Budget talks with your children

FRESNO, Calif.

Sarah Flores works in food prep. She fills in as a cashier and waits tables at the Tower District's chicken pie shop. Flores feels lucky to have a job after her husband passed away more than a year ago. "With my husband when he was around it was a little easier because we had two incomes."

The family is now learning to get by on a much tighter budget. "The way how the economy is now it is very hard but with her being a teenager, it's very hard."

Her daughter, Jessica is in the sixth grade and often asks her mother for things she can't afford.

Jessica Flores: "The iPad, the new one."

Reporter: "Why do you want the new one?"

Jessica Flores: "I don't know like it seems really cool."

Flores says she sometimes feels like a bad mother and provider. "There are times I want to cry."

But the lifestyle change has also been difficult on her daughter. "We've been through very hard things and some of my friends haven't been through things like that."

Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Susan Napolitano encourages parents to recognize the opportunity when major life changes affect a family's spending power. "Loss of a job, the loss of a home, the loss of a pet that you can no longer afford, these are painful life events but healthy people, resilient people know that losses are inevitable and they try their best to move past the grief involved and get into the business of coping."

Experts say the first step to coping is being honest with your children - but not to tell them more than they need to know. Navigate them through your financial struggles in a way that's age appropriate. Dr. Napolitano said, "With the younger kids they are not going to understand details."

Dr. Napolitano says with young children, don't stress what you can't afford but focus on what you can do instead.

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