Family money woes a burden on the kids
Children as young as eight stressed by parents' worry about finance, new study warns
Saturday 11 August 2012
Parents who fail to manage their family's financial discussions at home could be putting their children at risk of anxiety and even long-term financial problems themselves, experts suggest, as a new report finds that children as young as eight worry about money, and 29 per cent of youngsters lend their own parents cash.
With 88 per cent of children believing their parents are concerned about money and almost 60 per cent subsequently taking on those fears themselves, parents are being urged to consider carefully how they talk to children as young as seven about family finances.
One in five children aged between eight and 15 said they think their parents worry about money "all the time", according to a study of 1,132 young people around the UK for Halifax.
Children in London (64 per cent) are the most likely to worry about money, followed by those in the East Midlands, South East and South West (all 62 per cent). Children aged eight to 15 in the West Midlands (49 per cent) and Yorkshire and Humberside (50 per cent) are the least likely to worry about money,
"Parents often don't realise how aware their children are, even young children," says Dr Thalia Eley of the Institute of Psychology at King's College, London. "And while anxiety is a complicated problem that often arises from a number of issues, family money worries could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
"Most children have worried about things by the time they are eight, and if their parents are worried about something, it will worry them. They may behave differently, becoming more withdrawn or irritable and younger children may become clingy."
"Where there are major financial concerns, parents should really avoid discussing them with their children, especially younger ones. The lines between adults and children are blurred as children grow up very quickly now Even biological factors and the age that school testing begins support this and there is a general pattern of the pressure on children being greater at younger ages.
"When it comes to money worries, it's important to protect them and remember that they are less well-equipped than adults to deal with and identify how severe those problems might be."
However, for general day to day living, say if a family needs to budget carefully or cut down on extras, these things will be obvious to a child and parents should work to discuss what strategies will be put in place to manage the circumstances rather than offer bland reassurances, she says.
"Provide children with coping strategies rather than avoiding the subject all together. Parents must clarify that these things aren't the end of the world and put them into context, giving children in particular, a realistic but not too scary an idea of the situation," Eley adds.
With almost 30 per cent of children admitting to lending their parents and 17 per cent to borrowing from friends, parents and grandparents, difficulty managing money could have a knock-on effect on children's futures.
The family home is a child's primary learning environment, so if there are no tools or strategies to manage money or to improve financial difficulty, there is the risk that those tendencies will be passed on, adds Eley. "With society facing long-term problems, there seems to be a strong case for better financial education in primary and secondary schools."
Simon Read: Frozen in time - the expat British pensioners who deserve a better deal
Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 19-23 January
Bargain Hunter: From The Outsider to 1984, catch a cut-price classic, read it in the rye
Donald MacInnes: My wasted hours in the retail deserts of Dixons-Carphone
Money Insider: Smart alternatives to the pensioner bond
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
Day In a Page
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village