How can I tell my kids we’re short on money right now – without scaring them off? I was a teenager during the ‘recession we have to go through’ in 1990s Australia and I clearly remember a friend asking his father for money to go to the movies.
With equal frustration and resignation, the father explained that he had been fired and was unsure if there would be a job in the near future. So he really doesn’t have money to buy movie tickets.
Instead of being scary or annoying, like ignorant teenagers, it was more like a lightbulb moment. As a result, many children are aware of their parent’s financial difficulties. Something that they could always have suddenly denied them.
But it’s not easy talking to your kids about the cost of living crisis. Many people worry about worrying about their children or leaving them in a lifelong “scarcity mindset,” where one is forever cursed with the feeling that spending money is always wrong. So how can parents communicate financial reality to their children? And how might the message to young children differ from that of teenagers?
For young children, keep calm and simple
Most elementary school-age children are not aware of the macro-conditions outside of their homes and immediate communities. They have not yet developed the ability to introduce sudden changes in opinion.
The key here is to not let your own anxiety affect your child. Children this age see their parents as beacons of information and will very well reflect any fear or anxiety you express. They can even blow things out of proportion.
Keeping things calm and simple is key.
Just explain that everything costs money and you don’t have as much money as usual right now, so as a family, there are some things you just can’t afford.
Young children can be relentlessly narcissistic in the way they look – this is developmentally normal. They may even ask you to work harder or harder to get the items and activities they want. The best you can do is laugh it off and offer to give it a try – but explain that now the kids will have to find something else to do.
Consider a plan to replace their previous activities with free activities. For example, explain to him that he won’t be able to play his favorite sport this season, but that he will instead go to the local park to play soccer and have a picnic.
Ask teenagers for their opinions and ideas
Depending on their intrinsic interest in current affairs and their understanding of mathematics, finance, and economics, sudden and unexpected financial declines can also cause teenagers to lose their lives. shocked. But around the age of 12, children experience a kind of explosion of frontal lobe function. Their ability to understand and process even complex information increases quite markedly.
Therefore, teenagers not only understand your current situation but can also help you.
Give teens a “role” in helping families build a sense of competence and offer group-based problem-solving to emotional concerns they may be feeling. In other words, they will feel less helpless.
This approach is underpinned by what psychologists and researchers call “self-determination theory”.
This well-studied concept posits that most humans have an innate need to:
- experience and demonstrate autonomy (making your own choices, acting on your own volition)
- competence (feeling like you’re good at something, have achieved something worthwhile)
- relatedness (working well with others, especially people important to you).
So working as a team towards a common goal is a great way for a family to pull together and help each others’ mental well-being.
Discuss with your teens what activities, events, and items might need to go on the back burner or be discontinued.
And don’t forget, teens have a very well-honed hypocrisy radar – there’s no point suggesting they cut back on recreational activities, for example, if you are not willing to do the same.
Use this as an opportunity to discuss the difference between “wants” and “needs” and ask them to sort family spending into those categories. Discuss points of disagreement calmly.
Ask your teens to brainstorm ways to improve your financial efficiency – and help you in doing so. They might enjoy coming up with ideas such as grocery shopping with a strict meal plan in cheaper stores, looking for specials, riding or walking to school where possible, getting a part-time job, or helping out with childcare.
Rather than fixating on what we have to go without, work with your teenagers to come up with proactive ideas on what you can do differently. Frame it as working together to achieve the same aim.
Teach your kids there can be challenges in life, but how you go about managing them is the key. This will help them develop into resilient adults 카지노사이트.