The current economic crisis affecting Wall Street could have a profound impact on families with young children, says Lawrence Balter, professor of applied psychology in New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Balter, a parenting expert and author of Not in Front of the Children: How to Talk to Your Child About Tough Family Matters, is available for interview on the subject of how parents affected by the crisis can best talk to their children.

“Your job and financial status have psychological meaning that goes beyond just practical matters,” says Balter. “These are parts of our identity. When they are jeopardized, it is natural to feel apprehensive and worried. Children pick up on parental anxiety. Financial crises also have a direct impact on children if they have to forgo services and goods they were counting on.”

According to Balter, there are some practical ways to help your children weather the financial storm you are navigating. “Don’t pretend that nothing is wrong or lie about the situation. The key is to design your explanations for your child’s age and level of comprehension.”

Balter adds, “Let them know you will pull together as a family. Be reassuring and point out that there are obstacles and setbacks in life, and we will get through this one.”

Reporters interested in speaking with Balter for a specific set of recommendations are encouraged to call Tim Farrell, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6797 or email tim.farrell@nyu.edu.

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