Having to cope with a financial crisis can devastate your family. At such times it is very essential to keep in mind that such conditions will not prevail for ever. Learn how to help your children come to terms with financial difficulties.
Kanta considered her family to be financially secure. Her husband was successfully running his own business. Money flowed freely and her children would get everything they asked for. But the storm of recession pulled each and every individual in to it. due to economic recession, her husband's business got affected too. He had to take a loan to repay his debts. The recession stated affecting his business so badly that even making basic ends meet was a challenge.
Kanta hid the family's financial situation from her two sons. One day her elder son came to her, asking for money to purchase a new video game. When Kanta refused, the boy flew into a rage. "You don't want me to be happy" he screamed. Kanta was in a dilemma. She did not have the money to give him. At the same time, she did not want to tell her son why his demand was being refused.
It is extremely difficult to deal with a bad financial situation especially talking to children about recession. When it affects your entire family, the situation becomes more delicate. Letting children know about it can be the hardest part.
Talk to them
A financial problem can cause a great deal of stress in your family life. The first concern is about making ends meet on a limited budget. The second concern is whether or not your children should know about the problems the family is facing. Choosing to tell your children will depend mostly on their age. If they are toddlers, it is highly unlikely that they will able to understand that there is no money.
Children are remarkably perceptive. Especially if you try to hide something from them. Children older than five can be told that money is a little tight right now. This does not guarantee understanding. Children may find it difficult to believe that there is a shortage of money, especially if they are used to always having their demands met. If there is a holiday or a birthday coming up, they might not truly fathom why there is going to be no party this year. However, in most cases, they will understand that they may not get that new toy or be able to go to the amusement park on the weekend.
Examine your attitude towards money. Your children learn their attitude and values by observing you. If you place a lot of emphasis on buying the latest gadgets, your children will feel the same way. Similarly, if you try to avoid discussing your money problems, your children will be under the impression that this is a topic that should be hidden.
Teach them to make Sacrifices
When money is tight, you and your family may have to forego certain things that you are used to. The most important thing to remember is to be honest with yourself and your family members. Have a meeting where you explain to everyone that finance is the issue. Do not moan or lament your predicament. Calmly inform them about the problem and put forth a plan of action to solve it.
Begin by preparing a family budget for the coming weeks. Have a family discussion where members can suggest what items they are willing to give up or cut back on. For example, the family may decide to minimise their consumption of aerated soft drinks. Also, set some ground rules; for example, purchases exceeding a certain amount need to be approved by all members of the family.
In a financial crisis and situations like economic recessions, everyone has to make some sacrifices. The severity of the sacrifice will depend on the age of the child. Even small children can be taught how to prioritise items according to their needs. For example, small children can be put on a budget that keeps a check on the amount of sweets they are allowed to purchase in a week. If they want more than their share, ask them to choose which sweets they want but warn them that they will have to stick to their decision and cannot reverse it.
Older children can help you plan what items to buy from the grocery store. They can also look in the newspaper for special offers as well as cut out coupons offering discounts. As in the case of younger children, older children also need to limit their spending. Children of all ages can also help out in the kitchen, while you prepare a meal.
Making sacrifices is difficult for all people, no matter how old they are. Your children may occasionally resent the fact that they may not get something that they long for. However, teaching them how to cope in such a situation is an important lesson that will remain with them even after they grow up.