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The Kids Are All Right
Published October 28, 2012“Not in front of the children” is the easiest way to avoid telling kids about mom or dad’s recent job loss. It’s difficult enough for adults to deal with, and it seems right to spare the children that worry.
But even young children can sense when something is wrong. And sooner or later, they’re going to find out.
Here are some ways to break the news without causing a big fuss:
• The terms we use to discuss the loss of a job are not kid-friendly: layoff, downsize, reorganization, shut down. Use words they can understand. Keep it as simple as possible.
• Observe and listen to your children during this time. Look for unusual signs of stress, such as dropping out of activities or not doing homework. If your child tries to talk about their feelings, give them your undivided attention.
• Younger children will need to be assured that they will be cared for, so make sure that’s clear.
• Children of any age need not be involved in discussions of mortgages, repossessions or foreclosure. But talk to them about how to live a less expensive lifestyle, which could mean packing lunches instead of buying them at school, cutting out a few costly extracurricular activates or taking the bus in the morning to cut down on gas.
Bob Lankard, former program manager at the state Job Center in Indiana, Pa., offers common-sense advice to help all levels of job seekers satisfy their employment ambitions.
- Written By Bob Lankard