Mom And Dad Laid Off? Kids Want To Help Keep The Team Together.
I think lot’s of kids are scared and want to help. According to the BLS, both parents within 13% of families in the U.S. who have children under the age of 18 are unemployed. This, while state and local municipalities are rapidly cutting significant numbers of teaching positions. It’s easy for me to marginalize the impact of this on the kids by rationalizing that we have too many teachers or that those parents are not trying hard enough to find work. The reality is that these kids have to be scared of the uncertainty, their parents fighting, moving, not having food, being evicted, etc. Kids are smart, intuitive, and want to help, but can’t define the problem, don’t know what to do, how to help or what to say.
They need first to understand that this is not their fault, the family is like a team, and that spending time working together, and caring for each other through the good and bad times is what a family is all about. What if we shared this or something like it with a teacher we knew, unemployed parent(s), a youth minister, youth coach? Would it help them deal with an issue that will manifest itself in the class room this fall or into 2012? What impact is this current recession having on the generation of children in today’s classrooms and beyond, and what does it mean for the eventual employers of these kids? Can the HR professionals of today do something to get involved and help? Shoot this on to a teacher or someone else, and see what they think. Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Help define what happens to the family when Mom, Dad or both lose their job?
- Your Mom and Dad can feel pretty bad about losing the job.
- There will be less money for the family.
- Mom and Dad will worry about what is happening.
- Your parents may feel bad about not being able to give you all the things that they could before.
- Parents might get upset with each other because people do get upset when they are worried.
- Sometimes Mom might need to find a job at night and Dad will make dinner and put you to bed.
- One of your parents may need to find another job in a different town or state.
- The parent staying behind will feel sad and worry that the children will miss the other parent.
- The whole family may need to move to another place to stay together. You might need to leave school or your friends, but it can be an adventure.
Show the that while they can’t find a job for Mom or Dad there are ways you can help the family.
- You can try to be understanding when Mom or Dad are worried.
- You can help Mom or Dad when the other goes to work.
- You can do a really good job of taking care of your things so they don’t break or get lost.
- You can understand that you might not get the things you want and that the house and food bills are the most important.
- You might be able to get a job to help the family like mowing lawns, cleaning, and delivering.
- You can help Mom or Dad try to be happy by asking them to play with you so that they stop worrying for a while.
- You can send them emails, or make them little cards telling them that you love them.
- If you have younger brothers or sisters, you can help them understand what is happening.
Push away from The Table, get away from defining a new metric, and help a kid.