Thursday, February 12, 2009

How layoffs affect the younger generation

When I was growing up, my father had a steady job with a single employer. That doesn't always happen any more, as MSNBC/Forbes notes:

For many parents, the hardest part about being laid off is explaining it to the kids.

Ellen and Jim Kirchman found themselves in this predicament — twice. Jim lost his sales job at legal-products company Thomson West in December. Barely a month later, Ellen learned she's being cut from her job selling hardware for IBM....

Jim, who shares child care and housework equally with Ellen, bore the brunt of breaking the news to their 7-year-old daughter, Amy, both times. (Ellen was, ironically, traveling on business when IBM gave her the news.)

After two layoffs, Amy was worried.

"She's started having nightmares about tornadoes."

Forbes' Heidi Brown urges that parents remain strong, while noting that's a difficult thing to do.

Dr. Michele Borba notes that it's important to tell your children something:

[K]eeping kids in the dark about something so serious as a job layoff is a huge mistake. First, children come equipped with built-in radar and notice those hushed conversations and pick up on your tension. They may even feel they somehow caused your stress. And hearing such an immensely personal family problem from anyone other than you is plain unfair and could well break down the trust between you and your child.
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