How to Deal with Job Loss in Families: 6 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Keeping family life as normal as possible keeps your child feeling secure.

A pink slip delivers a crushing blow to anyone, but when kids are involved, a layoff is an even bigger deal. Not only is the family budget obliterated, you also have the emotional state of your kiddos to handle on top of your own worries. Young children may or may not pick up on the job loss in the family. But, keeping the kids in the loop without making them scared about the future takes a delicate balance.


  1. 1
    Sit down for a heart-to-heart with your partner as soon as you get the news. Plan what you're going to tell the kids so you go into the situation as a united front.
  2. 2
    Tell your kiddo in age-appropriate terms about the situation. Don't got into all the details, but tell him enough so he doesn't worry or jump to conclusions. Say, "Daddy's company had to cut back workers. Daddy doesn't have a job right now, but our family will be OK." Let him ask questions and answer them as appropriately honestly as possible.
  3. 3
    Acknowledge your own feelings about the situation. Your instinct is to worry about your family, but job loss comes with a sense of grief, lost self-esteem and a lack of control. Confront those feelings instead of hiding away. If you're having a difficult time with the emotions, seek support from a counselor or join a support group for people struggling with job loss.
  4. 4
    Work on a new budget right away so you don't fall behind on bills. Figure out where you need to cut back to make ends meet if you don't have enough income to cover the basics, such as the mortgage, insurance and food. Cut extra spending on vacations, dinners out, clothes shopping and other unnecessary expenses.
  5. 5
    Make necessary changes in your everyday life to accommodate the new situation. For example, if your child goes to daycare, consider cutting back to part-time daycare. You'll save money by having the parent who was laid off watch the child part time while still giving that parent time to look for a job.
  6. 6
    Keep family life as normal and as positive as possible. Activities like dance class and piano lessons may have to stop during the layoff, but that doesn't mean you can't still have fun as a family. Take time out from the job search to play with the kids. This will help the kids feel a sense of stability and you may even notice a boost in your own mood when you step away from the stress for a few minutes.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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