by Alan Collins http://successinhr.com I got this question by e-mail a few days ago from an HR director with two kids.I told him I’d post the answer to his question here. Dennis, here you go… If you’ve lost your HR job, after you’ve shared the news with your spouse, then both of you need to agree on how to best tell your kids.While you can probably delay a few days before meeting with your children (which will give you time to put your emotions in check and gather your thoughts), don’t let weeks go by without taking action. Kids often have a sixth sense when something is wrong, so letting them know what is going on, in an age-appropriate manner, is crucial.Here are some suggestions for breaking the news: Time the discussion carefully. You don’t want to unnecessarily distract them from important school activities. Make sure you tell all the children at the same time. You don’t want anyone to hear the news second-hand. Be truthful. But don’t try not to overburden them with too many of the emotional or financial details. Make sure your kids know this situation is not anybody’s fault. Your children may not understand about job loss and may immediately think that you did something wrong to cause it. Or, they may feel that somehow they are responsible; so they need your reassurance in these matters, regardless of their age. Don’t close off discussion on this topic – keep communications channels open. Ask your children if they have any questions. If they don’t raise any immediate concerns, let them know that their questions are important and that you’d be happy to discuss them further at a later time.Keep speculation to a minimum. Issues such as the possibility of moving out of the neighborhood or relocation are better addressed if and when they actually materialize. Important: Let your children help. Don’t ask them to, but if they offer to defer expensive purchases or take a small cut in their allowance, let them (even if you don’t need it). It can help them feel like they’re contributing to the family in a meaningful way.Most important, emphasize to your kids that this is a temporary situation, not a permanent state of affairs. It will be a challenge, but with the family working together, life will soon be back on track again. Dennis, hope this helps.
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