Financial problems cause strife in every area of our lives. Money has often been cited as the number one reason for couples divorcing.
Can families survive their personal financial crises? The answer is yes, but you have to know how. Money problems put a strain on the parents and the children of a household. Even if parents try to shield their children from their problems, children have an amazing ability to see and perceive what we don’t want them to know.
A better idea is to be honest with your children on a level they can understand.
Remember these two points when speaking to your children about finances:
- 1. Do not ask them to solve the problem.
- 2. Give them something constructive they can do to help.
It is very important that you do not ask your children to solve your own financial woes. It is not possible for a child to think and reason on an adult level. They will only get frustrated and fearful when they comprehend that there is nothing they can do.
Think about constructive tasks
You can, however, give them a constructive task and let them know how it will help you. For instance, designate one day a week that is their day to make sure all the lights are out in the house before bed. Explain how this will reduce the electric bill. Children feel good when they feel helpful.
Never argue about finances in front of children
It is very important to not argue about finances in front of your children. Again, this will make them feel very fearful and helpless. Keep your financial discussions private. It is okay to tell a child that you cannot afford a new pair of jeans right at this time. Do not tell them you might not be able to buy food later in the week. Keep all information that you share with your child age-appropriate.
Get professional advice
The biggest step you can take is to curb your own spending. Sit down with a financial adviser and discuss what you should do about your finances. It will take time, patience and money management skills.
Remind yourself every day that your family is your top priority and do everything in your power to keep it together. These times shall pass and you will see that your family’s bonds actually strengthened by working together through the tough times.