How to Protect Your Kids From Your Money Struggles
Your money struggles can affect the lives of your children dramatically. It goes beyond the limitations of not having funds or not being able to afford things that they want. Social and emotional issues can arise in your children that may affect them throughout their lives. Learn how to protect them from your financial problems below and avoid adding more on your already loaded plate.
How overwhelming debt changes your little ones
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is a correlation between the amount of total debt a family has and the poor social and emotional well-being of the children. Interestingly, the type of debt mattered.
Those with families who have a high amount of credit card and medical debt experienced a more massive decline in well-being compared to the children whose parents had high amounts of mortgage or education debt.
While you cannot solve your financial problems overnight, you can certainly protect your children from developing emotional issues that can lead them to financial ruin, too. Always be mindful of the impact your actions will have on your children. With a little effort, you can reduce the effects of the problems for them.
Tell them the truth
One of the simplest things you can do to help your children is, to be honest with them. Be upfront about the situation while balancing information to make sure their sense of security is not threatened. Keeping them in the dark will only give them a false sense of reality. It will also prevent them from learning from your mistakes.
Much worse, if they are clueless about what is going on, they may even increase your money problems as you continue to make poor financial decisions out of guilt or keeping appearances.
Get them involved
Your children can be a part of your financial recovery. If you are paying off debt, let them help you track your journey, save more, or spend less as a family. Including them in financial decisions makes money a normal part of the conversation, which contributes to their learning.
Remember that they are watching.
Children model after their parents. They will follow your money habits so watch what you teach them through your actions. If your kids see you overspending or prioritizing wants over needs, they will learn the wrong lessons about money.
Make sure you demonstrate healthy financial habits. Let the children see you making smart spending decisions, budgeting, saving, investing, and practicing other healthy money behaviors. This will help your children avoid the same mistakes that you did and develop smart money habits of their own.