Two workshops are being offered in the coming weeks to provide assistance to those struggling with job loss and financial distress.
- Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest will offer a workshop on strategies for a changing job market on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 7-9 p.m. at Temple Bnai Abraham, Livingston.
- Jewish Family Service of MetroWest will offer a workshop on dealing with the emotional challenges of the financial crisis on Thursday, Dec. 11, 7-9 p.m. at the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, Ross Family Campus, West Orange.
Both workshops are made possible by MetroWest HELPS of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ. They are free and open to the community.
November 27, 2008
Through JFS on Call, a monthly column from Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, licensed social workers answer readers’ questions on a wide range of topics.
Q: My husband recently lost his job, and we have been struggling to meet COBRA payments and other expenses. We have two teenage children who are accustomed to getting whatever they want. Both my husband and I have been having trouble saying “no” to their requests. What should we do?
A: While your children may not acknowledge the reality of the harsh financial situation to you, it is undoubtedly on their minds. Kids talk with one another, read the paper, and hear and watch the news. This is not happening just to them but to their friends as well. Even if there were no increase in unemployment, families are watching their expenses and looking to spend less.
This economic crisis is a great opportunity for parents to model for children the responsibility that comes with earning and spending money. The less that comes in, the less that can be spent. They must see us spending responsibly and wisely before we can speak to them about doing the same. How you and your husband deal with this tough time right now can greatly affect your kids. They are watching you solve problems and seeing your values in action.
For some parents, saying “no” to their children can be difficult. We always want our children to have the best, often things that we didn’t have, and so saying “yes” often fulfills our own needs. Refusing them can feel punitive.
Youngsters can almost always make the case that a “wanted” item is, in fact, a “dire need.” But as parents, we must help children understand the difference. A much-desired item often becomes old news until the next one comes around. What we teach our children by saying “No” can often be the hardest, but the most valuable, lesson: We teach our children to prioritize, to delay gratification, and to value that which they do have.
Another valuable lesson for children is that seeking outside help is a sign not of weakness but of strength. Youngsters derive many benefits from seeing their parents take proactive steps to find solutions during challenging times.
In these difficult times, many people are reaching out for support to Jewish Family Service, which offers individual and family counseling and financial assessments.
Betty Jampel, LCSW, is the coordinator for case management services at Jewish Family Service of MetroWest; she has been involved in community mental health for more that 20 years.