The recession has impacted all of us, including children. As reported on FiLife.com, a new survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 30 percent of young people ages 8 to 17 are worried about their family’s finances – their second-highest source of stress after managing school pressure. The survey also found a gap between the financial stress young people are experiencing and their parents’ perceptions of such stress. Just 18 percent of parents believed their kids had any concerns about their family’s finances.
The APA recommends that parents look for signs of stress in their children such as sleep or appetite changes, nightmares, or avoidance of situations or people. It also recommends age-appropriate communication. Adolescents may be able to handle more details of their family’s situation, whereas younger children may perceive situations to be worse than they are and mostly need reassurance that their family is going to be okay.
Tough economic times can provide great opportunities to teach children about budgeting, using coupons, making trade-offs, and more. One of my favorite resources for teaching age-appropriate lessons about money is this document from the National Endowment for Financial Education.