Balanced Melting Pot

Immigrant Families and the Economic Crisis

In Economic Crisis, Parenting, Questions on October 13, 2008 at 11:45 am

I thought I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss this topic (and my husband suggested it 🙂 ), but I think there is an interesting dynamic that may be occurring for immigrant families during the US economic crisis.

For instance, many immigrants provide financial support to family in their countries of origin. As I heard one journalist put it, “when the United States sneezes, other countries develop pneumonia”, so if we’re feeling a squeeze here it’s only worse in other countries. This can create an added pressure for immigrant families who may be finding it more difficult to maintain the same level of support and make ends meet at home.

I also think that during this perfect storm, we are forced to look at some of our comforts and some of the expectations we have by virtue of living in this country (i.e. acquiring large amounts of debt). We may also see the fragile state of developing countries and how they have more at stake right now than we realize.

So my first question is: How are you handling the crisis as it relates to your family here and abroad? Another question is for parents who may not have families who need their financial assistance in their countries of origin. Are you using this economic situation to teach your children about poverty and/or financial responsibility? If so, how? If not, do you think that it’s inappropriate to discuss these things with children?

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