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Everyday Economy

Frank talk for kids

Are your kids worried about the economy?

You may assume they're not. But if you are, chances are decent that they're feeling your anxiety and wondering what's going on. Teen-agers, especially, are mature enough to be scared -- and to be given some straight talk about your situation.

A report from Money magazine says that an up-front discussion with your teenagers is a chance to allay their fears and teach them values about economic life.

The biggest question on your kids' minds is probably: What does this mean to me? Answer this as straightforwardly as you can. "You don't want to convey anxiety, just the facts," says Gresham, who specializes in financial issues. Start with what's not at risk: their allowance, say, or your ability to pay the mortgage. ...

Then say what could be vulnerable: your job, for example, or your ability to cover all their college costs. Tell them exactly how you plan to cope. "You can't just say, 'We're going to be okay,' " says New York City psychologist Marlin Potash, who focuses on money and relationships. "You must explain why you're going to be okay."

Read the full post here.

Are your kids curious or worried about the family finances, given the recession? How have you discussed it with them?

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Shawn Vestal
Shawn Vestal joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He currently is a columnist for the City Desk.

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