Just because the bailout has been approved doesn't mean that our problems are solved. In fact, for many families, the financial crisis will continue to get worse as more people are laid off. And it's hard not to allow the stress we're feeling to spill over into our family life. Our kids are witnessing us losing our temper and fighting with our spouse and, without a doubt, it's affecting them. I spoke with Dr. Stacey Radin, a clinical psychologist, on ways that we can help keep things in perspective and talk to our kids about what's going on:
- Be a positive role model. In times of adversity, we need to communicate to our kids that, no matter what is going on with the exception of serious health problems, we can overcome any obstacle and at times become stronger.
- Consider your priorities. While losing a job is a terrible thing, sometimes it allows us the time to reconnect with our family. Many people become so wrapped up in their job and their Blackberries that they've missed out on precious time with their kids. Take a minute to breathe and enjoy some quality family time.
- Keep it in perspective. At times, our problems seem insurmountable but we've been through crises and tragedy before – the depression, recessions, war and, most recently, 9/11. What gets us through is reconnecting to values, our purpose and important relationships around us.
- The important things last. This is an opportunity to teach our children that, no matter what, there are things that can never be taken away from us – our values, our family, our education, our friends. We need to hold on to what is dear to us as we struggle to innovate and fix our problems.
As with any crisis, it helps to know that we're not alone and we can teach our children to lean on others for support.