Climate change, how to talk to kids about it

Oluwatoni Olujinmi

Almost every kid on Earth will feel the effects of climate change at some point. Because climate change is both mysterious and catastrophic, it is not surprising that children may experience a wide range of emotions in response to it, including worry, fear, sadness, and anger.

It is important to handle the topic of climate change with children with care and knowledge. The next generation has a responsibility to learn about the environmental problems we face so they may understand their place in the world, make a difference, and take action.  

This article explores six ways to engage in meaningful conversations with kids about climate change, ensuring a balance between awareness and empowerment.

6 ways to talk to kids about climate change

1. Educate yourself first

Adults must educate themselves about climate change before starting conversations. Due to the abundance of false information regarding climate change, it is more crucial than ever to refer to scientific research based on evidence in order to distinguish between fact and fiction. 

Educators and parents can better serve their students and children by being well-versed in the research, effects, and possible remedies. To refresh your memory on the science, there are a plethora of credible resources accessible online, such as seminars, videos, and publications. Adults may confidently address issues and concerns based on this understanding, which serves as the foundation for productive communication.

2. Start with the basics

Start with the basics when bringing up the subject with kids. Discovering how climate change impacts their everyday life and going over the basics together can be a solid place to start. 

Adapt the content so it is age-appropriate and easy to understand. Images, maps, and films can provide a more concrete and illustrative representation of the problem. 

Renewable energy, conservation, and the interdependence of ecosystems are some of the ideas that should be introduced. As they get older, they can have more in-depth conversations based on the foundation of solid knowledge.

3. Listen, be open to their questions and concerns

Get your kid’s take on climate change by asking them what they know and how they feel about it before you broach the subject. You may be astounded by your child’s innate intelligence and expressiveness. Seize the opportunity to hear their concerns and aspirations for the environment. 

Promptly responding to queries and concerns can help foster an atmosphere of open communication. When children feel safe talking about their worries, it might help ease their concern about the future. 

The development of trust and the encouragement of children to take an active role in the process of obtaining answers are both fostered when adults respond to the worries of children with understanding and candour.

4. Connect them with nature by spending time outdoors

Take advantage of any opportunity to spend time outdoors with your child if you want them to develop a stronger bond with the natural world. Kids get a personal look at Earth’s splendour when they participate in outdoor activities.

The more time they spend playing outside, the more they will come to appreciate and value the natural world. Stop and describe anything that catches your eye when you’re outside with your kids, be it a tree, a cloud, a spider web, or a bird. Children can cultivate an innate curiosity and awe for the natural world just by taking it easy and enjoying nature.

If this connection makes them feel valued and responsible, then it is possible that they will be more likely to take action about the preservation of the environment.

5. Take action on solutions together

Make an effort to provide a resolution for each issue you raise. Involve youngsters in practical measures to empower them. At home, you may help the environment by promoting trash reduction and energy conservation. Get involved in green initiatives or neighborhood clean-ups. 

When specific steps are taken, it demonstrates that everyone has the potential to make a difference and encourages accountability. You should get together as a family or with your neighbors and discuss the various different actions that you could take.

6. Introduce environmental role models to them

Inspiring and educating children can be achieved by showcasing environmental role models. Highlighting that every person has the ability to make a positive impact, share examples of scientists, activists, community leaders, and individuals who have achieved great things. Talk about uplifting and motivating stories that you come across in your local neighborhood or on the news.

Not only that, but you should also share motivational stories about young people who are already making a difference. These remarkable people demonstrate to us that even the most insignificant actions may have a significant impact on the world.

Read also: The top 7 green influencers to follow for great hints about sustainability

Guiding children towards environmental stewardship is a shared responsibility

In order to cultivate individuals who are environmentally sensitive, it is essential to have conversations with children about climate change.

Adults have the ability to educate children towards a future in which environmental stewardship is a shared duty by educating themselves, beginning with the fundamentals, being open to inquiries, connecting with nature, taking action together, and introducing role models.

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