| December 9, 2009

Parents, kids don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to recession

If there could be a benefit seen from the difficult economy, it’s that it may have brought some families closer together in order to deal with debt problems.

However, a recent survey from Northwestern Mutual’s financial literacy website Themint.org noted there is a disconnect between adults and kids when it comes to familial connections and the recession. Of the poll’s respondents, 47 percent of adults older than 18 said the recession brought their families closer together.

Kids, on the other hand, didn’t necessarily agree with that idea. Only 27 percent of child respondents said the recession made their families closer. Furthermore, half of the survey’s younger respondents said their parents did not discuss budgeting, nor did they do things differently.

Evidence shows children will probably figure out something is wrong whether you tell them or not. If you don’t address it straight on, they may start to imagine things, and they’ll imagine the worst.

"Kids can learn great lessons from this tough economy, but they need guidance, and that’s where the parents come in," Meridee Maynard, a senior vice president with Northwestern Mutual, said.

When parents consider trying to teach their kids about personal finances, there are a number of strategies they can employ. For example, they may show their children the family budget, which can teach children about proper spending. Also, parents may take the time to educate their kids about the proper use of credit card debt, including paying bills on time.

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