Is All of That New Family Time Souring Relations?

Despite new claims from Warren Buffett that the worst is over, there’s still much to be miserable over.

There is rampant unemployment, foreclosures have declined slightly but they’re still higher than they were a year ago, men continue to struggle to find work, the deficit is soaring, gas may reach the price of $4.00 a gallon again, and there are ten new states on the verge of California-like budget disasters.

For parents, the stress is daunting. For children, it’s apparently even worse. The New York Times published a recent report on how high stress is increasingly being passed on from parent to child.


They report:

For many families across the country, the greatest damage inflicted by this recession has not necessarily been financial, but emotional and psychological. Children, especially, have become hidden casualties, often absorbing more than their parents are fully aware of. Several academic studies have linked parental job loss — especially that of fathers — to adverse impacts in areas like school performance and self-esteem.

“I’ve heard a lot of people who are out of work say it’s kind of been a blessing, that you have more time to spend with your family,” Mr. Bachmuth said. “I love my family and my family comes first, and my family means more than anything to me, but it hasn’t been that way for me.”

The article pointed to children yanking out their hair, failing in school, and having a strained relationship with one or both parents.


It would be easy to argue that people should simply stop giving into the superficial and place less emphasis on money and enjoy the added time with family. But when you have bills and you have no clue where your next dollar is coming from following the Huxtable’s guide to family life seems a lot less important. Moreover, for many a career defines who they are. Without anything to do you begin to feel hopeless and lose a sense of yourself and your purpose. All of these factors create a stressful climate that takes its toll on the entire family.

For those of you currently out of work, or at the very least, making less than you used to, how has it changed the climate in your home? Have the relationships with your children or spouse been strained?


And though you may have a right to be stressed, is it time for you to get out of your funk and speak candidly about your situation with your children?

I’d love to hear from you.

Leave your comments below and send your own recession story to


Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.

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