Your Family’s Pandemic Survival Plan
The pandemic has thrown families everywhere a real curveball to say the least. But social distancing is presenting more than just challenges; it is also giving families with older kids a real opportunity to well…just talk more. From our vantage point, some of those opportunities should be used to discuss money. As few as four conversations with teens can allow your family to exit the pandemic with money-smarter kids. You don’t need to be an expert or download an App. You only have to take some of the time you are already spending together and speak honestly about your experiences earning and spending.
Tonight at dinner, why not talk about ways your older kids can get involved in some household financial decision making – particularly if your family is currently facing income or job loss as a result of the pandemic. It’s natural to want to protect even older children from disappointment or loss, but most experts agree that all kids want is to understand how changes in their parent’s lives are going to affect their own lives – good or bad. We have seen honesty empower older kids to be part of the solution. Teens know that babies are protected, but adults chip in to help out where they can – and that they themselves lie somewhere along that age and responsibility continuum.
Teens are not only ready to more regularly share mundane household burdens, but can be empowered by participating in a family’s pandemic survival plan.
Ask your teens what expenses they think can be avoided right now? Their answers might surprise you on the upside. We are already hearing about kids suggesting cutbacks without being prompted, proof positive that High School students are often more intuitive than their parents give them credit for. If your children have never been brought into these types of conversations, they may need time to adjust and consider what they are willing to do without – but who can remain angry at a sincere request to help when the need is so evident? And for “first-timers”, the fact that this conversation is even taking place signals that the need is real and time-sensitive.
No one would have hoped for the current crisis, but older kids can learn from it by being allowed to actively participate in their family’s survival. They won’t die from fewer choices in their closet or the fridge. If allowed, they can exit the pandemic with more respect and appreciation for you, the life you’re providing, and what it might take for them to do the same one day. How can that be bad?
Hang onto hope everyone. Lets get through this – if nothing else – with money-smarter kids.
If you are interested in how children research the full value of a request or purchase (before they make it) at one of our in-classroom workshops, please click on the Green or Pink Buttons below. Of course, they can also do this at home!