Skip to main content

Transparency & Grace

Jan 24, 2023 05:00AM ● By Chris Jones

How we handle tough times leaves an impression on our kids


Welcome to 2023.

If you've been keeping score, this decade we've endured a pandemic, parts and labor shortages, an incredible seller’s market in real estate, low-interest lending for mortgages, inflation and skimflation, and many other anomalies (recession anyone?). It's almost as if we're playing one of our children's Xbox games in hard mode; each year being a new stage with a harder challenge than the last. But alas, heroes, I think there's always good baked into every difficult situation. That seems to be the lesson and constant reminder of this decade.

As parents, it can be easy to face these challenges of the day by putting our heads down and grinding it out, but in the end, we can find that we’re fighting against the current rather than going with the flow. And as you know, our kids are watching how we handle adversity and framing how they’ll handle situations we face based on how we did. So that means facing the difficulties of the world with transparency and a lot of grace.

One thing I do often is talk to my kids about current events, economics, personal and family finances, and how those macros (the socio-economic climate) affect the micro (our home). I do this because I grew up in a home where my parent hid their struggles from me. They didn’t teach me about how external change can affect our cash position—rising utility bills, increased grocery costs and the price at the pump. All I got was exasperation and stress when those changes reduced the power of our family’s income, but my wants remained the same.

So, my hope for you this year is that you move gently through the year. Manage the ups and downs with grace. Be open with your kids when things are difficult and share with them how you move through challenges to solve problems. Our parents endured recessions. We’ve endured. Our kids will one day have to endure and their attitude about challenges will be shaped by how we move through them.

That said, who knows how 2023 will shake out? What I do know is that it’s another year to make memories with our kids in some of the wildest ti some of us have seen since our childhoods. Make it count.

Get Our Newsletters
* indicates required
FredParent eletters
Read Our Digital Issue
From Our Partners