On the Huffington Post, Tuesday, Brzezinski says she learned there are many psychological phases of being "let go," especially when you are a parent.
When she had a very public and painful exit from CBS, she acted to her kids like she was giving them a gift. She sugarcoated the whole thing. She says it was a big mistake.
"I fed them a speech explaining how great this would be for all of us and quickly moved on, thinking I had done the right thing as a protective mother. The next day, the school called: Eight-year-old Carlie was upset, and the teacher asked if i could come in."
Brzezinski says she found Carlie outside her classroom in the fetal position. The teacher said, "Carlie tells me you're leaving your job , and she's very upset." Brzezinski turned to her daughter and said, "that's a good thing, right? It's a good thing because we'll get time together. No more rushing, No more missing your events. No more job!" Carlie pulled her head up and said, "But Mommy, you love it so much! I don't want you to have to leave your job."
Brzezinki writes on the HP: "That moment was the first time I truly cried about what had happened to me, to us. I realized it would be OK to mourn together, to be angry together, to be discouraged together, and to be honest with each other." She writes: "A fundamental lesson on being fired: Never lie about it...job loss is an opportunity to show them what you are made of."
I too, had to explain to my kids that I was laid off from a job I love. Fortunately, it worked out for me as I negotiated new terms to continue as a writer. I was honest with my kids but it was hard. My youngest walked around for two days telling everyone, "My mommy got fired." When you are grappling with your own feelings, it's difficult to explain them to your kids in a honest way. Your natural instinct as a parent is to sugarcoat the situation. I took that route, telling my kids how lucky they were that I would be working from home from now on. But I can imagine how hard it would be if job loss meant extreme financial hardship for the family. Does that require more or less honesty with your kids?
What do you think about talking to your kids about getting downsized, fired or laid off? Do you think you should sugarcoat the situation? Or should you use it as an opportunity to show them how the real world works?