With the economy being in a downturn, more and more parent are finding that they have lost their jobs. Children often worry about their parents, and are concerned about whether or not their parents can take care of them. With a different era, creative idea are needed when it come to informing a child you have lost your job. I recently had to quit my job due to health issues, and began thinking about the best way to tell a child?
1) The first option goes without saying. Be open and honest and tell them. You might also be prepared for the many questions that will ensue. This also depends on the age of the child, and their level of understanding. The more advanced and mature, the more questions you will need to be prepared to answer.
2) If your child is small, there is a very good book you can read to your child called A New Job For Perez:, the Mouse by Alma Flor. Although the book is about a mouse getting a new job, it can still be used to talk about a job loss.
3) One of the best ways to talk to a small child about a job loss is through play therapy.You can tell your child you have lost your job by role playing with your child’s Barbies or action figures. Sit down to play with your child and role play going to work and losing your job. Role play how Barbie or the action figure is going to get a new job or what is going to happen. Make it fun. After role playing with your child, tell them that you just lost your job.
4) Attitude is 99 percent of anything. If a parent acts concerned, the child will be too. Be honest and tell your child the budget may have to be redone, but then find something inexpensive or free to do with your child. If they realize there are benefits to you not having a job, such as more Mommy or Daddy time, they might adjust better.
5) Above all else, don’t concentrate on the job loss or talk about it around the child. One you have discovered your own unique way to tell your child, don’t discuss it unless they ask. The more you talk about it around your child, the more anxious they will be.
By being open and honest and a bit creative, a parent can make a loss of a job a bit less stressful for a child. Your children need a sense of security and using this as a teaching moment will help your child feel more secure.