Talking with Your Kids about the Financial Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak
The life changing events brought about by the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak effects the entire family. The Coronavirus has not only disrupted our everyday lives but added a great deal of stress, worry and uncertainty about what the future holds.
Schools and day care facilities are closed, and children are home. Many parents are working from home trying to juggle work and kids while we all practice social distancing. Others are coping with layoffs and furloughs from their jobs and are trying to figure out how to pay the bills. Working or not, everyone is wondering how long this disruption will last.
Talking with your children about the impact of the Coronavirus on your family is important – both what you are doing to keep them safe as well as the financial challenges you may face due to job loss or reduction in income.
Kids are smart. If you are upset or concerned, they usually can tell. Open communication is the key in helping children cope with and feel secure during challenging times. Involving children in financial conversations can help bring a family closer together. Plus, difficult times present opportunities to teach kids about money.
Here are some ideas compiled by Town & Country FCU:
- Plan a family meeting to discuss how the COVID-19 is impacting your household financially.
- Explain the situation as simply as possible.
- Have age appropriate conversations.
- Keep the conversation positive. Keeping a positive mindset will help avoid stress.
- Update your household budget and share with your family. Get the kids involved in cost cutting discussions. Give them choices about which activities are important to them. The goal is to get the whole family on the same page.
- Post the budget on the frig to remind everyone of the family’s goal.
- Brainstorm free activities the family can do together. Start a family game or movie night with homemade pizza, for example.
- Create a family savings challenge. Have weekly competitions to see who can find the best price on groceries or other household needs.
- Unexpected financial challenges like those brought on by the Coronavirus outbreak presents the opportunity to talk with children about the importance of having an emergency or rainy day saving.
- Involve older children in conversations about planning and saving for higher education
You may not have all the answers but be honest and explain what you do know. Be sure to provide plenty of reassurance that you will all get through this together. The important thing is to keep talking.
The Coronavirus outbreak can provide other teachable moments with children.
- Tell your kids that everyone in the country is working together to fix the current situation and make it better.
- Show them that they can help too. The more our children feel they are not alone, that they are part of a community that is pitching in and lending a hand, the less isolated and fearful they will be.
- When possible, have your child help you donate old clothes and toys to charity,
- Volunteer for community events and befriend families who are struggling financially.
You can offer your kids a fresh perspective by teaching them the importance of helping people in need, as well as the importance of accepting help when you are in need.
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