Coping with Recession: The Role of the Man

Recession tends to affect the family in a lot of ways, most especially their lifestyle. During any recession, unemployment affects a lot of families and often enough, people have to work extra hard just to stay afloat hoping and praying that the economy gets better.

In many homes, where the man is usually the bread winner of the house, recession can really affect the family in very serious ways. This is very true in a situation where the man loses his job or his income value depreciates as a result of inflation caused by the a recession.

The man may not be able to prevent recession, however, he can make changes that can improve their circumstances and help them plan for the future, while they wait for an economic upswing.

Below are a number of of the ways that recessions have an impact on families, and the ways the man can take to combat those effects.

The Effect of the Recession on Families

Jobs and Employment

The loss of a job is one of the worst possible effect of a recession on a man. The status, health, self-worth and general well being of the man can be drastically and negatively impacted by the loss of his job..

The man that loses his job during recession will struggle to find work and money to pay his bills, cater for his family and meet other basic necessities of life. This situation can be very terrifying, depressing and frustrating for the man.

Tips and Strategies

The immediate and short term solution for the man may include filing an unemployment claim (in developed countries only), looking for low-paying or manual jobs or borrowing from friend, relatives or professional lenders to start up a small business that has high potentials. If the man has some savings, that will also come very useful at this time.

For long term solutions, the man can intensify his job search, choose a new career path with better job potentials, start a small business and concentrate all his resources and skills into the business to make it succeed. Alternatively, he may even consider relocating.

Relocating should not be considered a last resort or a bad thing. Relocating to other countries, states or even towns can open up lots of new opportunities. The man most times have to do what needs to be done to survive and if it means relocating, then so be it.

Family Life

The loss of a job or the a reduction in the value of income as a result of inflation caused by a recession can greatly affect the family lifestyle. The loss of income can affect the man psychologically and emotionally.

Some men tend to become short tempered when they are stressed and short of money to carry out their responsibilities. This disposition can be worsened if their family still expect them to maintain their normal level of responsibility.

A research shows that ‘parents who experience financial problems and depression are less likely to feel connected to their children, and their children are less likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as volunteering or helping others.’

An Irish Research study among other things found that during recessions:

  • Unemployment among fathers rose from 5.6% to 13.8%.
  • The proportion reporting that they had some degree of difficulty in ‘making ends meet’ doubled, rising from 31% in 2008 to 61%.
  • Parents who experienced increased psychological distress tended to employ harsher styles of parenting and less warmth. This change was true for parents across levels of education.
  • The relationship between mothers and fathers was highly sensitive to economic strain. Parents under strain reported more arguments, felt less close and were more likely to report that they were unhappy with their relationship.
  • Worsened relationships between children and parents were associated with higher child anxiety and worse conduct as well as lower child’s happiness.

The stress of not having a job and the loss of income, can result to damaging of inter-family interactions that may take years to restore. At times, families have to borrow money from relatives or friends, which can cause stressed situations.

A number of families have to alter their plans, sell their homes, change schools, and call off vacations. In some family, there is even an unfortunate rise in child abuse cases.

Tips and Strategies

The man must rally his family to work together to cope with the changes brought on by an economic recession. In reality, a recession may actually impact a family positively, as families have a tendency to stay home together, and spend more time in each other company.

As an alternative of expensive nights out at restaurants, the man can take the family to a local recreational area for an evening picnic or have an inexpensive family night out. Rather than buying more video games, find some other ways to keep the children entertained.

The man should regard the experience as a chance to spend more time with his family and make the most use of the quality time spent with his family.


Many families cannot afford to keep their children in their normal schools during a recession as a result of the loss in their income. Many students are forced to withdraw from schools as a result of inability to pay their tuition fees and other financial requirement.

Tips and Strategies

One of the best way to deal with the situation is to consider changing the school of the children. Most families (in Nigeria, especially) tend to send their children to expensive private schools because of the wrong assumption that they teach better. However, during a recession, the man should consider changing his children’s school to a school where the fees are much lower or better still, transfer them to a government school.

The truth is that, the amount of tuition fees do not determine the quality of education of a school, moreover, it is also an established fact that government schools tend to have more quality and higher qualified teachers than private school.

In developed societies, the children can apply for student loans, college scholarships, and grants or alternatively, attend a community college, and take part in work-study programs to pay for school fees.

Determining Necessity

During a recession, Families must recognize the difference between needs and wants. Every family requires a secure place to live, food, clothing, and access to reasonable health care. As priorities change for a lot of families during an economic downturn, they can focus on the necessities, and become skilled at more about their innate survival skills.

Tips and Strategies:

Discovering how to prioritize expenses, adjusting to a loss of decisive income, and making lifestyle changes will be difficult. Families must learn to avoid spending on wants and instead focus on the essential needs to help them cope with the realities.

The man must take control of the circumstances to lessen the negative impacts of the recession. He can achieve this by helping the other family members to set their priorities and focus. He must also set a good example for the rest of the family to follow.