Family Stress
Stress of Pandemic Trickles down from Parents to Children

With families dealing with multiple concerns stemming from the world’s pandemic, though children may not verbalize their thoughts and feelings, you can be sure that they exist, and many reactions may surprise you.

When a father came home one evening and shared with his family that he had been downsized, losing his job that he’d had for 20 years, his 15 and 12 year-old sons dealt with this news differently.  The 15 year-old said, “what do you mean that you don’t have a job?  You have a college degree, and a Master’s degree!  You work long days and weekends.”

The 12 year-old was silent, but later when he realized that the family would be moving for his father’s new job, he learned that he would have to leave the school he loved and his teacher and friends.  As soon as they moved, this 12 year-old would cry himself to sleep for quite a while.

Later when the older son went to college, it became clear that he wasn’t motivated about any career as he didn’t trust employers, believing that there was no employer who was loyal to the employees.  This mindset and attitude continued well into the son’s 20’s, eventually coming to terms of this reality when he reached 30.  Such impact has been noted for many of the younger adult generation.

The key element in our young adults is learning how to accept change as a natural part of life, as well as becoming aware of alternative ideas for a career that can be fulfilling and needed.  Researching career alternatives can actually be exciting and adventuresome, though they are serious as you need to carefully evaluate which career path is a good fit for you.  Note all the aspects, i.e.: is travel involved?  What is the average salary?  Would it cover all your living expenses for you and a family?  Would you have the skills needed?  Is this career one which would be in demand and needed over time?

No doubt, you and your children should always consider such matters in planning your future.  It is also important to remember that this experience with COVID should teach you that such things can happen again.  This experience has been a very tough lesson, plus we are far from being through with COVID.  The stress with such situations affects everyone, and adults should be aware and sensitive to the repercussions on our children.  Adults are encouraged to be “good listeners”, as well as sharing your experiences with your children.  When you are feeling stressed, imagine what your children are feeling.  Be patient and understanding.  Change is a natural part of life!  However, consider using professionals to help responsibly manage the affects.