The current economic downturn can present a challenge to many American families. In the midst of uncertainty, how should a father use his parenting skills to help his child understand what the family is going through?
According to child psychologist Michele C. Thorne of the Indiana University School of Medicine, the most important thing is to make sure children know they will be safe and loved no matter what the family’s situation.
She explained that talking to children – particularly those prone to worry – will help calm their fears and prepare them for potential changes.
"But parents also should censor what they say and shouldn’t burden their children with adult worries and concerns," she cautioned.
Children’s brains are at a different stage of development and the frontal lobe is not prepared to understand the weight of adult burdens, Throne said.
She suggested that families facing a significant change – such as job loss – may want to consider having a weekly meeting for all members to hear updates on what is happening and air lingering questions.
With some economic experts predicting that the country’s unemployment rate could reach a high of 7.5 percent, Thorne’s parenting advice could be relevant to a number of U.S. families in the coming months.