Thursday, July 02, 2009

Has this Recession Changed our Children?

Growing Up in a Recession by Susan Berfield in BusinessWeek talks about how kids are adapting to the recession. The stories focused on well-to-do families that were now adjusting to more middle class lives, e.g. letting the nanny go, foregoing flying to New York, and struggling to pay for private college.

Based on reading this article, I think this recession hasn't significantly changed our children yet. It seems many are only doing with less, versus doing without, which I think does cause change. At this point, this recession seems to be of similar impact to the recessions of 73-75 and 81-82, tough but not life changing. For perspective, children during these recessions became part of the future generation of consumers that drove the U.S. economy in the 1990s.

To me, when kids start working to cover household expenses, or choose supporting the family over going to college, I'll believe they have changed. Until that happens, I think most children will view this recession as a short detour, and believe life will shortly be back to normal. If the recession has truly reached bottom, they will probably be right.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Wednesday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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