How to communicate and most effectively deal with your children if you are layed off or downsized.

  1. Be honest with your child(ren). Lying could cause bigger problems.
  2. Do not bring your frustrations home. Children may incorrectly feel that your anger or negative feelings are aimed at them.
  3. Use this opportunity to spend more time with your children. Don’t worry you will eventually find a job. How often will you have a free afternoon to spend time with your child(ren)?
  4. Do not share every detail with your child (ren). If you were fired perhaps your child(ren) may feel that you are to blame when it is possible that you lost your job to forces out of your control.
  5. Let your child (ren) know that you will not stay unemployed forever.
  6. Use this time to gain perspective on your life. If you have been working 60 hour weeks or doing extensive traveling maybe this transition period will allow you to reacquaint yourself with your spouse and child(ren).
  7. If applicable, allow your child(ren) to become part of your job search. If you child is old enough perhaps they can “role play” and conduct mock interviews with you.
  8. Consider your child(ren’s special needs. This is especially relevant for jobs that require a relocation. Many children do not like the inconvenience of having to make new friends or changing schools.
  9. Do not send inconsistent messages to your child(ren). It is important not to contradict the orders given by other partners who share your parenting responsiblities. After all, these people may be the only adults who share your burden.
  10. Try a little bit of humor. Children love to laugh and hearing them amused will make everyone feel better.