids feel overly anxious, and that won’t help anyone.