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Unemployment in the family

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There are more people living in the world today than there have ever been. There are also a lot more machines around which help people to do their work. These are two reasons why fewer people are needed to do work, (there are many others) so sometimes people lose their jobs and cannot find another job near to where they live.

Another major reason is the problems with the global economy right now, which means that even large businesses are closing down.


What can happen to the family?

  • familyYour parents or carers can feel pretty bad about losing the job.
  • There will be less money to provide for the family.
  • The adults get very worried about what is happening.
  • They may feel bad that they are not able to give you all the things that they could before this happened.
  • grandparentThe adults may get cross with each other. We all sometimes get cross with other people when we are worried.
  • Sometimes the adult who does not usually work outside the home may start working and the other adult may stay at home.
  • Sometimes one parent may leave to find a job in another town, or even in a different country.
  • The parent who is left behind will feel sad and worried and the children miss their dad or mum.
  • Sometimes the whole family will move to another place so that they are able to stay together. Then you have to leave your school and friends. It can be an adventure but it also can make you feel sad.
  • Sometimes the family will split up and live with different relatives.

What you can do

Well, unfortunately you can't find another job for mum or dad, but there are some things that you can do to help the family.

  • familyYou can be understanding when mum or dad are worried.
  • You can help dad if mum goes out to work and he stays home.
  • You can look after your gear so that it doesn't need replacing so often.
  • You can understand that you may not be able to have the things that you want. House and food bills are most important.
  • You may be able to find a job yourself to help out the family. eg. mowing lawns, sweeping pathways, cleaning up sheds, delivering newspapers - only if you are old enough and your parents know where you are, of course.
  • You could help organise a garage sale of stuff that your family doesn't need any more.
  • familyYou can help mum or dad stay cheerful by asking them to join you in walks, bike rides, hobbies, gardening or anything you can think of that will help them to stop worrying for a while.
  • You can write to mum or dad if one of them is away so that they don't feel too lonely.
  • You can help younger brothers and sisters to understand what is happening.
  • You can help look for the best food specials in the 'junk mail', don't ask for treats when you're shopping and check out any free events for you and your family in your local free newspaper.
  • You can help make packed lunches for yourself and your family.
  • You can be careful about using heaters, lights and airconditioning to help save money on bills.
  • If you have to move you can find out how to be helpful by checking our topic on Coping with change - loss and grief.

Dr Kate says:

Dr Kate"Whatever problems your family may have to deal with they are not your fault. A family is like a team. Spending time with your family, working together, sharing and caring for each other, through bad times and good times is what a family is all about".





Dad's lost his job
He's home every day.
"Won't be for long now."
Each day he'll say.
Looks in the paper,
Sends off a letter
Maybe this time
His luck will be better.
Each time he gets letters
That make him look sad.
Mum and I smile.
"You're still a great dad."

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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