We might worry about money ... but we sure don't want our kids to.
Our Moms and the Recession survey found that a whopping 82% of moms feel personally responsible for making sure their children's financial futures are secure. Moms are also working to shelter their children from the recession's impact: 86% say they sacrifice buying things for themselves in order to continue buying nice things for their children.
How can we make sure our kids are okay during this economic crisis? Here are psychotherapist and mom of two Jill Spivack's top seven tips.
1) Watch your stress levels so you can maintain the patience and love needed to raise your children. It's important to keep your feelings in check and stay under control. Take time for yourself so you can be there for your kids.
2) Stick to your normal routines and customs. Keep dinnertime, bedtime, routines, and rules the same. Continue family rituals like game night and Sunday brunch ... or even try to start some new family activities that are fun but don't cost a lot to do.
3) Don't fight in front of kids about money. Friction in your relationship can scare children, and it's not your kids' job to worry about finances. Stay clear-headed and calm around your kids to avoid frightening them.
4) Teach them the true meaning of what's important to a family. This is an opportunity to show children that even if money is tight, the true meaning of happiness is a loving, close-knit family -- no matter how much money you have.
5) Explain the situation. Explain to your children that many families are dealing with some changes right now when it comes to spending money. Many people are deciding, temporarily, what they really need to spend money on, and what they might be able to do without for a while. Let them know you're managing this and that even if there are some things you may not be doing right now, you're continuing to take care of their needs. Your children will feel reassured knowing that you are taking control of the situation. And be sure to continue to do family activities that encourage love and togetherness so your children will see that you can remain close and connected, even without spending a lot of money.
6) Explain in detail what you will (and won't) be spending money on. The conversation might go something like this: "We've decided that for this year, we won't be going on a far-away family vacation so that we can save some money. But we thought that over the summer, we could go on a family camping trip nearby. We'll make S'mores, go on a hike, and ride our bikes together." You might also ask your kids if they have some good ideas about things you can do on the weekends/holidays together that would be fun but wouldn't cost too much money.
7) Empathize with their concerns but stay positive. Allow your children to ask questions about the situation on an ongoing basis. If they're feeling fearful or disappointed, let them know that you understand how this can feel tough. But continually reassure them that you are still a family and that you will always keep them safe and taken care of.
How are you protecting your kids from the recession?
|Jill Spivack, MSW, author of "The Sleepeasy Solution" and co-founder of Sleepy Planet Inc., is a psychotherapist and mother of two.|
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