If you are following my weekly blogs, you may have noticed I have started writing about more personal, emotional issues.
Last week I wrote about easing marital strife from losing your job. I wish I had read my blog 10 years ago.
My inability to communicate my feelings to my 9 and 13 year olds when I was let go from my fancy Wall Street job in ’07 damaged our relationship.
Still making up for it today.
So please learn from my mistakes. Full disclosure; I have no training as a therapist.
Talk to my kids?
Your first thought might be how do I talk to individuals who have Air Pods super-glued to their ears and are lost in video games?
You may not want to talk to your kids about this “stuff”; who does?
Please do it anyway.
I am talking about the 8 year and older crowd that probably has already noticed that your mood stinks, you are around the house more, and that routines are disrupted.
Plan a time to sit down with your kids, with your spouse (if you have one), and have a talk.
Let your kids pick the day/time since interrupting their Orange is the New Black binge watching is parent mistake #911.
What to say?
If you are like me, or the old me, you might believe that perpetuating the Superman/Wonder Woman stereotype is healthy. I am the breadwinner and will hold up my shield of strength.
However, it takes a strong person to admit feelings of adversity and learn from that adverse experience. This is the lesson you can teach your children about your unemployment.
Some suggestions of wording to get feelings out on the table:
- Hey kids, I have lost my job which is very common in this tough job market
- You will not go hungry, although your mother/father and I may ask you to cut down on expenses for a while, and you may not get as many gifts this holiday season
- I am not happy about losing my job, in fact I am upset, angry and mad at the people at work
- You, kids, can be pissed off also (notice stronger language)
- Please tell me any feelings you have, and being mad at me is normal (in other words, please don’t get pregnant or get someone pregnant out of anger)
Some suggestions of wording to move forward. “HOWEVER,
- We will get through this difficult time since I have a plan to get back to work (if you don’t have one, get one)
- I don’t know how long it will take, but I will work as hard as possible to get employed
- I will emerge stronger since looking for a job teaches you a lot about yourself
- I will be able to help you in your job search when you get there since I will be a pro
- I’m really strong; so are you!
I know one of my kids reads my blogs. He is probably saying to himself “why is my Dad showing the world he is a dork?”
Dorks can become heroes!
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