HOW TO DISCUSS JOB LOSS WITH YOUR CHILDREN
Parents need to recognize that losing a job impacts the entire family, even if it seems like they are the ones who are bearing the brunt of the burden. If you want to help your loved ones through a difficult time, you must talk about their job loss with them.
If you want to spare your children stress and concern, don’t keep the news a secret. Children can sense when something is wrong. If you don’t tell your kids what’s happening, they’ll be even more distressed and may imagine the worst-case scenarios if you don’t tell them what’s happening.
So, take a big breath and arrange a family meeting to discuss the loss of employment and the implications for the household. Take a deep breath!
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to know Everything before talking to your children, even if you’re worried, stressed, or frustrated. Instead, you might just communicate your current knowledge.
Prepare yourself ahead of time for this discussion. It is important to be prepared to comfort your children and help them realize the impact that a stressful life event, like losing a job, can have on your family.
Is Being Unemployed Affecting Children?
Your children may find adjusting to a few weeks of unemployment difficult. Things will return to normal and your children will heal from the shock of the experience.
If you’re out of work for an extended period of time, it could have a negative impact on the general health of your child.
According to research, children’s well-being may suffer if their parents cannot work. Researchers have discovered that children’s grades drop even when parents are out of a job.
According to research, children suffer in various ways when their parents are unable to work.
- Children are affected by parents’ stress. When parents are worried about losing their jobs or struggling to find new ones, their children will also feel the strain.
- Reducing a family’s income has an impact on the lives of children. There may be a reduction in the standard of living in the family that prevents children from having the same opportunities and privileges that they had previously.
- Losing one’s job might lead to a cascade of other troubling circumstances. Children’s daily life can be negatively affected if their families are forced to relocate or stop sending them to extracurricular activities.
- Future anxiety is common among children. Anxieties about poverty or homelessness can develop in older children who have a basic understanding of money and how to manage it.
- When a parent is out of work, their children may be bullied. Other children may tease and bully you if you’re unemployed.
Unemployment can have a negative impact on children’s lives if you understand how it impacts them. When a parent loses their job, it is important to talk to their children about the situation and find ways to assist them manage.
What’s Your Big Idea?
Prepare for the kids by talking to your significant other (if there is one in the picture) and drawing up a plan of attack. The fact that you know what the next step is will put your children at peace.
Tell your child what you’re thinking of doing next: taking a break from work, looking for a new position, going back to school, or starting your own business. No matter what happens, ensure your child knows you’re thinking about them.
Have Age-Adjusted Conversations
Because young children are unable to comprehend terms like layoffs, downsizing, or the economy, it’s important to tailor your approach to the topic of job loss based on the age of your child. Mommy/Daddy will be home more often because her job no longer requires her to come in daily. This is a straightforward explanation for children.
An older child—an elementary school student—can manage a few more specifics, such as the company closing or moving to a different location.
It is only natural for teenagers to ask for the most information, but keep in mind that their first concern is likely to be money, so do your best to reassure them that Everything will be fine and that you have a strategy to get through the next few weeks and months.
Honesty is the best policy.
It’s natural to want to downplay the gravity of the situation to make it seem less dire, but this is a mistake.
Avoid going over the top with the dramatics. So, by being honest about the impact of a job loss on your family, you can discover a happy medium.
As an illustration, consider the following statements:
- Next week, I’ll be out of a job. We’ll have to make some budget cuts until I find another job. Eating out and purchasing new items are out of the question unless they are really necessary.
- Today, I was laid off. I’ll begin my search for another employment as soon as I can. However, I may not be able to find one in the same place as I am currently. We might have to relocate.
- I’m resigning from my position since it wasn’t a good fit for me. I’ll be putting in a lot of effort to get new employment. There will be less money for us to spend until I acquire a new job.
Talk to Your Child about the Effects of Your Job Loss on Your Family.
It’s normal for a kid to question, “Does that mean we can’t go on vacation this summer?” or something along those lines while learning something new. “Will I be able to go to summer camp?” is another option.
Even if it’s not a top priority for you, it has a huge impact on a child’s life. Don’t stop immediately to soothing his concerns if you don’t know the plan. Instead, say, “Yes, we still plan on vacationing/going to camp. We are positive about the future.” Then we may talk about our strategy.”
If you need to reduce your involvement in extracurricular activities, let your parents know—but be prepared for some tears or anger. Let your friends and family know if you plan to cut back on daycare by sending the kids to their grandparent’s home for a few hours each day.
Decide with whom they should be able to share this information.
In the case of older children, make sure they are aware of the appropriate recipients of this information (without making them feel guilty or obligated to keep it a secret indefinitely). If you don’t want your child to tell her classmates about your job loss just yet, let them know.
Tell them that the knowledge is private but not secret and that, for the time being, you aim to keep it a family concern.
Your Emotions Must Be Under Control
Following your layoff, your children will follow their cues from you. Wait a few days before talking to your children if you haven’t gotten your emotions under control. Take steps to calm yourself down just before the conversation. Before starting a conversation, do something to de-stress, like soaking in a hot bath or going for a jog.
Although it’s perfectly acceptable to say that you’re afraid or uncertain, your children’s anxiety will only be exacerbated if you start sobbing or sounding worried at a family meeting.
Provide a Great Deal of Confidence.
When you’ve done explaining your job loss to your children, reassure them that you’ll do your best to maintain their daily routine—and then do it.
It’s upsetting for children to learn that their parents, who are supposed to be a rock of stability, are going through difficult times. This implies limiting the number of “out-of-work” activities, such as outings to the park in the middle of the week.
Even if you’re spending more time at home with the kids, it’s still a good idea to stick to normal wake-up times, dinner, and nap times.
Even in the face of change, your youngster will feel more secure if you maintain a routine.
Don’t say that!
You should avoid discussing some topics with children if you’re having conversations regarding job loss. You should not tell your youngster the following things:
- Keep the focus off of who’s to blame. Even if you lose your work because of a lousy economy or an unreasonable supervisor, don’t let your child believe you are a victim of terrible circumstances. The more he thinks about the core causes of the situation, the more fearful he will become of the future.
- Ignore the doomsday scenarios. Even if you’re convinced you’ll never be able to land another well-paying work, don’t tell your child what you think. Instead, focus on the things you’re doing to get yourself back to work.
- Don’t make your youngster a part of every conversation you have. If you want to teach your youngster about the fundamentals of your position but don’t want to share all of your adult conversations with him, don’t do it. Stress and worries about the mortgage are not things she has to be aware of. Keep your child away from adult conversations.
Be Able to Admit That You Don’t Know Everything.
It doesn’t matter how long it will take to find a new job or whether you can continue working in the same field; accept uncertainty when you don’t know the answer. Inquiring minds want to know.