Financial insecurity


Financial insecurity is faced by a number of people. Anxiety on such

issues should not affect parents at the expense of their child’s mental or

psychological state.

There is the case of Rohit, a nine-year-old boy. He came with his parents

and appeared overburdened with a weight he found hard to bear. His eyes

were full of tears as if someone had punished him. His dejected mood was

the cause of his parents’ concern, which brought him to me.

The parents’ complaint was — “He never seems to be happy. He doesn’t

talk to us. He doesn’t want to go anywhere. His academic record was good;

but now it’s dropping day by day. We have no clue where things went wrong.”

This case revealed that the parents themselves were very sad about

Rohit’s worsening academic performance. Rohit, who used to score

brilliantly, was suddenly undone by their high expectations.

Rohit briefed me that he is not able to face academic competition as his

parents often talk about his performances with their relatives. But he was

more anxious about his father’s financial limitations and the expenditure on

his education. He also confided in me his fear that if he did not get good

marks he will certainly feel ashamed and cannot forgive himself as his father

was spending a lot of money on his tuitions and school fee, despite their

financial constraints. Moreover, he was very sensitive to the quarrelling

of his parents on financial issues, which left him with the disconcerting

sensation that a large amount of money was being spent on his studies.

During the interaction with the parents it was revealed that they had no

idea that their repeated mention of ‘excessive money’ being spent for the

child’s education had made him anxious and robbed him of his confidence

out of fear of failure.

However, owing to the parents’ ignorance or their insensitivity they

were unaware that the reaction of their child towards their financial problems

might be responsible for his low spirits and sadness. In fact, a child keeps a

sharp eye around the home environment and he dissects the situations with

his own perspective. A child has his independent unique perception of many

things which a parent hardly comprehends.

Thus Rohit may realize their sacrifices and try his best to reach his

parents’ expectations but with an uncertainty and disturbed mind: would he

be able to do that? This factor induced stress and fears in him.

If a parent is going through a financial crisis or if he is not financially

strong, he should not express his sacrifices to his child. Such an expression

would simply suggest as if a parent was obliging his child which makes him

more vulnerable to stress.

Saumya’s father had limited earning. He was trying to provide the best

education to his daughter. Saumya has learnt that her parents are often happy

and encouraging. They never showed any negative gesture to their daughter.

As a result, Saumya never felt that her parents were under financial stress,

although she knew the reality. Her demand was less and she used to study on

her own. She was regularly attentive in her class and was invariably listening

intently to the teachers while learning lessons. Due to her parents’ happy-golucky

temperament she could forget the poverty and so called recreations.

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