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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

NSU and American Academy of Pediatrics release guide to help Children Cope with a Recession

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. — Nova Southeastern University and the American Academy of Pediatrics released a guide Monday that offers parents and caregivers tips to help children cope with a recession.

“Raising children can be very difficult when you have concerns about not having enough money to take care of your family,” said Deborah Mulligan, M.D., director of NSU’s Institute for Child Health Policy and member of the AAP’s executive council on media and communications.

Available in English and Spanish, the AAP public education guide was developed through contribution by Mulligan and other health care and mental health provider members of the national organization. The guidance offers families six suggestions to help children get through tough economic times.

Take care of yourself: Remember that children depend on the adults around them to feel secure, so it’s important that you take care of yourself. If you are worried or upset, your children will be too. Even very young children can tell when something is wrong.

Limit TV and other media time: When children overhear news coverage or adults talking about America’s financial problems, like job cuts and people losing their homes, they may become worried, especially because they don’t really understand what is happening. Try to limit your own exposure to the media, especially when you are with children.

Choose your words carefully. Comments like “We just lost your college savings”; “I might lose my job”; or “We can’t afford that” can be very upsetting to children. In times of uncertainty, try to offer reassuring words. For example, “We have enough money to pay for food and our house, but we may need to spend less on eating out;” or “We saved money for times like these.”

It’s important to talk to your children because they can sense stress and become anxious or upset if no one communicates to them. All they need is a very basic explanation of why people are upset or worried and what impact it will have on them personally.

Let your pediatrician know if you think your children are showing signs of stress. It’s natural for children to be concerned if their family has money problems, yet if they are reminded that they do not need to solve these problems, they will feel better. See tips above on how to talk to your children. Also, watch your children closely for changes in their behavior, mood, friendships, or school performance, and talk to your children’s primary care clinician or other mental health professionals as needed.

Be sensitive to each child’s needs. It’s important to talk at each child’s level. What and how much information you share depends on the age and developmental level of your children. In general, older children will want and benefit from more detailed information; younger children and those children with developmental delays or intellectual disabilities will benefit from simpler and briefer information. But for all children, start with asking them what they may already have heard or offer a simple explanation at first. Then ask your children if they have any more questions. Children who already had problems with anxiety or other emotional problems may be particularly upset or worried about the economic situation and benefit from more direct advice and additional reassurance.

Plan family meetings. Family meetings are a very effective way for families to encourage healthy communication. It can be a time when family members learn how to get along with each other better. Parents can also use the time to share family values and cultural beliefs.

Media Contact:
Ken Ma, NSU Office of Public Affairs
954-262-5354 Office, 954-830-4177 Cell, kennma@nova.edu