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Job Loss and the Affect on Children
Losing a job or steady income can affect the adult who is no longer working, but also affects the children in the home. Often adults get so distracted in their own grief over job loss that children's feelings, thoughts and concerns go unrecognized.
Parents who lose work are often stressed, angry, disappointed and worried. They also worry about how to talk to their children about this difficult topic.
Be patient, understanding and encourage kids to ask questions.
Many parents want to spare their children the harsh reality, but it is always best to be honest. It is far worse for children to hear about a parent losing a job from someone else. This only intensifies feelings of panic, anxiety, and anger.
Children will pick up signals in the home that something is wrong. When they arent' told the truth, their imagination runs away and is far worse than the truth.
For Children Under 5: be simple and concrete. Children at this age are most concerned about their personal safety and need assurance that they will be cared for. They need to know that the job loss was not their fault and they have done nothing wrong.
For Children aged 6-9: Are concerned with right and wrong and may have trouble understanding that job loss may be unfair. Provide information as they ask for it.
For Children aged 10-12: Can put facts together in more complicated ways and can understand everyday effects of job loss. Can contribute ideas to budget planning.
For Teenagers: Capable of understanding the consequences of the job loss and can discuss issues in more detail. They understand the more subtle effects as well. Can be helpful in problem solving. Fears that they won't be able to go to college are common at this age. Discussion is important.
Remember that listening is as important as talking. Everyone needs someone to listen to them, and children are no exception. Listen, to the children's thoughts and feelings and respond with concern and understanding. This is crucial for families going through tough times.
Adapted from the NYU Child Study Center, NY, NY. and from the Oklahoma State University Coorperative Extension Service.
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Grief Speaks Contact Lisa at : Lisa@GriefSpeaks.com 973-912-0177
Here is an article that someone sent to me to share with you that may be helpful for some of you who are dealing with the financial impact of depression and grief whether or not you have lost a job.
The Financial Impact of Depression and Grief. Depression and grief affect many areas of your life and this includes your finances.
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