The way you handle financial issues within your family is, of course, up to you. Some parents who are facing bankruptcy try to keep their kids in the dark, while others prefer to tell them exactly what’s going on.
If you’re unsure what to do, though, you should consider these upsides to telling them:
— You can actually make them worry less.
They’ll at least know what’s happening and what you’re doing about it. Kids are going to notice financial troubles, especially at Christmas, birthdays or when you have to start changing the way you shop. If you say nothing, many will just worry anyway.
— Kids who are involved may be cooperative.
Children don’t like change. Just telling them changes have to happen could make them angry or rebellious, while telling them what the problem is and how they can help makes them feel involved and important.
— They won’t see adversity as insurmountable.
It’s important to teach children that life isn’t always easy. As you work through bankruptcy and get your finances in order, they’ll learn important life lessons.
— They’ll know it’s not their own fault.
You support your children, so they’ll lose things if you have to cut back. Maybe it’s a summer vacation, maybe it’s the TV channels they enjoy or maybe they’ll lose the pile of presents they get over the holidays. If you hide the financial issues, they may assume they did something wrong. Talking together takes that weight off of their shoulders.
When financial issues threaten your family, no matter what you decide to tell your children, you must understand all of your legal options. Bankruptcy is one way to deal with debt and prepare for a stronger future.
Source: The Balance, “Should We Tell the Kids About Our Bankruptcy?,” Carron Armstrong, accessed May 11, 2017