Climate change is one of the biggest threats of our time and for many the topic is overwhelming and can create a sense of helplessness. It is so important to discuss the topic and show an empowered commitment towards it. But, how can we as parents avoid scaring the sh*t out of our kids in the process?
Address the Issue with a Message of Empowerment
It is a natural tendency to try and shield our kids from scary stuff but avoiding difficult topics can hurt kids more than helping. Addressing the topic by focussing on skills and solutions can fundamentally change the way children think about climate change — and what role they see for themselves in changing the planet’s future.
Encourage and Teach Kids to Love Nature from an Early Age
It’s simple- people protect what they love. It is important to ground kids with an appreciation and education of nature. Fostering a passion for nature will encourage them to think about the environment with their actions as they grow. Create and prioritize daily opportunities for “green time”. Get out there are search for those squirrels in the park!
Be Consistent on a Few Small Acts
We try to help our kids form healthy habits that they’ll call upon through life (the importance of making your bed and tidying up after yourself etc.). It is just as important to establish good environmental habits as well. Choose to teach your kids small-scale and understandable environmental habits like “We recycle because these things can be transformed into new products, and it is healthier for the Earth.” Consistent and daily actions will help kids feel more empowered when discussing climate change.
Lead by Example
Actions speak louder than words. It is important to explain to your kids why you are doing something when you do it. If you’re bringing a reusable coffee cup to Starbucks, tell them it’s to reduce waste. If you’re choosing to buy from certain brands because of environmental practices, let kids know. If someone shows up at your house wearing a candy-striped jumpsuit, explain to them it’s a Rebelstork expert helping you parent lighter.