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The sense of confusion and uncertainty experienced by many adults after being laid off can easily be transmitted to children. Wichita State University psychologist Maureen Dasey-Morales explains how parents can help their children cope during these challenging times.
Announcer: If a parent has been laid off, the layoff is not only hard on the parents. The sense of confusion and uncertainty can easily be transmitted to children. While the concerns may persist for some time, Wichita State University psychologist Maureen Dasey-Morales says, even in the midst of hardships, parents can teach some valuable lessons to their children.
Dasey-Morales: "There's a silver lining that often we don't see in a downturn, and that is that kids can really learn about saving money, about finding fun things to do and being together as a family without spending a lot of money."
Announcer: Dasey-Morales also says that parents in a difficult situation should communicate with the schools and doctor's offices that times are tough right now. Although pride makes it hard to do, she says a lot of these places will have resources and will find ways to help, so that the kids can continue to get what they need. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.
Sound bite #1
Dasey-Morales says parents who are laid off often struggle with guilt. The sound bite is 18 seconds and the outcue is "can buy them."
Dasey-Morales: "A lot of people who are struggling with an economic downturn in their family struggle with guilt about not being able to give their kids as much as they did before, not being able to buy as much. So it's really important that parents try to work on their own guilt and know that their worth to their kid is not monetary, it's not what they can buy them."
Sound bite #2
Dasey-Morales says kids need reassurance that everything is going to be okay. The sound bite is 21 seconds and the outcue is "every conversation."
Dasey-Morales: "Kids really need most from their parents during these times — reassurance that everything is going to be okay. And a parent can't do that if they're not feeling that the same way. So it's important to find their own supports and their own outlets for their worries so that they don't overload their kids or have that be the topic of every conversation."
Sound bite #3
Dasey-Morales says it's normal for kids to ask for things even if you've been laid off. The sound bite is 19 seconds and the outcue is "ask for things."
Dasey-Morales: "It's extremely normal for a kid to continue asking for things or to buy things or do things, even after they've been told that the family can't afford as much as they used to. So it's important to know that that's normal and to not label the kid as bad or difficult because they continue to ask for things."
Sound bite #4
Dasey-Morales says it's important that kids know the truth about the family situation. The sound bite is 23 seconds and the outcue is "changes going on."
Dasey-Morales: "Kids are amazing little truth radar detectors, so it's important that they know the truth and know that there's been a change in the finances in the family, but they also need to be reassured. So it's important to find that balance between protecting the child from too much information and letting them know that there have been some changes going on."
Sound bite #5
Dasey-Morales says the age of your children should dictate how much information you share with them. The sound bite is 23 seconds and the outcue is "be your guide."
Dasey-Morales: "Let your child's age and their developmental stage be your guide for how much information you give. Obviously younger kids won't understand all the financial information, so they really just need to know that everything's going to be okay and that mom and dad or grandma and grandpa will take care of them. Older kids can handle more information, but let their questions be your guide."
Sound bite #6
Dasey-Morales talks about how important it is to communicate your difficult economic situation to others. The sound bite is 25 seconds and the outcue is "get what they need."
Dasey-Morales: "Also try to communicate with the avenues that your family is involved in — schools, doctor's offices, athletic teams. Let them know that your status has changed and that times are tough right now. It's hard to do because people are proud, but a lot of these places will have resources and will find ways to help, so that the kids can continue to get what they need."