My family has been at the poverty level for a long time now, but we've always been able to get just what we need. But recently my dad lost his job and everyone is trying to earn enough money to even be able to buy food.
I'm the oldest of seven children and because there are so many kids it’s even harder. We have a nice house, but it’s a little too small for our size family. We were planning to build a bigger house, but now we had to cancel our plans.
I heard that 90% of the children of poverty level families grow up to live in poverty, too. I don't want that at all. Is there a way that I can help protect my future family from poverty? I need help!
Hey girl, it sounds like this is a really tough and confusing sitch. A lot of families are going through exactly what you are right now, so know that you're not alone! Unfortunately, the economy is something that no one can control and each and every person is affected by it, including you and your family.
The thing to remember though, is that your parents should be the ones worrying about this. They will find a way to make ends meet. You shouldn't be worrying about the bills or anything of that stuff. There's always help out there for families like yours and trust me, things will be all right. There are things you can do to help though that might make you feel better and help your parents.
Since you're the oldest, you can be the one to set an example for your siblings. Help them make hand-me-down clothes their own by adding their own style twists to them, like cutting old jeans to make new shorts. Try not to complain too much in front of them either about what you don't have. Be sure to thank your parents for what you do have. Offer to babysit and help cook dinner on nights that your parents seemed overwhelmed. But don't put too much pressure on yourself to fix every problem. You're still a kid, and you deserve to relax and have some fun yourself!
You should sit down with your parents one night after they've relaxed and unwound a little from their busy days. Talk to them about how you're feeling and ask them what kind of things you can do to help. Maybe if you have time and are old enough you could ask them if they'd mind if you watched some neighborhood kids to earn some extra money. Even if you don't have to contribute your money to the family pile, you can use it to buy your own clothes and school supplies for the fall. Also, talking to someone that is not involved in your situation, such as a counselor or aunt or uncle, could help. Seeing an outside perspective might help you gain your own insight.
The key here is to help when you can. Things will get better eventually. And in the future, you'll be able to have your own family and your own career that you choose, so don't worry about that just yet! Enjoy being a kid while it lasts and hang in there babe!
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