How do you talk to children about protecting the environment? Our guide gives you strategies to help them understand the issues — without upsetting them. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children how to deal with the environment in a conscious way.
Storms, earthquakes, floods, forest fires: nature shows its power again and again. Most recently, the bushfires in Australia made headlines. Now no one is talking about it anymore. Do it differently. Talk to your child about their environment, nature and what they can do to protect their world.
We are often powerless when nature is in power. This is demonstrated by the traces left by the storms of recent weeks throughout Europe: flooded roads, collapsed buildings, disruptions in traffic. It has hit Australia much worse. Early in 2020, devastating fires raged on the east and south coasts. The incredible heat of summer has fueled these fires.
Don’t protect children from difficult issues
The fires have led to incredible devastation that is affecting not only people. An estimated 500 million animals have died in these fires. The koala bear could become an endangered species as a result of this disaster. Faced with all this devastation, pain and injury, many people around the world offer their help – with donations of money or volunteer help on the ground. It’s an incredibly horrible disaster with unimaginable crowds.
Such natural phenomena and disasters are always a cause for suffering. And that is precisely why parents should not keep such tragedies and issues away from their children., and use good strategies to talk to children about protecting the environment.
Parents need to show children that they have responsibility for this world.
In Switzerland, there are no opportunities to offer direct help, but there are other things that can be done. Also as a family. Step one: Environmental issues, natural disasters and climate change are to become topics that will also be discussed at the lunch table. Such conversations offer an opportunity to show children responsibility for our world. Because our children deserve a healthy earth. But what can we do as individuals? What can our children do?
1. Talk to your children about ways to protect the environment
In difficult times, words can provide comfort and diminish despair and helplessness. That is why talks on climate change are important. They bring the family closer together. It helps to understand oneself on a deeper level. This also gives people the opportunity to point out misunderstandings and generalizations that are known about disasters, emotions and the world in general.
It may not be pleasant to have conversations about issues such as the devastating Australian fires or an earthquake that killed scores of people and to answer the children’s curious questions honestly. But it’s real. Open and honest conversations about such tragedies offer parents and children the opportunity to be empathetic and vulnerable. This will establish deeper connections and increase confidence.
2. Showing children that every contribution to environmental protection is important
In such conversations, parents can also address the contribution that the whole family can make to the environment in their daily lives and listen to the child’s suggestions. Ask your child what animals, plants or creations of nature they want to protect in the world and how they intend to do so. A very special way to draw attention to the environment is the game “Environment ABC”. In this game, the child must find a word for each letter of the alphabet that has to do with environmental protection and describe or draw it as well as possible.
3. Donate to disaster areas
Whether in Australia or other disaster areas, many organisations around the world help save the environment. There are always countless resources that are urgently needed. Whether large or small, the financial contribution makes a difference! Decide with the whole family which project or organization you would like to support financially.