Not surprisingly, parents may be reluctant to discuss difficult economic times with their children. Viewed as the province of adult anxiety, the burdens imposed by tumbling stock prices, falling home values, and rising unemployment are a powerful force, with 8 out of every 10 Americans blaming the U.S. economic crisis for much of the stress in their lives, according to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association.
While efforts to protect our kids from the pain may be well intended, chances are the kids already know how their parents are feeling and are accumulating some trickle-down stress of their own (in an ABC News poll conducted last November, 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds who said that their parents were worried about the economy also said they were worried themselves).
Still, the economy is often the proverbial elephant in the room.
Stephen’s new column, The Elephant in the Room, discusses this issue in greater detail.