We had a great event in June 2020 on: How to Talk to Kids about Climate Change and learned all about the positive climate change messages that need to be shared.
It’s a tricky conundrum. Do we talk to our kids about climate change or not? Do we keep the issues hidden from them, aiming to reduce climate anxiety? Or do we help them to understand that the world is changing and discuss what we can all do to help? There are pros and cons either way.
We were delighted, therefore to come across Anya Hart Dyke of www.bigdreamslittlefootprints.org who has been carefully considering this conundrum with her own children and has devised many innovative and fun solutions. We can teach children about sustainability and how to not want strawberries at Christmas!
When you think about it, there’s really no reason why we shouldn’t teach children about the benefits of growing food, or shopping locally, or up-cycling second hand clothes etc. All of this means that we can help them to develop in a kind and caring way whilst helping the planet. Of course, we also need to be mindful that we don’t set up a situation where they feel they are losing out or feel socially excluded.
Therefore, Anya decided it was most effective to start young whilst children are still listening to their parents (!) and to encourage them to both be less materialistic and to value the natural world that we need to protect. In ensuring they understand WHY this is all so important, in an age-appropriate way, with the choices that we make with them, you get their buy-in and the habits endure into adulthood.
Anya says: “I think teaching children how to look after the Planet is as important as teaching them how to look after themselves and those around them. All three – the Planet, us and others – require the same levels of respect, compassion and understanding.”