|Unemployed with Children|
|Written by Abby Kohut|
On last week's Career Wake Up Call, an interesting topic emerged. The question was, "How should I go about discussing my continued unemployment with my children? It seems to be having an effect on them." Although I had an opinion on this, I opted to "Ask the Audience" in Who Wants to be a Millionaire style to get an opinion from someone who has kids.There isn't a "one size fits all" answer to this question. The answer depends on many factors, including: the age and maturity of your kids, the kind of relationship you have with them, and the circumstances surrounding your unemployment.
One caller who answered the question said that she is using her current situation to teach her kids the value of money. She said that she was honest with her kids about her struggle and then added chores to their repertoire so that now they could earn the things they wanted to buy.
It is useful to remind your kids that the situation you are in is temporary and that it will be fixed "soon". Although kids have trouble sometimes getting beyond the "I want it now stage", it may be easier for them to know that an end is in sight.
Regardless of the reasons why you are unemployed, one thing is for sure. You must not let it get in the way of your confidence and self esteem. If your kids sense that you are worried about the future, they will start worrying too. But, if you paint the picture that things will get better eventually, I suspect that you will be more successful in working things out in the family zone.
A second caller offered what I thought was a brilliant idea. This caller shared a story about a friend of his who turned her situation around by getting her kids involved with her job search by making it a project they could have fun with together.
It is a good idea to tell older kids that you need encouragement and support from them. Teaching them the difference between helpful and hurtful words is a good way to get them to understand the real you. I am quite sure that these lessons will transfer nicely into interactions they will have as young adults.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Being honest with your kids about your current situation seems to be the way to go depending on their age. Remind them that things will get better and asking them to help you stay positive while they do will most likely be the key to your success. Family matters and so do you.