Are you talking to your kids about today’s economy?

by Parenting Power

p29-24HoursofFun[1]We know that many parents are choosing to stay quiet about the downturn. They don’t want to burden their kids with the family finances or economic worries.

We also know that kids are talking to each other at school. They are hearing information through all kinds of media. They are seeing their friends dealing with family job loss or financial concern. They are watching our furrowed brows when we mention the falling dollar or oil prices. They are aware that trips to the US might be being put on hold for a while.

Most school-aged kids know a bit about what is happening in our economy. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!”

Today we are asking:

Have you taken the time to talk to your kids about how your family is doing in this economy?

 Are you aware of the verbal messages you are sending your kids about your family finances?

 We are not suggesting that your kids need to be worrying about the economy. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Your kids need to know that the adults in the family have things under control and are making a plan for how to deal with job loss, decreased income, etc.

Words like, “We can’t afford to…” leave kids feeling concerned about the future. Instead we can say, “We’re choosing to spend our money on the important things we need right now.”

If you are concerned about how far your vacation dollars are going to go on your vacation, make a plan with your kids up front about budgets and what you will and won’t be buying.

This is a great opportunity to teach kids how to manage money responsibly.

Ultimately, your kids want to feel like they can rely on you to keep the family safe. You can help them feel that way by getting clear with them about the age-appropriate facts that are affecting them. When you teach your kids that it is okay to talk about these things, you open the door for them to share their concerns with you. The truth is, they want to know that you are going to be there for them and with them.

Julie Freedman Smith & Gail Bell are Parenting Power. They provide parents with strategies to become confident, capable and calm. Contact them at