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How to Talk to Children About Climate Change

It arrived Discussing climate change for our children, this study shows that there is a big difference between what parents think should happen — and what is actually happening. A vote from NPR in 2019 showed that nearly 85 percent of parents, politically, thought that children should learn about climate change. But nearly half of them said that they had discussed the matter with their children.

The fact is, your child is already hearing about climate change. Leslie Davenport, a physician and author of a book to help children adapt to climate change, called All Sensors Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change, says that in her research she spoke to more children who know more about climate change than their parents. “I was amazed that so many kids were so knowledgeable about the science of climate change, even as little as 8 or 9 kids.” As the problem of climate continues to grow rapidly and continues to be a topic of conversation, it will only continue to grow in children’s knowledge. An article about the COP26 meeting mentioned An eight-year-old boy from Glasgow said, “I’m worried because when the world gets too hot, all the animals will die and (…) people will never live again.”

The problem, according to Davenport, is that the information did not come from a reliable source, such as a teacher or parent. Instead, the children she spoke to were a little curious — listening to something on the radio or in conversations — to try searching online. “As a result, the level of depression is much higher,” Davenport explained, describing everything from anger and frustration to fear, depression, even headaches, abdominal pain, confusion, and exercise. “While this is a natural reaction to learning about a troubled world, they do not have the capacity to deal with it.”

Before you start talking to your child, it is important to deal with your fears and lack of awareness about the challenges of the weather. Mary DeMocker, environmentalist and author of Parental Advice for Climate Change: 100 Ways to Build a Future Without a Past, Raising Strong Children, and Sleeping Better at Night. He says: “Adults are often less sensitive to the weather. This can lead to ignoring your child’s anxiety or trying to comfort them by minimizing the risk and speed of climate change, or it may increase your difficulty in stealing games and making your child more nervous. Davenport suggests that any meaningful discussion of climate change should be relevant to science and thought. “It can’t be real with the data. Once we give the science a touch, we lose sight of the real significance of human nature — our beliefs, our values, our values. ”

Now, before you send a text message / whatsapp / Alexa drop / email / DM to your child to download, here are some age-appropriate ideas to help you prepare.

Under 6 Years

Children under the age of 6 are still too young to understand climate change, so Davenport offers the idea of ​​developing a love of nature through climate, vegetation, beauty, play, and teaching the vital role of caring for life. This lays the foundation for children to grow up to be stewards of the environment. DeMocker, whose children are now growing up, says there was no language about climate change when his children were young, so he tried to set an example. “We immersed them in nature, immersed them in nature, produced manure, and cared for the environment. So they simply grew up with an attitude of caring and a sense of humor and a wonderful nature, and we are responsible for that. ” DeMocker also tried to bring his children to the demonstrations to expose the idea of ​​engaging in politics.

Most importantly, DeMocker emphasizes, and encourages. “Every time they ask you a question, you think that it’s important to talk about it [the climate crisis] in your family or in front of them, do something very encouraging, such as, ‘Oh, yes, we have a problem. It’s scorching the world, and it’s causing problems, and we’re in it. ‘”DeMocker noted that young children need to know that they are going to succeed and that their parents or caregivers will be there. taking care of it.

Examples of sentences:

  • “The country is our country, so we must take care of it to be safe.”
  • “Climate change is a major problem, but there are more people working together to tackle it.”
  • “Humans damage objects that go into the air and can act as a blanket, and the blanket warms the earth and creates problems.”

7-12 years

At this age, Davenport says children are already interested in hearing about climate science. “Starting around 8 is when the major mood swings of the climate and the consequences begin to make sense, and the feeling begins to rise,” he says. So before you speak, ask what your children already know.

This is also the time to start expressing your feelings and taking action. Davenport observes that while it is normal to feel some emotion when you learn about a troubled world, children are not prepared to respond that way. “They are left in a state of shock, which can affect almost every aspect of life,” he explains. Davenport’s book offers the concept of “transformation,” or learning to move back and forth between complex weather issues and tools to improve how you feel. “These are essential life skills that are needed to thrive in a world with a clear and empathetic mindset, especially as the problems mount as a result of climate change.”

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