Climate change is a pretty heavy topic for adults, let alone kids. It’s a confusing, complicated, and emotional topic. We may lean towards protecting our kids from the complexities of the troubles of the earth, but it is our responsibility to raise our children with enthusiasm to protect, respect, and love our world.
The problem is not going away, and our children are likely to bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change, so discussing the issues in a relevant manner with our kids is essential.
Consider Your Child’s Age
Some aspects of this conversation can be overwhelming and frightening for younger kids. Their level of comprehension may be limited as they don’t have the cognitive abilities to process certain information. Instead, you can focus on building their relationship and connection with nature for younger kids. Walk through forests, run along the coast, and encourage them to grow their own food. Talk about what makes this world so unique.
As our children’s comprehension improves, we can talk about why protecting the world is important, what the earth gives us, and how we are guests here. Elements of climate change can slowly be introduced to help our kids engage emotionally with their world. Consider age-appropriate conversations and discussions that can help them relate to the issues, such as why there are more storms and unpredictable weather.
Keep The Conversation Open
Our kids learn about climate change in school, from TV, and through their peers. Ask them what they know first, and they may surprise you with their knowledge. Our teens are very clued in and active in their pursuits to protect the world. We are our children’s base, their comfort, and their sounding board, where they feel comfortable and safe, so having these in-depth conversations with your kids will strengthen their resilience.
Know The Full Story
Climate change is complicated. It’s quickly changing and heavily based on science. We don’t always know the whole story or know how to explain it all, so brush up on your own knowledge before getting into tricky conversations with the kids. If you don’t know the answer, you can always research this together by reading books and age-appropriate information sites that can help you unravel climate change as a family.
Give Them Hope
The devastation of climate change needs to be balanced for our children with hope. They need to recognise and know that when we all make deliberate changes to our lifestyles, it can positively impact our environment. As a family, you can talk about the activities you do at home that can benefit the planet, such as recycling appropriately, reducing food waste, and preserving energy.