There are some interesting things going around on the Internet in regards to what kids think about the economy. In these stories you hear heartbreaking stories of what it has been like for kids to have two parents who have both lost their jobs, their homes, have no where to turn and watch whatever investments that they did have just dwindle away. Anyone who thinks that our students are not affected by the tense feelings all around and the strife at home is dead wrong.
CBS news put out an article late in 2008 that stated that from the people they had talked to the students most worried about the economy were ages 18 to 25. They were worried that they wouldn’t ever find a decent paying job, there was no good reason to contribute to your 401k or assume that you would ever have a retirement. These same students are going to school on student loans and only have time to work so many hours if they can actually find work. It is very hard for them to stay hopeful when they see all things financial just tanking all around them.
As for younger students, many feel ashamed that their parents can’t buy school clothes or supplies like they used to. They are ashamed because their “social status” has dropped and other children can be less than understanding.
A great way to overcome this problem is to teach kids that no one is immune from having financial hardship. Everyone works hard, saves, and tries to be prepared but there are some things in life that are just harder than expected and things don’t always go as planned. Better to save than be sorry though. It is important not to let a student feel like it is futile to try to get a better job down the road or to learn to handle their money in a wise manner.