When you first become unemployed, there’s a period of intense shock much of the time that hits and hits hard. No matter how softly the boss speaks when they tell you you’re being fired, laid-off, let go, etc. there’s still that slap to the face that says your financial stability is no longer assured.
Many people who receive such news are suddenly faced with who, how and when to tell people about their unemployment. For many, the hardest people to tell are those closest to them; their spouses, parents, and children. This is in most cases, because part of the identity built up as the bread-winner, the person with the buying power, the responsible one who pays the bills, the one to go to and say, “Can I have $10 to buy something?” The thought of letting those who depend on us the most down is devastating. So it’s understandable that some people actually conceal their unemployment, trying to protect themselves from this shame, and also trying to avoid dumping their problems on the shoulders of children.
Kids these days are under a great deal of pressure to fit in with their peers; to look a certain way, go to the raves, hang out with their friends at the right places, and have the latest electronic gear. Remember when you just had to buy an Intellivision Computer System? How about that Scientific Calculator for school? Or were you in the group of kids at school that had to have money for the school trip to some foreign country? For your children, the pressure to fit in with their friends hasn’t changed much, but the cost of those gadgets, clothing and anything else they want has risen substantially.
The sooner you get a job and restore your income the better for bringing stability back to this situation. That being said, it’s good advice to share you news of unemployment immediately as it occurs. One thing you can do immediately too, is look ahead to things that may be important to your family that require money, and see if there is time to budget between now and then in order to avoid robbing both you and your kids of the experience. For example, let’s say you and the kids are big fans of, “The Lord Of The Rings” books and movies. If so, you’d know that in a month or two, the movie called, “The Hobbit” is coming to the big screen. It will set you back maybe $20 – $30 depending upon how many people in the family you have that will go, and what you’ll buy when you are there. As it’s the end of October as I look at the calendar, you’ve got to budget now in order to all go. Going is important if you’ve been planning on it.
Setting aside some money to attend a movie may not sound like a big deal to someone who is employed, but it’s a big deal to others. It’s important to go because it’s an event you can attend with a mass of everyday people and you need to be connected to normal everyday events in order to feel connected. Watching a movie also gives you somewhere to escape for a few hours, something to think about instead of your own situation, and it creates memories. Who knows, your kids may look back one day and say, “You know times were tough when my mom or dad lost their job, but she/he worked hard to make sure that we still did stuff together that was fun. That meant a lot to me.”
Don’t rob your kids of their needs to be up on some of the latest events and trends. I’m not advocating that you should foolishly lay out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a 3-D television, or buckle to every request for cash. There is a line you have to balance of course between denying all requests for money, and just opening the vault. That’s why you’re the parent and the one who is counted on to take the bulk of the responsibility for your family’s financial stability.
Like I’ve said in past posts, depending on the age of your children, sharing the appropriate amount of information with them with respect to your unemployment can be very beneficial. It can show them you trust them, you can teach by example how to deal with adversity, you can learn from them too and be proud of how supportive they are to you by helping out more around the house – doing what they can. It may well be too that something unexpected happens for the good, such as your daughter talking to her friends and one of those friends parents knows of a job opening you’d be qualified to apply for. You just don’t know where your next job might come from!
All the best as you make the transition back to financial independence! Check out more advice at https://myjobadvice.wordpress.com/