Financial issues and economic distress can devastatingly influence a family. For parenting to succeed, finances play a major role along with various other factors. Hence, it is important to seriously analyse how financial issues can affect parenting.
During the current economic crisis, many families have lost their jobs, cars, retirement accounts, savings, belongings, health insurance, homes, and more. Mothers who are housewives suddenly have to sell their precious possessions or look for work. Unemployed parents are feeling ashamed or guilt-stricken for not being able to do their job as the provider of the family. These drastic economic conditions not only physically affect parents and the children, but they also put a long-lasting impact on the minds of both.
Negative effects of financial issues on parenting
Following are some of the major ways how financial issues can affect parenting drastically because of which children and parents both suffer.
Inability to meet basic needs
Insufficient finances affect parenting by making it difficult for parents to fulfil the basic needs of their children. These basic physical needs include food, clothing, shelter, good education, and medicine. Children need such essentials for their effective nurturing and development otherwise they succumb to different physical and mental weaknesses, which don’t go away when they turn into adults.
When children always get to hear NO from their parents when they ask for money or other things, they feel rebellious and aggravated. Overwhelmed with such feelings, they retort to negative emotions and behaviors. It has been noticed that teenagers of financially suffering parents tend to be more spoiled and rebellious than other kids and particularly face issues in schools. Such teens are more prone to delinquency and destructive peer groups.
A significant way how financial issues affect parenting is when parents become more neglectful of their kids. Such parents think that all needs of their children can only be fulfilled from money and there is no other way they can turn their kids into conscientious adults without it.
Science has abundant proof that children are influenced by their parents. Moreover, it is also evident that the genetic makeup of a child is significantly affected by how he/she is treated by his/her parents.
Financial issues make parents constantly depressed and stressed, which leads to crankiness, constant sadness, or even physically hurting children. The interaction of such parents with their kids are in a punitive or tense manner because they are short-tempered. Many children become victims of complex psychological disorders and completely lose their self-esteem because they don’t feel loved by their own parents or are scared of their sadness or anger.
Separation of families
Families might become separated or torn apart because of devastating financial issues. For instance, children might go to live with friends or extended family and may not be able to constantly stay in touch with their parents. This increases the distance between both and makes them feel lonely, incomplete, or unhappy all the time.
Parenting and family therapy
Knowledgeable clinicians are aware of how financial issues can affect parenting and how a family can be protected from the adverse influence of insufficient finances. By attending family therapy, parents can learn how to build positive parental relationships with their children and how to apply good parental practices so they can save their children from being a victim of the trauma that comes along with financial strain. Children can acquire long term benefits from family therapy as well.
Clinicians also work with both parents individually to decrease stress and irritability expressed towards kids, and to eradicate negative parenting techniques i.e. aversive, coercive, arbitrary, punitive techniques (for instance, derogatory statements, threats, slaps, etc.). Instead, family therapists teach parents how to adopt positive parenting techniques, such as, reasoning, affection, and being sensitive to the needs of children.
No matter what is the financial status of parents, it is their responsibility to adopt positive parenting styles. Parents suffering from financial crises can compensate for insufficient money with emotional care and physical availability. They have to be wiser regarding how to spend on their priorities. Only this way, they will be able to healthily nurture their kids and make them achieve their full potential.