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Tips for telling the kids about foreclosure

It can be hard to talk to the children about foreclosure. You want them to feel safe and secure in the house, but you also don't want to lie to them or hide things from them.

Even if foreclosure is just a consideration for your future and you're thinking about talking to the kids, these tips will help:

-- Only tell them what makes sense at their ages.

Younger kids don't need to know as much, as much of it will go over their heads anyway. For instance, your 17-year-old child may understand that the economy isn't doing well and more complex issues that lead to foreclosure, but your 5-year-old probably just needs to know that you're thinking about moving because it's best for the family.

-- Keep your routines.

Children are comforted by routines. As much as possible, keep things the same in your home. Talk to them about what's coming so they're prepared, but don't change everything at once. This can help to keep the kids from being stressed out by something that is out of their control anyway.

-- Keep your emotions in check.

With the financial stress looming, it's easy to lash out at the kids over little things. They may be sad or angry that they have to move away from their friends. Don't take your stress out on them just because you know all about the financial realities. If they blame you, remember that they simply can't see the big picture.

At the same time, make sure you know all of your legal options. Your home is very important to your family, and you need to know what you can do to stop foreclosure or at least seek the best possible resolution to a tough financial situation.

Source: Parents, "Explaining Losing a Home to Kids," Tamekia Reece, accessed May 11, 2017

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