The Talk: The Down Economy
Children and the Financial Crisis
By Laura Betts, LICSW, MSW
Many families are impacted by the challenging economic situation we are all currently facing across the nation. For some it may mean selling a home, concerns about retirement/college accounts, and even worries about how to put food on the table. Starting conversations about money matters is never easy, especially when money is tight. And how do you talk about it when many adults are still trying to figure out how to understand the state of the economy themselves?!
We have heard time and time again that talking about money and class status is off limits. However, if you are like many families, the adults are having frequent conversations about money matters. School age children and adolescents may be picking up on signs of difficulties in the economy at school, on the news, and from overhearing yours or other adult conversations. If you are cutting back on spending, they most likely will notice some of the changes. Their imaginations could incite worry and fear, so sitting your child down for a dollars and cents talk can provide some relief.
Remember you know your child, family, and values best, so this article is intended to be used as a starting point and offer general guidelines.