Talking to Kids about your Finances

How to talk to your kids about financial struggles

If you’re one of many American families financially struggling due to the coronavirus, now is a good time to discuss things with your kids. Your children have likely already figured out that something isn’t right with how you’re faring financially — even if you’ve done your best to shield them. The sooner you speak to them about your financial struggles, the better. Here is how to have that conversation.

Be Calm

As USA Today notes, you want to remain calm while explaining your family’s situation. Even if you feel like things are out of control, tell your kids that you are handling things and everything will be okay.

Let Them Lead

Let your kids lead the conversation in whichever way they want it to go. Explain your financial situation, then let them ask as many — or as little — follow-up questions they have. Some kids might be fine with a short discussion; some kids might need more info.

Remember Their Age

If you have young kids, you don’t need to explain your concerns about 401(k)s to them. Make sure you keep your conversation age-appropriate. You don’t want to add confusion during an already confusing time.

Keep It Simple

No matter how old your kids are, you can keep this conversation as simple as you want. You can just say, “Your dad and I are not working right now, so we need to reduce our spending. Things will not always be like this, but for now, we’ll be cutting back.” Chances are that your kids will want the simplest version of the situation anyway.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea

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