Children notice more than we may think. They take note when you grimace while getting the mail, when you turn down their special requests at the grocery store, and when the holidays look a little less festive. While they may not understand why things are changing, they will most certainly notice the changes to your stress level and your family’s lifestyle, which can leave them feeling frightened and confused.
Bankruptcy can be difficult and stressful for the entire family, including children. Although your children may not understand financial matters, it’s your job as a parent to help them understand what’s happening and why. Bankruptcy isn’t an easy topic to broach to children, but there are a few ways that you can help better explain it to them. Here are a few main ideas that you should convey to your children about the situation:
Tell Them What Happened – The bankruptcy process can be complicated, but children can understand the general idea of what’s happening. Tell them that sometimes adults can’t pay everything they owe and that bankruptcy is a natural way to help get rid of that debt. Make sure they know that bankruptcy doesn’t always mean that someone acted irresponsibly. Depending on how old your children are, you can make this time in your family’s life a teachable moment so they may avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Use Easily Understandable Words – Many adults have trouble grappling with the bankruptcy process without help. When you explain bankruptcy to your children, try to use words that they know and understand to help convey the right message. You can try explaining the basic idea of debts, assets, and borrowed money to your children without going into too much detail.
Tell Them What This Bankruptcy Means for Your Family – Many facets of your lifestyle will probably have to change during and after filing for bankruptcy. Maybe you’ll need to cut the cable or buy off-brand food at the store. Without preparation, it may be hard for children to accept these types of changes. Let your children know why you’re taking these steps and why they are so important for your family. Tell them that whenever they choose to spend less money, they are being responsible and are helping the family.
Don’t Place Blame on Anyone – Children may perceive that your filing for bankruptcy is somehow their fault. Assure them that it isn’t anyone’s fault, especially theirs. If you need help getting this message through to them, your bankruptcy lawyer can help you break the situation down so they can comprehend the factors that contributed to this important decision.
Give Them a Bright Future – Many people who file for bankruptcy overcome and rebuild the lives they had before declaring bankruptcy. Tell your children that they don’t need to feel discouraged and that the process doesn’t last forever. It’s only a temporary step to help get your family back on track.
When you find that filing for bankruptcy is the step that makes the most sense, call on The Bankruptcy Advocates. We provide reliable legal assistance to help you get through bankruptcy successfully. Call us today at (618) 549-9800 for your free