by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
Watching the news hasn’t been very uplifting as of late, and last night felt like same old, same old - until my son walked into the room halfway through and sat next to me on the couch, transfixed. I wondered how much he could grasp, and if I should be worried. While I, of course, can’t read his mind, I do know this: when we are fearful, our children can feel it. They may not be able to pinpoint what is wrong, but it wears on them . . . which is why I find it so upsetting when parents tell their kids about the “tough times ahead”, “disastrous state of the economy,” and “next Great Depression.”
Sure, you shouldn’t lie to your children. If you lose your job or need to move because your home is in foreclosure, you should inform them about the changed circumstances. But always ensure them that they will have a safe place to stay, food, and clothes. Excessive pessimism is never helpful, so don’t be one of the many people who invent doomsday prophecies and share them with their children. It’ll only keep them up at night. Instead, tell them about how you are going to conquer the bumps ahead, together as a family, and focus on solutions and actions you and your child can take – however small - to make things better.
Nobody can predict the future, so assuming the economy is headed for a quick recovery is no more wrong than counting on the opposite – and it makes you feel a lot better! And if you absolutely have to practice pessimism, at least refrain from doing it in front of your children.