How much is too much? Talking to kids about financial hardships during the pandemic

Morning After

DALLAS, Texas (KDAF) — Over the last several months, parents have had to have a lot of difficult talks with their kids. The pandemic has even caused a rise in children experiencing anxiety and seeking help.

If a parent has seen a significant impact to their finances through job loss or furlough, how much should they share about the situation with their kids? How much is too much?

Dr. Matthew Housson from the Housson Center lays out the best way to approach children with tough realities.

First and foremost, he says, is be honest with your kids. They’re often more keen on things than you might think and need authenticity.

For younger children, Housson says try to relay the information about the pandemic through story, telling them how things happened in an age and developmentally appropriate manner. Older kids can usually handle and appreciate healthy conversations about what’s going on.

One thing to be mindful and cautious of is the level and anxiety in guilt in children. The last thing any parents wants is for their kids to someone internalize blame for what’s happening. Housson says it’s important to lay out how the family is going to get through this together and to collectively prioritize what’s important as a family.

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