As many of you know, I'm an avid NPR listener. It's how I get most of my news. I listen to it at home and in the car. A week or so ago, I realized just how much I listen to it when my little one (she's 2) looked at me and, with her "someone's been naughty" tone, said "The economy's in serious trouble."
It was funny. For a minute.
Obviously, there's nothing amusing about our collective economic reality. As we parents struggle to trim budgets and stay current on mortgage payments, how much is our anxiety affecting our children?
Melissa Schorr, an msnbc.com contributor, addressed this question earlier this week. The prevailing opinion is that the our stress is affecting our kids. Most experts also agree that families need to be honest--in an age-appropriate manner--with their children about their particular situations.
Janet Bodnar, author and deputy editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, says "What younger kids are looking for is reassurance." She also cautions parents against their own "fear mongering," advising that "kids take you literally when you say things like, 'We're going to end up in the poor house.'" Also, Bodnar suggests tuning out and turning off the news once in a while.
So much for my NPR addiction.
Finally, Schorr reminds us that this whole crisis might also serve as a "lesson in perspective." Schorr's article points out that, while our lists of worries grow, how to find clean water or schools for our children to attend aren't things that concern the vast majority of Americans. The same cannot be said for millions and millions of other people throughout the world.
Most of us still have blessings to be counted. My most treasured blessing is ready for me to turn off the radio and the computer and read her a book.