Our current economy doesn’t make it easy to parent kids well. What can parents do about that?

6 Things I’ve Read Recently:

  1. Despite news headlines saying we’re in an economic turnaround,1 the unemployment rate remains stuck at 10 percent.2
  2. One out of every seven children in the United States currently has an unemployed parent.3
  3. Kids who have an unemployed parent are more likely to drop out of school, live in poverty, become homeless, and be abused.4
  4. One out of three parents who work often feel overworked or overwhelmed by how much work they have to do.5
  5. Too many parents today are tired and stressed, says Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute^
  1. Besides parents having trouble finding work, so are teenagers. The teen unemployment rate has jumped almost 30 percent in the past two years.7 Many parents hope their teenagers can earn money for college through a part-time job.

Here’s My Take on It:

As a parent, I want to raise my kids well, but I often feel stressed and preoccupied because of the current economy (even though there are small signs of progress). When I talk with other parents, they have the same experience. Some of them, however, are so stressed that it’s affecting how they parent. It’s hard to parent well when you’re unemployed (or underemployed). It’s hard to parent well when you’re working two or three part-time jobs. It’s hard to parent well when you are employed and you’re trying to make ends meet, you’re trying to pay for high health care costs, or you’re trying to help older teenagers pay for college. What concerns me about this economy is how stressed all parents are: the unemployed, the underemployed, and the employed. What concerns me even more is what parents can do about it when they’re already overwhelmed. How do parent put forth effort to combat stress when all of their time is already taken up by the things that are stressing them out?

Talk Further

Ask your child: “How often do you think I’m stressed?”

Explore Further

What’s your take on it?

Is our economy making it hard to parent kids well? What do you think? Share your comments below.

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