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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Lee
    Great 'how to tell your kids about redundancy' Hunt
    • #1
    • 28th Oct 10, 1:38 PM
    Great 'how to tell your kids about redundancy' Hunt 28th Oct 10 at 1:38 PM
    Great 'how to tell your kids about redundancy' Hunt


    In this difficult economy, redundancies are sadly frequent. Telling the kids can be a daunting task, so what stories and explanations are suitable for different age groups? How do you explain the need to save cash and cut back?

    Please give information from your experience that may help others who need to go through it.

    To enter this discussion - just click reply (you'll need to be registered to the forum - it is totally free - we only require registration to stop spammers)


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    Last edited by MSE Martin; 02-11-2010 at 7:19 PM.
Page 1
  • tombo
    • #2
    • 2nd Nov 10, 11:09 PM
    Great 'how to tell your kids about redundancy' Hunt
    • #2
    • 2nd Nov 10, 11:09 PM
    Whilst not an issue just yet, it's not a bad thing to let the kids know that it might be in the future , so that they don't continue to take the family income for granted.Kids get used to a certain level of affluence which they quite understandably consider to be there forever. It's not a bad life lesson to be made aware that it could all go in a matter of weeks, so look after it!!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 2nd Nov 10, 11:11 PM
    • 64,927 Posts
    • 381,122 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #3
    • 2nd Nov 10, 11:11 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Nov 10, 11:11 PM
    I came in, mum said "your dad's lost his job" ... then we had chips for tea.

    That was all.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 3rd Nov 10, 9:16 AM
    • 3,334 Posts
    • 7,915 Thanks
    jackyann
    • #4
    • 3rd Nov 10, 9:16 AM
    • #4
    • 3rd Nov 10, 9:16 AM
    Whilst not an issue just yet, it's not a bad thing to let the kids know that it might be in the future , so that they don't continue to take the family income for granted.Kids get used to a certain level of affluence which they quite understandably consider to be there forever. It's not a bad life lesson to be made aware that it could all go in a matter of weeks, so look after it!!
    Originally posted by tombo
    I totally agree. I have just retired from spending my whole working life in family health. Bringing up children to have good mental health means discussing general issues with them, about society and about families in particular.
    Children will take their family & immediate circle as the norm. Thinking about how you would deal with any crisis is useful - from learning basic first aid to dealing with major illness, and economic stress. No big discussion, just at some point "what would we manage without"; "what would we do if..."
    My parents did this with us, and we did have to deal with my father losing his job and taking a poorly paid one; we knew what to do. I did it with my children and thank goodness, it didn't happen in our family, but it did to friends, and my kids were understanding.
    Children can cope with almost anything if their family stays intact and deals with problems together.
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 05-11-2010 at 12:43 PM.
  • MrRedundant
    • #5
    • 3rd Nov 10, 10:35 AM
    • #5
    • 3rd Nov 10, 10:35 AM
    Anyone who this becomes an issue for clearly has spoilt brats who should have been brought up differently.
  • Nara
    • #6
    • 3rd Nov 10, 11:43 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Nov 10, 11:43 AM
    My daughter loved daddy loosing his job!! She got to spend lots of time with him, now hes in a new job and working 40 odd hours a week, she turned round the other day and said she didn't like daddy's new job as she didn't see him anymore shes only 4.
  • JWF1958
    • #7
    • 3rd Nov 10, 4:34 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Nov 10, 4:34 PM
    Anyone who this becomes an issue for clearly has spoilt brats who should have been brought up differently.
    Originally posted by MrRedundant
    I feel sympathy for any children you may have. My parents didn't have the cash to spoil my sisters and I, and I'm aware I've indulged mine a little because of it. In fact, if I didn't have children, I might not be job-hunting now, after my 2nd redundancy. Who's going to help them through university, driving lessons, general financial safety net?
  • DewDrop
    • #8
    • 3rd Nov 10, 8:06 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Nov 10, 8:06 PM
    Our children were slightly unsettled by Daddy suddenly not being at work. They were quite young at the time (4, 2 and 1) so we told them that Daddy's job had finished now and he was going to be working very hard at home looking for another one. Unfortunately we had only just had a conversation the previous week about how Daddy working paid for our house and food and holidays! (after them moaning about why he didn't take them to school!) Which in hindsight was unhelpful because the eldest was quite worried about that, but we reassured him that we had enough money for the time being.

