Q. My husband lost his job and I’m being laid-off next month. We could lose our home to foreclosure by the end of the year. Should I explain our situation to our children? Will this make them insecure and fearful? Two are under age six and one is a teenager.
This is a great question for families and their kids. Children know more than we think. So be sure to include them when discussing subjects like these.
Tickle-Me-Elmo, T.V. & Junk Culture
We have lived far too long in a culture that caters to the materialistic demands of our youngsters. If they wanted a “Tickle-me-Elmo” they got it. When they wanted sports equipment or wanted to compete in Vegas we provided the expensive equipment and travel money. If they demanded a stereo system or a T.V. in their rooms they got it. When they asked for a car for a graduation present they got it. They assumed they could go to a college of their choice and we would pay for it. We became a “junk culture.”
College Education no longer Expected
But, now our circumstances have changed. People are losing jobs and most families hold at least $8,000 or more in credit card debt. Many owe between $20,000 and $50,000 in credit card debt and are upside down on their homes and cars.
The credit card fees and doubling of minimum payments are causing many to struggle with bills and a good number to consider bankruptcy. Even though things may look slightly better many families are still losing homes to foreclosures and people are being laid-off from work. Children are beginning to realize that college may not be their automatic future – vocational training at the local community college may replace a four-year degree.
Kids Discuss Family Secrets
Do you think your children are unaware of this? Think back to your own youth and try to remember the things kids discussed among themselves – whether about divorce issues, affairs, alcoholism or other things our parents may have assumed were unknown. Family “secrets” were silly. That’s because kids know.
Better the Truth from You
Yes. We all need to sit down and explain our financial situations to our kids. The explanation can be simple for younger kids and more detailed for teenagers. But, always assume they probably know more than you think and will benefit from hearing the truth – from you.
Besides, it appears we are in a time that will become important history to our young children. America is in a period of decline and we are witnessing the emergence of countries fitting into a pattern of biblical prophecy. Not only can we teach our children valuable lessons of thrift, responsibility, simple living, reliance upon God and thankfulness – but, we can also teach them biblical prophecy at the same time! They love prophecy – so go for it!
We recently wrote an article called “Economic Meltdown Prophetic?” You can find it in the Economics section of our articles.
Your children will be fascinated to learn about prophecy and watch as things develop worldwide.
Comfort Comes Directly from God
Also, be sure that your children memorize good, comforting Bible verses such as:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT).
“Don’t worry about anything – instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6).
…”I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Your children will come to honor their parents for their truthfulness and reliance upon God. Above all else you will have set a good example they can benefit from for many years to come.
The Waltons Played-Out
This is one reason why the television series, The Waltons, has become so popular again. It shows Depression-era families banding together to survive in very lean times. Parents, children, grandparents and even extended family live together in one home on a small “farm” complete with chickens and a garden. Love, honor, and devoted family relationships become the focus rather than McMansions and Ferraris. We are now living in a repeat of The Waltons era. This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to give your children memories they will cherish and can teach to their own youngsters. Don’t miss it!