Image From: Syda Productions/Canva Pro
Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens
These past few years have been rough on the entire world. A worldwide pandemic has left many with pay cuts, changes in careers, or without work at all. These changes to salary mean that the household will now have to make a few cuts in the budget.
Maybe you have to cut down on take-out meals, stop spending money on new toys, or you’ve even had to downsize your home. Talking to your kids about cuts in the budget can help them adjust as old comforts and indulgences undergo a few changes. Talking to your kids about a smaller budget can be a difficult topic to discuss, though, which is why Walter the Vault is here to help you get the conversation rolling. A lot of times, when kids understand not only “what” is going on, but “why” it is going on, too… they’re more willing to be “on board” with the game plan.
- Have a plan. Before you talk to the kids, consider the changes you may have to make. Where should the kids most likely expect changes? Is there a timeframe in mind? How can you make the transition as smooth as possible? You don’t have to have all the answers before holding a family meeting, but your little ones will likely find comfort in having some kind of plan. You’re welcome to ask for their ideas as well. Perhaps they’ll feel proud to have their ideas become a part of your family’s routine.
- Keep the conversation age–appropriate. Speaking in terms that your child understands will help prevent any confusion that may be cause for panic later. Be mindful of the vocabulary you are using, how much information would be appropriate to share, and which topics would be most important to your little one. You can even ask them to reexplain what’s going on in their own words, to make sure you’re both on the same page.
- Be honest, but optimistic. Sugar-coating the issues at hand will probably leave your child confused as reality sets in. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t speak with a hope that things will get better – and how you’re working to get there. While you should be open and honest about what you know, making sure your child holds onto hope will help them push through the challenges that will arise as they experience change.