Climate change has come up in many of our family conversations and it’s a tricky subject to navigate.
As a parent, my desire is to provide my child with a joyful and care-free upbringing while also imparting essential knowledge about potential world hazards, all without causing unnecessary fear.
Throughout her early schooling, she’s learned about Stranger Danger and other. We had meaningful conversations about it and I’m really really relived that she didn’t seem frightened by it. Surprisingly, she seemed to embrace the awareness I and the school were trying to achieve.
Nevertheless, there exist other perils, including the concerning issue of climate change.
Parenting doesn’t come with a comprehensive guidebook. Most of us are trying to navigate it the best way we can.
Personally, I strive to draw insights from fellow parents and carefully consider my words and actions, recognising that young minds are highly impressionable and a lot of what adults say, children will soak like a sponge. We’re all navigating this journey to the best of our abilities, hoping to raise them well without causing harm.
So, when it comes to climate change, how do we navigate this subject without scaring them? Here’s what I did, maybe some of these tips will help you.
What Can We Do About Climate Change?
- Begin by laying the foundation: start with the basics about climate change. Explain to them what climate change is, what causes it and why it’s happening. Be sure to use simple language
- Incorporate visual aids: When educators teach, they tend to use visual aids to help children understand. Pictures and videos can be really helpful and helps them visualise what you care trying to explain. As adults, sometimes it can be difficult to find the right words. Workbooks can be really helpful.
- Question time: Children are incredibly curious and they will have questions, and it could be at random times. Don’t dismiss their questions. They’ll probably think of questions on the way to a swimming lesson or at the dinner table. These questions are usually their own way to process what has been discussed.
- Action time: Children want to be helpful, make sure they know there is something they can do and encourage them to create habits to help them. Don’t forget to lead by example.
What Can Children Do About Climate Change?
- Reuse items: Encouraging children to embrace reusing items is a great place to start. Using sandwich boxes instead of cling film, having water bottles instead of drinking out of drinks cartons.
- Repurpose items: There are so many resources online to help children to repurpose things we no longer need. Turning a drinks carton into a birdhouse, using toilet rolls into a pair of binoculars, creating a house or rocket ship from a large unwanted cardboard box. This is a great way to harness their creativity.
- Recycle: Show them the importance of recycling and how it works. Many councils have different rules on recycling and teach them what is required in your area
- Use their voices: Encourage them to use their voices when they want to make a change. Let them spread awareness, take part in local protests (peaceful ones), write to their local MP.
- Reduce consumption: Turning off electronics when they are not needed, turning off lights when no on is in the room, turning off the taps, showers instead of baths, projects where they can reuse waste.
- Reduce waste: When it comes to food, only put on their plate what they will eat, look at the packaging that comes with toys, encourage them to play with second-hand toys. When something is thrown out, it’s got to go somewhere.
Facilitating children’s comprehension of climate change constitutes a crucial stride toward forging a sustainable future. Through elucidating the foundational concepts, establishing relevance to their daily experiences, and underscoring the significance of proactive measures, we empower children to engage as dynamic contributors in the battle against climate change. By embracing minor actions to diminish their carbon impact and championing transformative shifts, children possess the potential to effect change and motivate others to follow suit.