    Tough as it all has been, we have had some amazing family time as a result - quite precious really.
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 05-11-2010 at 12:45 PM.
  • MrRedundant
    • #9
    • 3rd Nov 10, 8:16 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Nov 10, 8:16 PM
    I feel sympathy for any children you may have. My parents didn't have the cash to spoil my sisters and I, and I'm aware I've indulged mine a little because of it. In fact, if I didn't have children, I might not be job-hunting now, after my 2nd redundancy. Who's going to help them through university, driving lessons, general financial safety net?
    Originally posted by JWF1958
    It's called work. I think they will find that if they work part time whilst at school and university and then full time after education they will have plenty of money for all of these.

    Of course their friends might be spoilt brats whose dads buy them cars and pay for their lifestyle but your children will quickly see these people for the worthless humans they are.

    Learning to work for what you want is a strong human trait and the sooner they see that the better. Nothing worse than graduates who have never done a days work in their life who then come into the workplace and think they are superior.
    • troubrs
    • By troubrs 4th Nov 10, 10:15 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    troubrs
    My 4 year old at the time I was made redundant, came down with his moneybox and proceeded to give me all 2 of his 'savings'!
    Mine loved the fact they didn't have to go to after school club any more (& now resent having to go again as I'm back at work!), they liked some of the advantages such as Mummy being able to pick them up from school every day! But when they both wanted DSi's they had to sort out old toys and things they didn't want any more for me to sell on e-bay (& we did a car boot sale), plus they asked for money for their birthdays - it made them appreciate the value of things as it took them 7 months to raise the money!
    • redpete
    • By redpete 4th Nov 10, 2:30 PM
    • 4,290 Posts
    • 3,813 Thanks
    redpete
    "I'm very sorry Olivia but Daddy's lost his job and we can't afford you any more. Mummy's packed a suitcase and we are taking you to your new family tonight.".

    Or

    "Guess what, Dad's been made redundant. We'll have to cut down on our spending for a bit until things get sorted."
    • thriftychick
    • By thriftychick 4th Nov 10, 5:11 PM
    • 188 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    thriftychick
    Easy as pie
    I explained my husband's redundancy by drawing a pie for my 12 and 10 year olds and explained that the blue bit was daddy's previous income (pieces of pie) and now that had gone so we were going to just have mummy's piece of pie.

    When he got a job a year later, they said "so that means there's more pie!"
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 05-11-2010 at 12:47 PM.
  • Blue Elephant
    When he got a job a year later, they said "so that means there's more pie!"
    Originally posted by thriftychick
    Probably OT but that made me laugh out loud and snort Tea through my nose.

    We all need more pie
  • limpy-jim
    When my DH got made redundant last year , we explained to the kids that he wouldnt be working for a while but although we had to cut back his x emp would give him a couple of years wages so the bills could all still be paid ( I know we are one of the fortunate ones ), but that we would have to cut back. - My youngest(7) opened the door to him coming out the car in the street after his last day and shouted ' Dad - where is all the money'!! I think he thought they would give him it all home in an attache case! It has now been almost a year and the best year we have had with the kids - he is working part time at the moment and we get by - he is enjoying spending a lot more time with the kids , he helps out at school 1 day a week and I enjoy coming home to a tidy house and my ironing done! We have enjoyed lots of ( free) days out with the kids in the holidays, and he says if he went back a year he would still be glad to get made redundant.

    I know it is not the ideal situation for everyone, but has worked ok for us.
    MFW start figures - August 2010 - 65,303 O/P Aug 280 Sept 499 Oct 499 Nov 499 Dec 499 Jan 6205 Feb 444 March 444 April 444 May444 June444 July444
    Now July 2011 - 51,586 - reduced by 13717
    Finish Date was April 2029 before MFW Now January 2025 ( saved 9867 in interest already!!) Total Overpayments to date 11145
  • Darnit
    It's called work. I think they will find that if they work part time whilst at school and university and then full time after education they will have plenty of money for all of these.

    Of course their friends might be spoilt brats whose dads buy them cars and pay for their lifestyle but your children will quickly see these people for the worthless humans they are.

