Think you can’t have an adult conversation in front of your kids? Well, you can’t…and maybe you shouldn’t. A new study shows that kids pick up on their parents’ financial woes more than we thought. And that’s a concern, considering the state of the world economy. Since we all have serious issues to worry about these days, we all need to rethink the way we communicate with our spouses/partners in front of our kids.
You can blame Highlights Magazine for all this. Tomorrow, they will be releasing their findings in a new report at the National Press Club. The report was based on 1,000 responses from children to a survey that was sent out in spring. Although this was not an extensive study, it does reveal what kids are seeing and hearing around us. And as always, they see and hear more than we suspect. When kids were asked what their parents were most concerned about, the most prevalent answers were “my safety and money.” What gave researchers pause were the details children gave with their answers.
- “…they worry a lot about money, ‘cause the recession.”
- “I think they worry about safety and losing everything we own. America is in debt.”
- “Making sure we have a home and food on the table.”
Hillary Bates, a Highlights spokesperson, stated:
“Kids are, quite naturally, highly attuned to what their parents are concerned about. They often pick up on more than we as parents might think they do — and I think we’ve learned here that they are very aware of the worst case scenarios that are on some parents’ minds…Maybe more aware than we think they are or want them to be.”
It’s difficult, because we all feel compelled to talk about our greatest concerns. But kids can hear, and they’re great at picking up on your tone of voice and mannerisms. It’s not healthy for them to be worried about issues that are beyond them. It’s like if you were the captain of a cruise ship, and you were notified of a potential problem with the ship: Would you shout all your worries in front of the passengers, freaking people out? Then later when everything turned out alright, would you say, “My bad. Sorry I worried all of you and ruined your vacations.” Or would you just stay tight lipped, let the passengers enjoy themselves, and only alert them if and when a real immediate danger presented itself?
We all know the state of the economy, and things aren’t going to get better for a long time. Unfortunately, more employers are exploiting this as we speak. All I can say is I’m glad I don’t work at Amazon right now. Regardless, as the saying goes, don’t take work home with you. It’s important to leave your worries at the door when the kids are around.
Just remember, your kids are always watching, and they pick up on more than you realize. When you get upset, just think- would you be acting that way if there was a camera recording your every move at home? Because, in a way, there is.
How do you keep your stresses and worries away from your kids? What things can we do to make it easier?
Source: The Washington Post