You might wonder how a future or current bankruptcy might affect your children. You and your partner might have talked about how best to broach the topic. You can’t ignore the subject as even young children will get a strong sense that something is wrong. When you and your partner keep quiet about the bankruptcy, you could actually increase the anxiety of your children.
This article will give you some tips for talking to young children about the difficult topic of bankruptcy. Use the tips to alleviate much of the anxiety that your children may already be experiencing.
Don’t Tell Your Children Everything
When you’re talking with young children, you’ll want to go by the saying “less is more.” You do not want to saddle your child with any more anxiety than they already have. For example, if you lost your home in the bankruptcy, that can be a scary time for the whole family. Explain to your young one that you and your partner couldn’t afford to make the mortgage payments, so the two of you had to give the house back to the bank. Also, take the time to reassure your child that no matter how hard times get, you’ll do your hardest to take care of the family unit. That reassurance can go a long way towards alleviating some of your child’s fears.
Get Honest With Your Children
This tip is a lot harder to follow than it originally seems. If you filed for bankruptcy due to an illness or a job loss, your children will already know about this event. But what if you and your partner got in trouble with your credit cards? You might be embarrassed by this fact. Use your past mistakes as an opportunity to teach your young children about responsible financial behavior.
Use Examples From Your Family Life to Talk About Finances
If your child doesn’t know what it means to file bankruptcy, you can use examples from your daily life to explore this topic. Use chores as an example. Explain to your child that you made a promise to pay them whenever they do their chores. If you don’t pay your child one week, you will owe them money. The more weeks you go without paying your kid for their completed chores, the more money you owe. Let’s say that you owe your daughter for a year’s worth of chore money. Now let’s say that you have three other kids that you haven’t paid. Tell your child that when you don’t have enough money to pay the people, or creditors, that you owe, you can file what’s known as bankruptcy. Many people can erase most of their debts when they do this. Don’t forget to reassure your youngster that they’ll still get their chore money!
Bankruptcy can act as a stressful situation for everyone involved. But when you follow these tips, you can let your little one know that despite the hard times, your family will survive.
CrediReady | Understanding Bankruptcy
Debt.org | How to Tell Your Kids about Your Debt
Case & Digiamberardino | Talking to Your Kids About Bankruptcy