How to Explain a Job Loss to Your Child: 6 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Avoid fighting around the children.

A job loss is difficult for every member of the family, but young children might have an especially hard time understanding the situation. Not only will you have to explain why it's not a good thing that daddy lost his job, but you'll have to give your child more concrete ideas about money. Job loss can cause stress for children, but staying upbeat about the problem can help your child cope with the issue.


  1. 1
    Wait until you've calmed down. Seeing mommy crying or daddy angry will upset a child. Though it's certainly fine for you to express emotions in front of your child, it's best to have the job-loss conversation when you're able to present the scenario with a tone that allows your child to feel that although something stressful has happened, everything is going to be OK.
  2. 2
    Use age-appropriate language to explain the job loss. For instance, the word 'layoff' might be too difficult for a young child to understand. Try saying something like, "Mommy's work doesn't need her anymore," or, "Daddy's company closed down."
  3. 3
    Discuss any major changes that will take place. Cover only the big things. She doesn't need to know that you're going to eat at home more often to save on food costs, but she will need to know that she's going to stop going to daycare or that you might have to move to another home.
  4. 4
    Assure your child that everything will be OK. Try to stay upbeat as you explain that there will still be food to eat and that you will have some money.
  5. 5
    Answer questions honestly and seriously. Most of all, your child wants to feel secure. Honesty is the best policy because if she finds out you have lied, she'll worry about the validity of everything you tell her. Some questions like, "Will I have to give away all my toys?" may seem silly to you, but they mean a lot to your child. Take her seriously.
  6. 6
    Bite your tongue at naive comments. Your child is likely to offer a few ideas that might make you laugh. She might say, "I know! We can go to the bank to get more money!" Remember that she's trying to be helpful and respect what she's suggesting, even if the world doesn't work that way. Then, let her know why you can't do that.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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