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Dear Lifelines: Jobless and Guilty

Updated: May 21, 2020

Dear Lifelines,

Our family is packing up and moving because I’ve lost my job and we need to move to where there are more opportunities. How do we make this move work for our kids 4 and 13yrs? I feel terrible that I’m making us all change our lives so much.

Jobless and Guilty

Dear J.A.G.,

Change is not necessarily a bad thing. If we never changed, we would never grow and develop ourselves through the challenges we experience. Not only is this a great opportunity for you to model for your family how to move forward and meet this challenge in a positive way, but it’s also an opportunity to re-invent yourself and leave old habits and unproductive patterns behind.

Get the kids involved in helping to set goals and habits for the future as much as possible. You and your partner can set up the details and the boundaries by giving the kids a few options of what they would like to see happen in this new town or city. For instance, which night would the kids like family game night – Tuesday or Sunday? (Give them choices, but not free rule because it has to work out favourably for the parents first.) Do they want to volunteer at the recreation centre or at the food bank? What would they like to put in the garage sale and how can they help pack up the house?

This is a good time to focus on your future in a very intentional way – how do you want things to go? How do you want to look, act and experience things in the future? Take time to actually mentally prepare and envision how you will do things and how people will respond to you. Allow yourself to dream big and get your family excited about things. It’s hard to be worried when you know that great things are awaiting you and your family. Check out opportunities to join activities in the new town, check out the newspapers and local magazines and look for things to get involved in – you never know who you or your family might meet and this could lead to future friends for your kids or a contact for work or housing for your family. Remember, it’s not always the most qualified person to get the job. Having an outgoing and open, receptive personality can help allow you to make friends and contacts who want to be around you and who will recommend you to others.

Kids are very perceptive and they watch and respond to our emotions. If we are down and depressed all the time, they pick up on that and either feel depressed themselves or attempt to try and cheer us up, which should never be a child’s responsibility.

Good luck, set those intentions and stay strong!


“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.” Hubert Humphrey



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