‘Lock-down’, ‘Coronavirus’, ‘COVID-19’, ‘self-isolation’ – these are words that everyone is now very familiar with. It’s no longer news that the world is being ravaged by a virus.
Countries all over the world are battling a pandemic, one that this generation has never encountered before. Beyond its effects on health, its economic implications are also terrible.
The IMF said, last week, that it expects a depression in the world economy, not just a recession. The virus led to a fall in oil prices, leaving countries like Nigeria with little or nothing to hold on to in terms of revenue. As if that is not bad enough, a lot of people are forced to stay at home, hereby slowing down economic activities and cash flow. Many companies are forced to cut down salaries and even lay off staff. A lot of people are more worried about the economic implications of this virus than the health implications.
With all these projections of hardship and shortage of cash comes fear and panic, you also need to filter your words around your children in order not to create the wrong money mindset in them. Your money and financial energy has to stay positive despite the situation. I remember clearly during the Abacha era, when economic situations were very bad, a lot of households moved from using gas cookers to using coal pots (AKA Abacha stove). The situation then and the discussions on lack and inadequacy in most homes created a picture of poverty in our minds as children and, to an extent, stunted our dreams and aspirations. Truth is, in such situationsm, most of our parents were not conscious of the implications of their actions – and inaction – on the children.
We can’t afford to make the same mistakes our parents made; times are different now.
Instead of using negative financial phrases like ‘can’t afford’, ‘things are hard’ and ‘we are heading for a recession’, sit them down and explain to them what is really going on. Try as much as possible to be honest with them, help them understand what caused the present economic situation of the family, what you are doing and what you intend to do, going forward. Explain it to them without scaring them.
Limiting the amount of negative news they are exposed to would also help in guarding their mindsets. There is hardly anything good in the news these days, so it’s best to keep them away from mind-boggling news. Also, keeping a gratitude journal with your children would help a lot. Fill the journal together with the children on a daily basis, penning down the things you’re most grateful for. Remember, gratitude breeds abundance.
Your actions and attitude during this time and in the coming days is very important. You want to, as much as possible, keep a positive attitude. Instead of worrying about what has or what might happen, start working on things that will help increase the flow of income/money. Learn new skills, seek guidance from mentors and teachers, try to be innovative and open-minded. All of these will help in showing your wards that you are prepared to face the economic implications of the virus and also reassure them that the family will be just fine, no matter what happens.
Though the economic realities are scary, it is important that you reassure your kids that you are positioning yourself to take advantage of the opportunities this ‘new’ economic situation offers.
Are there other things you think can be done?