Talking with children about the environment

Conversation (by Rohit Rath

(Photo: Rohit Rath)

When our children are babies, the focus of eco parenting (or green parenting) is how to be environmentally responsible as parents. As they grow older, we need to shift our focus to encouraging our kids to be environmentally aware and environmentally friendly.

We also want to ensure our children our not overwhelmed by the enormity of climate change and other environmental issues. So how can we talk to our children about environmental sustainability and the many environmental challenges we face?

The Australian Psychological Society has some great information on talking with children about the environment. They suggest eight steps:

  1. Provide your child with time to spend in nature
  2. Help your children find something positive to do for the environment
  3. Listen to your children’s concerns about the environment
  4. Allow children to tell you how they feel and think
  5. Find out what your children know
  6. Be aware of how you talk
  7. Monitor how much your children are being exposed to media stories of environmental problems
  8. Reassure your children and give them hope.

For each of these steps they give specific information relevant to preschoolers, primary school-aged children and adolescents. It’s well worth a look.

As part of my greater for on parenting for the environment I’m interested in how parents talk to their children about environmental issues. How do you talk to your kids?

If you liked this post you might want to follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. Parenting for a better world
  2. What is Kids’ Vegies on the Verge?
  3. The paradox of inconsequence
  4. A Transition Streets water challenge
  5. Focusing more on families

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability, Families & parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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