Children, Climate Anxiety, & Conversation
The importance of talking to kids about climate change and how to do it.
Conversation about climate change and solutions can help both adults and children navigate this global crisis. On the eve of Climate Week in 2019, Knology researcher John Fraser and Meghan Kallman from Conceivable Future discussed why talking about these topics is a good idea on WNYC’s The Takeaway. On the podcast, Fraser and Kallman advocated for adults to affirm their own feelings of concern about climate change as part of a healthy approach to discussing difficult topics. With young people, adults should reasonably talk about the situation to model how to have productive discussions that can lead to meaningful change. This reflective approach, Fraser said, can help children gain a sense of security and makes them part of a solution. It prevents feelings of fear and powerlessness that can set in when they are confused and left out of the conversation. Ultimately, adults have the capacity to guide kids in creating a space of making meaning together, and in working through the collective process of making the world a place we all want to live in.
Ojala, M. (2012). How do children cope with global climate change? Coping strategies, engagement, and well-being. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32(3), 225-233. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2012.02.004
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