Facing hard times

Facing hard times
A few months after returning to work, Amélie called Simon in tears: she had just lost her job because of restructuring.

When Étienne started daycare, there never seemed to be enough time in a day. In the mornings, Amélie and Simon always had to rush to get to daycare and then rush again to catch their bus. In the evenings, the routine of preparing supper and getting ready for bed took up a lot of time. Once Étienne was finally asleep, the young parents had to do the dishes, fold laundry, and take care of a host of other chores. They often had little energy left to prepare their lunches for the next day, so they ended up buying their lunch at work. Balancing work and family wasn’t easy.

Joining collective kitchens lets you prepare inexpensive meals for the entire family in a friendly atmosphere.

A few months after returning to work, Amélie called Simon in tears: she had just lost her job because of restructuring. To make sure not to disrupt Étienne’s new routine, she continued to bring him to daycare each morning, without telling him that she wasn’t going to work afterwards.

One evening, Étienne’s educator asked if something had changed at home because the little boy had started misbehaving. Amélie was surprised when the educator told her that the stress of losing her job could affect her son. Amélie hadn’t even talked to him about it.

Preparing for the unexpected
Putting money aside in a savings account each month can help you build a little cushion in case of hard times (e.g.: illness, job loss, separation, car problems) to avoid going into debt. This emergency fund should equal three months of income.

Even if he’s still young, your toddler senses your worry and knows when something isn’t right. “Since your child notices changes within the family, it’s important to talk to him about what’s going on, at a level he can understand,” says Véronique Girard, psychologist at the Centre de psychologie Gouin. It isn’t necessary to tell your child everything. You can simply tell him that you’re going through something that will change your habits a little. Just reassuring him that he will lack for nothing will help calm his fears.

“A parent experiencing financial stress can be anxious and show signs of depression. He or she may become irritable, which could lead to tension and conflict within the couple,” adds the psychologist. It’s better to try to avoid having a child witness conflicts between the parents relating to money.

She adds that, like Étienne, when a child feels his family is vulnerable, he can exhibit more emotional behaviour: tantrums, difficulty sleeping and attempts to get attention using negative tactics. Through this behaviour, he’s trying to express what he cannot say with words. If this happens, you can help your toddler name his emotions by telling him that you see that he’s worried and understand that it’s hard for him. This will help him feel that, despite all the difficulties, you’re still there for him.