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How to talk about the family financial crisis with children


Today, there are many families that are being affected by the crisis, many parents have lost their jobs, and there are families even in which both parents are unemployed. All this affects the smallest of the house, and the repercussions on children will depend a lot on individual differences, and above all, on how parents approach it.

How to talk about the family economic crisis with children? It is important that parents measure the information given to children; Let them know that it is a difficult situation, because there is less work, less money ... but let's not let this undermine their security and confidence.

The main source of safety and trust for a child is their parents, and if they are insecure and fearful, this will affect them. It is not about deceiving them or hiding reality, but it is about not making them participate in what does not correspond to them because of their age.

Children are children and we must protect their childhood. They do not need to know the financial situation of their parents, nor do they share it until they are quite old, and they can understand it. But that does not mean that we cannot tell them that it costs a lot to earn money, that you have to go to work to get it, that there are many people who do not have work, that now mom or dad do not have work, and that is why they cannot be buy as many things as before.

Children are very observant, and they have surely seen that perhaps this year they have not gone away on vacation, they barely spend on leisure ... So it may be a good time to work with them in another direction: Being on vacation does not mean taking a trip, just as having free time does not mean spending money. Let's recover small diversions such as going to spend a day with the family on a picnic in the country, taking a walk in the park, walking through the city ... or meeting with friends to play.At no time, not in times of crisis or bonanza, should leisure and free time be associated with spending.

In the previous stage, perhaps we have sinned to fill children with toys and unnecessary things that they have not come to value. When it costs us little or nothing to achieve something, we do not value it, and that is precisely what has happened to many children, who 'had it all' without any effort. In general terms, today's children are going to learn to value more what they have, because it will cost them more to get it, and they are going to enjoy their toys more, and their things, because when they have many things they neither value nor enjoy them .

The consumer society in which we live is 'primed' with children, adolescents and adults with messages of 'you need this toy', it is not enough to have a console, you have to have the latest model. Perhaps the crisis will help us all use common sense and not allow ourselves to be carried away by atrocious consumerism, and help us to value what we do have. One of the bases to be happy lies precisely in that, in valuing what I have, and not getting frustrated by what I don't have.

The feeling of solidarity is something that parents must transmit to their children, the need to share, both with equals and with the most disadvantaged, and the economic and social situation, invites us to do so now more than ever.

It is important that children learn to value things, regardless of the economic situation in which we find ourselves. That they see the importance of effort, that they value what they have, and that they learn to save for the future. This implies delaying the reinforcement, not getting things immediately, something very necessary in the age in which we live, and essential to be able to tolerate the little frustrations that, surely, will be found throughout life.

That is why it is good that we teach them to save. Since they were little they can have a piggy bank in which they keep the money they receive from grandparents, uncles ... (always small amounts), explaining to them that what is put in the piggy bank is not spent, which is to have it saved, not only for if they want to buy something in the future, but in case we need it at some point. When they are a little older, we can divide the money they receive, into a part to save, which goes to the piggy bank and cannot be withdrawn, and another part that can be withdrawn.

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