3 Tips for Protecting Young Children From Economic Woes

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ — As each day seems to bring more worrisome economic news, anxiety about the state of the financial world is finding its way into American kitchens, and affecting all members of our families – including young children.

“One thing we know about kids is that they pick up on parental feelings,” says Christine Clark, Editor in Chief of Highlights magazine. “Kids may sense that something is going on even if they are too young to understand exactly what.” Highlights magazine receives 60,000 pieces of mail from kids each year, from drawings to poems to letters asking for advice. Highlights editors read and respond to each letter, and have for more than 60 years, including those from kids worried about money, their home life and other anxieties. They suggest the following tips for helping children through this uneasy time:

— Parents need to try to manage their own anxiety so they don’t convey it to the kids. As a parent, be aware that your fears may cause you to be irritable or distracted. Do what you can to allay your own anxiety. Everyone has different approaches, but whether it’s meditating, talking to friends, having a cup of calming tea or getting as much information as possible, try not to let your anxiety interfere with your being a nurturing parent.

— If your kids initiate questions about the economy, be reassuring. Keep things in perspective. There have been ups and downs in the economy over the years, and people get through them. Children will pick up on your emotional state, and if you let them know that no matter what they will be loved and taken care of, that’s what they will hear. It may help to share information (like the Highlights articles linked here) on how the stock market works and how banks work.

— Emphasize family togetherness. Remember that for kids having their basic needs met is more important than the things money can buy. Love, shared activities, and communication are not based on money. Saving money and even making sacrifices can feel like an adventure to kids if they feel like everyone in the family is on board.


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