A guide to talking to kids honestly about money troubles your family may be facing. Here’s how you can talk to children with money troubles in a way that doesn’t cause them any harm.

If your family is having a financial crisis, you may be wondering if you should tell your children about it. Experts recommend balancing openness and honesty with appropriate caution while talking to children.

Children pick up on tension even if you don’t want to bother them with adult-sized issues. 

So pretending that everything is excellent when it isn’t helpful, either. Educating children about the crisis is crucial, but it should not be at the expense of overburdening them with information.

Here’s how to tell your kids about your financial troubles in a way that doesn’t cause them any harm.

Explain your financial difficulties so they can better grasp them.

Instead of focusing on a long list of overdue bills, contemplate how it might include youngsters in the discussion.

There are times when talking about your finances is more appropriate than talking about what you’re unable to do. This approach is better than informing your children that you can no longer afford new sneakers because of a high power bill.

As a further step, parents should tell their children what measures they are taking to solve the situation—for example: “I’m going to work a little more this week, so we’ll have a little more money,” or “I’m going to meet with some individuals who will help us pay the rent this month.”

Explain your family’s needs.

Parents should share this technique with children preparing a budget or prioritizing their expenses.

It’s possible to explain the strategy to them to know what to expect. However, free activities like visiting the park or playing video games can provide hours of entertainment.

Children need to know they are protected.

It’s alright to tell the truth, and explain to your child that you’re cutting back on some things and shifting your spending priorities, but do your best to ease their fears.

A healthy message includes a straightforward explanation of what youngsters might expect and reassure that the grownups have it under control. It’s important to acknowledge children’s anxiety and reassure them that grownups are in control.

Consider making an effort to keep children safe from the consequences of their actions as adults.

Prevent your children from witnessing or experiencing anything disturbing.

You don’t want your tenants to hear a fight over money or a message from an angry landlord threatening to expel them without reason. 

Children often form opinions things based on what they observe and hear. If they can’t get an explanation from you, they can be scared. So, give them an answer.

Have a look at age-appropriate alternatives.

It’s essential to be sensitive to your child’s age while you’re having chats with them, especially when you talk to your children about money troubles. When dealing with your children’s money woes, Morin recommends the following age-specific approaches.

Preschoolers

Be as upbeat as possible. There is a lack of understanding within this age group about how money is earned and spent.

Adolescent boys and girls

This age group, according to Morin, can grasp simple explanations of how you save money to pay for particular expenses, such as rent or food.

Tweens

Tweens can handle more in-depth discussions concerning the financial position. Say that you can’t afford to eat or buy particular apparel or shoes since you have to pay for the essentials first. If you have the help of others, you may also be more open with them.

Teens

Teenagers are the most approachable demographic regarding financial concerns. Having conversations about the prices of various goods and services might help teenagers understand money.

As an example, you may describe how many hours you put in to buy groceries or pay your power bill, she explains.

Even though you don’t want to instill guilt in your adolescent(s), it may be beneficial for them to understand that even the most basic luxuries necessitate a significant amount of work. 

It may also help children know that you’re not saying no to things because you don’t want them to have those things; instead, you don’t have the money as a family.

Never, ever, ever think about the worst-case situation.

Be careful not to reveal to your children the worst-case scenario of your family’s financial difficulties. Additionally, she recommends staying away from making comparisons with your acquaintances or members of your family.

It is not selfish for children to be egocentric; it is a typical developmental stage for children to be so and worry about the impact and meeting of their requirements due to the changes. 

It’s crucial to bring up money issues immediately affecting the youngster. Parents should focus on what will remain the same and what will undergo a change to be as straightforward as possible with their children.

This permits your youngster to raise questions that you can then answer in detail. Giving them what they want can prevent extra worry surrounding the situation for themselves.

These are just some of the ways you can talk to your children with money troubles.