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Talking to your children about pandemic-induced job loss can be good. Pixabay

The country is grappling with the radical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, lay-offs and pay cuts being part of them. What a few parents are now scared to face is the inability to say no to certain things that their children look forward to simply because they cannot or may not be able to afford it. With the onset of economic distress, many professionals have been laid off, in some cases both parents. Parents may be able to conceal their fears about bringing food to the table; however, children are sharp and are quick to sense inhibitions.

“Job loss is a difficult subject for adults too, let alone children. However, kids take everything in black and white so the message needs to be age appropriate. This may involve some very difficult conversations to be had, however it is best to set the tone gradually and help them understand the situation,” says Dr Parul Tank, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund. Often, parents are confused about utilising the ideal form of verbal communication when they sit their child down to explain things to them. During this discussion, make sure you do not set the expectations for the child, lest they be burdened with responsibility.


Here are a few tips to help in your conversation while talking about job loss with your child:

Stay calm when curious questions are being asked – aim for a candid conversation. Be honest without scaring them. Be cautious about setting promises, instead offer hope that the situation will pass and things will get better.


Stay calm when curious questions are being asked by kids. Pixabay

Do not overshare or underprepare, as highlighted predefine your communication basis the age of your child. For smaller kids, it is best to refrain from sharing such information; but if they have overheard the conversation then it is worthwhile telling them that job loss is not the end of the world and mom or dad will definitely find something better. Older kids understand money and can get anxious about this news. It’s worthwhile telling them that you have saved for a rainy day, and are going to start looking at what’s new in the job market. Showing negativity or anxiety in front of kids is an absolute no-no.

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If they have suggestions, hear them out patiently and thank them for it; it is important for them to feel that their opinions are valued, this will inevitably build the factor of trust with your child. The message should also be clear that staying healthy and fit in these trying times is more important, and that certain things happen in life for a reason. When one door closes, other doors open.

Also Read: Try These DIY Natural Dyes, This World Environment Day

While securing your child’s emotional needs for them to stay positive, it is also important for you as a parent to take care of yourself. Make sure to treat yourself with self-respect by reassuring yourself that you are a devoted, conscious and focused parent even during this unforeseen situation. It is advisable to set a plan in place, consider your child and whole family’s requirements without getting hassled by emotions or the impending situation; trust in yourself and your close circle that you will get through this. Make sure to consider the benefits of today’s healthcare options. Consult a psychologist via a telemedicine service if you are feeling the mental pressure. (IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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