FIVE WAYS TO REASSURE YOUR KIDS WHEN COVID-19 HITS YOU FINANCIALLY

The pandemic has affected everyone in some shape, form, or fashion on multiple levels. While some people have managed to remain financially sound, millions have lost jobs and have filed for unemployment, struggling to figure out how they are going to make ends meet. With everyone sharing the same space for countless hours on end, it is time to have the financial talk with the little one’s, because they already know.

“Informing kids in a positive way can be difficult and challenging,” says Lionel Hush, principal of Roosevelt Middle School in West Orange, New Jersey in an interview with CNBC. “For some parents, children knowing about their finances is the last thing some parents want.”

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Financial podcaster Wendy Mays, from San Diego chimes in, in the same interview that, “I think the big thing is to have age-appropriate conversations and be reassuring. In terms of her food pantry, she tells her kids, ranging from 5-23, “You can’t just go into the pantry and have whatever you want. We can’t just go to the store whenever we want.”
 
So, how do you have the talk and reassure them that everything will be okay? Well, here are five ways to reassure your kids when Covid-19 hits you financially. 
 
1. Be candid and open, but reassuring. Life has changed and it is not a time for you to shut down. Call a family meeting and be open up and tell your children what is really going on. “At the same time, I address the concerns,” Mays said. “I don’t want them to feel afraid. The fact we’re having the conversation and we’re here to talk to is the key.”

2. Define necessary spending. Prior to the new normal, splurging a bit may have been routine. If money is limited, let your children know that right now, you are going to have to define what is necessary spending and what is not. Mays suggests saying something to them like, “We just want to make sure we’re not spending on things that aren’t necessary right now.” Include them in on the budget and help them see that food, bills, and necessities come first. 

3. Let your children know that as a family, you got this! Help your children feel confident and let them know that regardless of what is going on, as a family, you go this! “As a community and as a family we’re here to take care of each other,” Hush said. “If things get very bad, there is a safety net.”

4. Assure them that for you, this is a scary topic too. Kids may not all have the right words to explain their fears, and let’s face it, many adults don’t either. Let them know that for you it is a scary moment too. Thomas Henseke, a certified financial planner with Lenox Advidsors in New York recommends that you should ease into the conversation, maybe even asking your kids what their friends are talking about. 

5, Let them know that a silver lining is on the way. The darkness doesn’t always last and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Let your children know that. Most importantly, let them know that #weareallinthistogether and that on the other side of it all, you as a family, will be stronger than ever before. 

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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