Welcome to week 5 of 6 in the Ask Dr. McCale series. Dr. Christina McCale is the Author of the book Waiting for Change: Impacts on life, family, work, and the new 99% reality. A single mom facing an unemployment crisis of her own in these tough economic times, she knows the reality of joblessness all too well.
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Q: From a mother's role and perspective, what would you view as being the most difficult aspect of unemployment? What has helped you cope through those difficulties?
Certainly as parents we all want to give our children all the things we know they should have: the experiences, the lessons, the additional classes… all the things that would enrich their lives. But on unemployment those opportunities are just not feasible.
So for many, the feelings of failure – of not being able to do better by your children, to give them than what you had or even more – is a hard pill to swallow for most parents living through the Great Recession.
Psychologists say that the impact of the Great Recession on your children will depend in large part to how old your children are at the time.
If you lose your job and home when they are very young – they may have little understanding; if they are grade school age, they may feel insecure or uncertain; they may resent having to get rid of toys or other items in the effort to downsize the family household furnishings. So knowing that you may have a different approach for your teens than for your grade school aged children is important.
I think part of the challenge is learning how much to share with your children. They’re still members of the family and as such are living through the same situation and stresses as you are – just in a different way.
So each parent has to decide what and how much information to share; how much the child can handle; and how much YOU are prepared to discuss in a calm, rational manner.
Another thing to realize is that just because your economic situation has changed, doesn’t mean all your old needs and wants just magically go away. The kids are still creatures of the commercial economy. They are still going to want the latest Bakugan or Transformer. They’re still going to want a Wii or a new game.
That’s not going to go away – but that’s a pressure that parents really don’t want or need when they’ve lost their job. So finding a kind and gentle – but firm – way of consistently saying “things have changed, we just don’t have the money for those little luxuries right now” is also important.
Have You Had To Discuss Unemployment With Your Children? How Did You Approach The Conversation?
I do hope you'll join us back here next Friday for our final week in the Ask Dr. McCale series.
When Your Loved One Is Struggling To Cope With The Loss Of Employment... and more!
You won't want to miss reading the raw details of my story, plus be encouraged by the 10 tried and true coping tips for enduring your spouse's season of unemployment with strength and dignity. Plus there's a challenge at the end of each chapter to help get you moving productively.
Also available for FREE is this (click to download) - Praying Him Through Unemployment: A 6-Week Prayer Guide