Lost Job - Tell Daughter

Updated on February 22, 2012
J.C. asks from Bronxville, NY
16 answers

My daughter is six. I lost my job 3 weeks ago but have not told her. Mostly because she is in an after school program 3 days a week and I had paid for the month. I'm considering keeping her in it 2 days a week next month for continuity as I am hoping to get another job pretty quickly.

Now the issue! I feel so guilty when she mentions me working or going to work. Do you think it's a big deal that I don't tell her? I don't even want to tell her. I've always worked and I don't want her to feel like anything is different when this is a job loss that won't be forever. I work because I like to work and don't want to be home all day - so this is harder on me mentally than anything esle.

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So What Happened?

Well I certainly don't feel like I was living a lie. I think I just feel badly about the loss and don't want to upset her by being upset myself.

So tonight she was talking about my job and I said that they didn't need my help anymore so I am now looking to go somewhere else. Then she told me to be a cop or nurse. So I had to explain why I cant do that. Too funny.

Featured Answers



answers from Denver on

I would be honest with her. I understand dreading to tell her and explaining why. However, it's part of life. We all deal with disapppointments. I would share it with her and use it as an example of how to get through tough times. Best of luck with the conversation (if you have it) and the job hunt!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

Isn't not telling her like basically telling her it's a bad thing for someone to lose their job? PLENTY of people have been losing their jobs in this economy!! I think you're losing an opportunity to teach her something new about life. When she grows up and possibly loses a job do you want her to hide it or do you want her to say, this isn't THAT scary, this happened to mom and she worked hard and got another job? It's unrealistic for her life to continue exactly the same while you are unemployed. She needs to learn that the roof over her head and food on the table is more important than wanting the latest toy.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Rochester on

I guess I don't agree with what you are doing because you are essentially lying to your child. I don't see why it's so bad to be honest. People lose jobs, it's a fact of life...don't candy coat things for your mature enough child so that she will think that once you have a job, you'll just always have it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I lost my job when my older kids were 4. We told them. This let them know what to expect. While they were in preschool, I looked for a new job. it also let me volunteer at school. And since we did not change schedules, it was not a big difference for them when I went back to work. It took 18 months to find another job and that was 7 years ago. Like my kids tell me sometimes, "we're not stupid, we already knew". She will notice things. But as others have said, it won't stress her out unless you make it that way. Unless your daughter is an absolute spoiled princess, she will totally understand. And she can enjoy a little extra mommy time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I would just tell her. I wouldn't put the weight of the world on her shoulders, of course, that's not her responsibility, it's yours, after all.
Then also tell her why you have kept her in after school care--because you don't expect to be out of work for very long and you want to keep her spot.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I would tell her as much of the truth as she can handle and needs to know. Why can't you tell her that you aren't working at x any longer, however, you are looking for a new job?

I know someone else who lost their job and didn't say anything to her kids, but she didn't want to share with her children the poor decision she made to lose her job. Her kids were calling every number they could to figure out if she was still there, so they knew anyway. She found another job and I am certain they now know their suspicion was correct and their mother lied to them.

Just tell her and if she asked why she is still in aftercare, let her know that it is because you will be in search of a new job and you need the time alone to do this.

Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Tell her. You don't want her to think she can't trust you. If you work only because you want to, and not because you need to for financial reasons, then it shouldn't be a big deal. I'm thinking the only reason you don't tell her is because you want her to stay in the after school program. If that's the case, just tell her and see if she even asks about coming straight home from school. She might enjoy her after school program enough that she wants to stay there - at least she has socialzation there.

You don't want your daughter to lose her trust of you over something like this so I would just tell her. Also, you don't want her thinking you are at work if she needs you for something and has someone try to call you at work. Tell her!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

What do you mean? That it would put stress on her? Kids are kids they don't understand the entire scope of everything. The stress should be on you. I can't for the life of me understand why you want to live a lie about it concerning her. Are you afraid that if she finds out that she would be begging not to go to the afternoon program...and spend some time with you....her Mother! Actually...you should take advantage of this opportunity and spend some special time with her...I know I would! But that's me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

I'm sorry you lost your job! I think the less said is better/just say you're on a break if she asks. Good luck! I know it is difficult-I lost my job in 2008 and it was nearly two yrs before I got another.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I would tell her. You don't know what your next job is going to be and how long it's going to take to find another so either way the subject is going to come up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Yes you need to tell her. Just tell her that you don't work at your old job now and will have a new job soon and that on the days she goes to her after school program, you are doing mom things.

My husband changes jobs every 6-18 months. My kids take it in stride and it gives them a chance to welcome having him home more often and then prepare for him to be scarce again when he starts his new job. It's really not a big deal to them. With the older kids, we also let them know that money will be tighter than usual so don't be surprised if the answer to "can I have..." is no a little more often but they also know that my job is steady and secure so they don't worry about keeping a roof over our heads, just that we're tightening up our belts and putting things off. But there's no need to get to that level of detail with younger kids.

So yes...you need to tell her. Really, it won't be as big a deal as you think and you'll be relieved that you're not carrying around a secret.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It will only be a big deal if you make it one. If she was perhaps in middle or high school telling her would be appropriate.

Tell your daughter that you are looking for a job at another company and this means she will go to day care for two days instead of three....thus you will get one more day with her (which is wonderful) until you have decided where your new job will be.

Sometimes REALITY sucks.....but we don't have to dump it on the little ones, especially when them problem may be remedied in the short term.

I wish you all the best in finding a good job.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I just don't understand why you wouldn't tell her. I lost my job last February, and I was looking for several months. I told my boys -my oldest was just turning 5 -that I lost my job and was trying to find another. The oldest asked why I lost my job, and I was honesty -I told him the company wasn't doing well, and they had to get rid of most of their employees -that happens sometime. What do you hope to accomplish by not being on level with your child? I doubt she'll give it too much thought, honestly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I think you should let her know. Always be up front and honest. She may not understand not having a job, but you should let her know.



answers from Redding on

Only you know how your daughter will take the news. Lots of people have lost jobs. I would keep your daughter in the after school program as looking for work can be a full time job in and of itself.
I don't know. I'm a single mom and I didn't shield my kids from things like that. I just always let them know that no matter what, we would be okay. And, we really always have been in spite of some rough bumps.
Your daughter is pretty young, you don't have to tell her you "lost" anything, you can tell her you aren't working right now to find a different and better job.
That's true, right?
You don't want her to have to worry about "grown up" things, but I don't know why you would hide it from her that you're not working right now.

That's just my opinion.



answers from New York on

Sorry to hear that you've been downsized. It happened to my husband. He also hoped to find another job quickly, since he managed to find one in three weeks when he was downsized 8 years ago. It's been 11 months. I would not keep this from your daughter, especially if she is mentioning work. I know it brings up a lot of questions that she may have, which may have difficult answers. Try to keep the explanations simple. Good luck, and I do hope that you will be re-employed soon, but do make preparations for if this is not the case.

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