    Learning to work for what you want is a strong human trait and the sooner they see that the better. Nothing worse than graduates who have never done a days work in their life who then come into the workplace and think they are superior.
    Originally posted by MrRedundant
    Oh dear, someone has had a bad experience. I think describing children from wealthy families as "worthless human beings" is a little harsh, since it isn't their decision to be raised that way. Or perhaps you meant that it is the parents who are "worthless"? Not sure, but either way, I for one am glad that we are all different, it gives me many an opportunity to "people watch" and discuss the pros and cons of wealth with my kids. My child has friends who are from both very rich and very poor. I for one am very proud that they all get on so well, take each other for what they are, and none are "worthless". Sometimes I do have to point out to "rich dad" that he really shouldn't invite my child to places we can't afford to fund (not intentional, just doesn't think sometimes), however, the kids all understand when explained. There are the odd "confidence" issues, in that some need bringing down a peg or two occasionally, and some need bolstering up, but that comes with teen years, not money, and isn't wealth specific.
    Last edited by Darnit; 10-11-2010 at 9:06 PM.
  • icelandic queen
    I was made redundant nearly 8 months ago and it's actually been harder for me than my kids to deal with!! I just told them that I had been made redundant and we would have to be careful with our money. They've been ok as we wouldn't have had a lot of money anyway. The eldest was a bit worried that we would lose the house but once that was sorted she was fine. I feel sorry for a colleague though who was made redundant and her husband had also went BR. Her kids were furious and refused to accept that things would have to change. I feel sorry for her as they often 'bully' her into paying out more than she can really afford for stupid things and she is in serious arrears with her mortgage! You just have to be honest with them but edit the info to reflect their ages. I'm at home now when my kids come home and they love it.
  • redparaman
    [QUOTE=redpete;38155412]"I'm very sorry Olivia but Daddy's lost his job and we can't afford you any more. Mummy's packed a suitcase and we are taking you to your new family tonight.".

    Not particularly helpful or funny Redpete! Its always best to be calm and honest. Explain to a child that they will be loved, fed and although material things and treats maybe limited there will undoubtedly be more family time together which is priceless!
    Redpete, think of your comments before posting as there are many people facing this situation at present and its a difficult time approaching Christmas and possibly a long winter.
  • gorgeousgirlie
    I wasn't bothered
    I know its a different world now, but I grew up in the eighties and remember watching my dad struggle with redundancy.

    The first time I was very young and didn't know life could be any different. If other children at school had a new toy which I wanted, mum just gently explained we couldn't afford it, and that was good enough for me. Occasionally mum and dad would save hard and get it for me and it was so precious - my beloved heidi doll is in many of my childhood photos and is still on a shelf in my bedroom (I'm 34 now!).

    But we had fantastic camping holidays, family walks and bike rides, mum and dad made clothes and toys etc; dad made bread and rock cakes, we kept an allotment and meat rabbits (sorry) - I realise only now how hard mum and dad worked but to me it was a fab childhood.

    Dad got a job when I was about 8, but was made redundant again when I was 12. I remember them picking me up from school and mum saying, 'well are you going to tell her then?' I was terrified, thinking someone had died, then dad, voice full of shame admitted he'd lost his job. I cant tell you how relieved I was! I think I said 'oh great, will we get rabbits again?!'

    I know kids now are more savvy, and its all a lot more serious than that, but to me back then it meant losing grumpy stressed tired overworked dad and getting back the fun one who I got to play trains with! I actually thought my friend (whose home was repossessed) was so cool cos she got the exciting adventure of moving every few months!

    I know its really hard and I've no intention of sounding flippant, but to a child, (I think even today) whats most important is feeling loved and safe and knowing your family is there. I had no concept of the shame my dad felt, or the hardship my mum endured, they were just mum and dad and we all loved each other and that was enough. I think thats borne out by the earlier posters who've mentioned that their kids enjoy them being around more.

    Now in fact, I worry that my 3 year old has too much stuff! When he asks for toys in shops I show him the price tag and explain how long poor daddy will have to be away working to earn that. Already now he asks 'can i have one or is it too expensive?' Money management is a vital life skill and, while our instinct is to protect our children from upset, understanding the cost and value of things and where that money comes from is vital to their future happiness.

    Sorry for the long post!!!
    • whitewing
    • By whitewing 19th Dec 10, 12:11 AM
    • 11,541 Posts
    • 48,331 Thanks
    whitewing
    My son found the change in routine very unsettling - that worried him far more than any money issues that were worrying me.

    Implementing a new structure and being clear about where I was when or what I would be doing that day worked better than just being busy on the computer one minute and then interrupting him for some extra guilt-induced quality time. And that kept me sane too.
    When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
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