Co-Parenting; Your Thrive Guide

Helping your children cope with financial difficulties

March 01, 2021 Deborah Lenee Season 2 Episode 4
Co-Parenting; Your Thrive Guide
Helping your children cope with financial difficulties
Chapters
Co-Parenting; Your Thrive Guide
Helping your children cope with financial difficulties
Mar 01, 2021 Season 2 Episode 4
Deborah Lenee

 The Pandemic, Lay-offs, pay-cuts, foreclosures, and debt are all realities of the world we live in.  What we share with our child about our family's financial problems, and the way we share it, can have a profound impact on their ability to process and cope — and even on their financial future.

If you or the other co-parent are facing a trying time financially, whether or not you've tried to hide it from your child, they most likely already know.  Children are incredibly perceptive and they can pick up on parents' stress, conversations, and changed spending habits  much more accurately than most will give them credit for.  Picking up on these cues without the explanation and assurance of a parent can lead to confusion and insecurity — emotions that can cause stress, anxiety, and physiological problems.

How much you should share depends on your child's age and maturity level. Generally, it is recommended that sharing fewer details and emphasizing security with children 12 and under — the basic concept of frugality is all they can really process.  Most teens, however, will be financially literate and can handle more information.  If they can understand it, they can better cope with it, and they may be more receptive to discussing your family's money issues. 

Don't lie. You can choose how you phrase things and how much to share depending on your situation, but don't give false information about your money problems.

Educate your children on finances. Trying times and slimmer budgets provide an opportunity for teaching your children about money, saving, frugality, and wants vs. needs. Berger said you can use your own financial missteps as a lesson, focusing on what you've learned and not being afraid to admit if you've made mistakes. "It's okay to be fallible," he said.

Focus on the positive. Emphasize that the difficult changes now will be better for the long-term, that a move or change in activity allows for new opportunities elsewhere and that no matter what, you parents will always love you and be here for you.

Show a united front. Have a conversation with the other co-parent and discuss it ahead of time, so you both can agree on what to say to the kids and how before confronting them. If you have an open conversation without the children you can hopefully discuss 

Don't use your child as your confidant. It's important to maintain the parent/child relationship as a healthy boundary. Confiding in a child like a peer or "over-sharing" will give them an added sense of stress. The child does not have the answers or the mindset to take responsibility for your family's finances — focus on their best interests in the situation.

 Do allow your child the space to express their anger – give them the space to open up and be sure to listen – pillow talk

Do let your child talk freely to another trusted adult – grandmother, teacher, close family friend – if your child can talk through their feelings with someone that you both respect, it will help them come to terms with what has happened. It will help them come to terms with what has happened, yes they can talk to you but they may be afraid of hurting you and they may want to discuss you as well.

With support and reassurance your child can come through this difficult place and come out on the other side as an empathic, caring and responsible person.

Resources for Single Parents:
www.asinglemother.org
www.coabode.org
www.singlemotherguide.com

Show Notes

 The Pandemic, Lay-offs, pay-cuts, foreclosures, and debt are all realities of the world we live in.  What we share with our child about our family's financial problems, and the way we share it, can have a profound impact on their ability to process and cope — and even on their financial future.

If you or the other co-parent are facing a trying time financially, whether or not you've tried to hide it from your child, they most likely already know.  Children are incredibly perceptive and they can pick up on parents' stress, conversations, and changed spending habits  much more accurately than most will give them credit for.  Picking up on these cues without the explanation and assurance of a parent can lead to confusion and insecurity — emotions that can cause stress, anxiety, and physiological problems.

How much you should share depends on your child's age and maturity level. Generally, it is recommended that sharing fewer details and emphasizing security with children 12 and under — the basic concept of frugality is all they can really process.  Most teens, however, will be financially literate and can handle more information.  If they can understand it, they can better cope with it, and they may be more receptive to discussing your family's money issues. 

Don't lie. You can choose how you phrase things and how much to share depending on your situation, but don't give false information about your money problems.

Educate your children on finances. Trying times and slimmer budgets provide an opportunity for teaching your children about money, saving, frugality, and wants vs. needs. Berger said you can use your own financial missteps as a lesson, focusing on what you've learned and not being afraid to admit if you've made mistakes. "It's okay to be fallible," he said.

Focus on the positive. Emphasize that the difficult changes now will be better for the long-term, that a move or change in activity allows for new opportunities elsewhere and that no matter what, you parents will always love you and be here for you.

Show a united front. Have a conversation with the other co-parent and discuss it ahead of time, so you both can agree on what to say to the kids and how before confronting them. If you have an open conversation without the children you can hopefully discuss 

Don't use your child as your confidant. It's important to maintain the parent/child relationship as a healthy boundary. Confiding in a child like a peer or "over-sharing" will give them an added sense of stress. The child does not have the answers or the mindset to take responsibility for your family's finances — focus on their best interests in the situation.

 Do allow your child the space to express their anger – give them the space to open up and be sure to listen – pillow talk

Do let your child talk freely to another trusted adult – grandmother, teacher, close family friend – if your child can talk through their feelings with someone that you both respect, it will help them come to terms with what has happened. It will help them come to terms with what has happened, yes they can talk to you but they may be afraid of hurting you and they may want to discuss you as well.

With support and reassurance your child can come through this difficult place and come out on the other side as an empathic, caring and responsible person.

Resources for Single Parents:
www.asinglemother.org
www.coabode.org
www.singlemotherguide.com