Kids are the most curious beings, and we as adult need to guide them to find out the truth about this world. For those who are often surrounded by kids, you will likely know that they ask a lot of questions. And the questions sometimes are out of our predictions.
In this era, when people often talk about climate change, some kids may overhear about it and acquire the curiosity to know more. But if your kids ask you about climate change, how will you tell them the truth that the earth is probably dying, or that human kind is under their own threats?
Even though we want our kids to be the nicest ones by telling them fairytales and the good things, can we do that to respond them with their climate change questions? Are we allowed to tell them the ‘probably’ ugly truth?
Well, in this article we are going to talk about how to tell the younger generations about climate change we are facing.
Be Their Lighthouse
The first time they hear about climate change might be the worst time in their lives. Some kids are already smart enough to think about their future, and since climate change might avert their plans about the future, they might catch negativity about it.
This is where we should plant positivity, so that they don’t feel like being ‘sacrificed’ by adults. Kids need to be understood more than to be told. Hear their thoughts about what they already know, and give positive response to it.
Don’t try to push your knowledge and understanding, let alone your wrath, about climate change to them. You are likely the biggest source of information to them, and if you give bad information only, they will catch negativity.
Also, don’t try to make the kids blame others. Just tell them that people have their own problems and some are not able to give their best to help fight climate change. Just be there and willingly talk to them about it whenever and wherever they want.
Be the lighthouse to them instead of the storm. Make them comfortable to talk about climate change and its effects instead of making it a horror story. Tell them that they can help to change the result, and it is possible for the kids to have their expected future.
Make Them The Knights
Kids love stories, and ask questions about it. This is where we should start introducing them to the nature. If your kids already ask you about climate change, don’t deny it. And if your kids haven’t started the business, guide them to it.
You don’t need to be scared to tell them the fact about it, since it will then help them to get the good manner about nature. “We seem to be more scared of upsetting the conversation than we are scared about climate change,” said Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.
Guide them step-by-step by explaining about basic facts first. If you are afraid that it would only scare them, make the story balance. You can try to tell them that we have a kind of ‘invisible monster’ that we should face, and the possibility that they can be the knight in shinning armor to fight it.
Some things you can tell your kids are like: we indeed have the problem but it is solvable, or small things like saving energy can help the earth to face it. Don’t scare them about something hasn’t coming yet, such as telling them that their future is already ruined. That’s not the words Yoda told to the Jedis.
In fact, with the progression of modern technology and knowledge, there’s always possibilities. What we want to plant is their optimism and positive attitude, not the opposite. Telling the kids that we can fight climate change is the most appropriate way to open their adventure.
Almost every hero in the stories gains their biggest power when they feel the needs to protect what they love. Well, since your kids are the heroes, why don’t make them love the nature so that they can psychologically get the power when they are protecting it?
Hearing stories are not the only thing that they love. Playing outside is another thing, and it will also give them real experience. Nature is everywhere, and thus you have huge playground to take them out to, and grow their love to the nature.
You can just simply introduce them to the nature around your house. Tell them about every single plant and how it can benefit us, show them the critters and how amazing they are, or just teach them about symbiosis by gardening.
Another thing you can do is to take them out further and show them amazing landscape. Tell them that nature has its own way to create beauty over time, and how astonishing mother nature’s sense of art for human.
Expose them to the nature as much as possible. Start from simple things like ants or grass, and take it step-by-step to how every single organism is working together for more global project. This way, they will realize that our bad conducts may result in disruption in the global work, and grow their sense of belonging to the nature.
Be The Example
How can you expect your kids to be the guardians of mother nature, if you are one of those people who destroy the nature. Kids learn by mimicking our habits faster and more precise than learning by only our spoken words.
Ask them to join you to commute and explain why always riding your own car is not that good for the nature. You can then explain about greenhouse gasses and emissions afterward. Turn off unnecessary lights at night and explain about how saving energy can benefit the earth.
Instead of taking them to cinemas to watch bad movies, show them documentaries about the nature itself. They might ask you tons of questions during this process, and try to explain it like wisemen. Make them feel as close as possible to the nature and let there be love.
Explaining about climate change to kids is not that hard if you learn how to love nature first. Make sure to explain it with positivity, grow their love to the nature, and grow a habit of nature-loving person to them by becoming the example. They are our future hope, thus we should not break their hope in the first place. There will always possibility.