How to Talk to Children About Climate Change

There is no right way to talk to children about climate change and how you approach the subject depends on your child, their age and what you feel they can understand. Remember that you know them best!
As parents we often feel we need to know about a subject to ‘teach it’ to our kids but this particular subject can feel overwhelming, confusing and downright bleak. It’s tempting to put off until you have an idea of what to say or what actions to take but life with little ones is so busy that there may never be a right time. So here's a few tips to help you start now. 

Be Honest

Be honest and open in a way that you feel is appropriate for your own child.

You don’t need to know all the facts and the solutions and neither do they. It’s OK to explain that you’re learning with them and it’s something you’re going to work on together.

 

Acknowledge Feelings

Climate breakdown ca be scary for adults and even when discussed sensitively with kids it can bring up feelings. Share how you feel, acknowledge their feelings and make sure you also share your optimism and positive news stories too.

 

Learn Together

Learning alongside children is fun. They ask questions that adults don’t think to ask and they also come upon with some pretty innovative solutions. Try different things and encourage each other to get curious.

 

Take Action

Taking practical actions - whether that be eco product swaps, lifestyle changes, writing to your MP or joining a climate action group - helps you feel in control. You can make a list together and choose one thing at a time to work on.   If big feelings come up you can support children to focus on all the things within their control and all the positive steps your family is taking. 

 

Start Now

Wherever you are right now is a good starting point. Start with what you have and pick whatever feels easiest to change first then pick another thing and another thing and keep going.

getting started with plastic free swaps


 

Easy Eco Actions to Take with Kids

Children are fantastic at keeping parents accountable. If you say you’re going to do something they will make damn sure you do or make you feel guilty forever more!

 

Reducing single use plastic

Start by looking at your food shopping, bathroom products or cleaning supplies. If there is room for improvement make a list and work on it together. As things run out investigate plastic free options and how to reuse the plastic you can’t avoid. If your children are old enough you can set them a research task and involves them in choosing what to replace or cut out.

 

Reducing food waste

Getting little ones involved on writing a shopping list, helping with choosing foods and planning meals is a great way to reduce the families food waste. It also saves a bit of money which you can put towards other eco swaps and changes.

 

Write to your MP

This is a great school holiday project for children who can write and if not you can help with the words and they could draw a picture.

 

water saving ideas for kids

 

Save Water

Set a water saving challenge and encourage them to waste as little water as possible. Use an egg timer or stop watch on your phone for showers, reuse bath water or paddling pool water watering for plants indoors and out.

If you have a water meter it’s easy to track your progress and if not they are usually free to install via your local water authority.

 

If you found this helpful come and join our FREE community for parents over on Facebook - helping you make sustainable changes one step at a time. 


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