Climate Change is in the news daily and children are asking questions. How to be honest with them but not instill fear and anxiety? Experts say parents regardless of affiliation or climate belief need to talk to their kids. Find a calm moment and explore what your child has heard about climate change and how that makes them feel.
Talk about the problem and complexities and best yet, transition to the solutions and opportunities. Don’t downplay anxieties because that may result in lack of trust from your child. Listen sensitively to concerns and offer opportunities as a twist. Mining will die out and coal miners will transition to jobs in wind and solar, transportation is becoming more electric to reduce air pollution especially when powered by solar. Skiing may die out and could be replaced by other sports, crops will change and scientists will figure out how to drink ocean water?
Provide examples of prominent organizations and people like Patagonia, Cotopaxi, Leonardo DiCaprio or Robert Redford that are working on solutions. Then best yet, highlight steps you’re taking as a family to reduce your carbon footprint. What more could your family do? Brainstorm and empower. Encourage your child to motivate peers and get involved with the community. You will not eliminate your child’s fears as the news is daily now, but at least you can reduce the feeling of hopelessness. The best thing you can do however is lead by example as your children are watching.