Children’s Anxiety & Climate Change needs careful management
Children’s Anxiety & Climate issues are a high priority for the whole community to respond to.
The following is a helpful extract from APS PDF which includes this piece for adults interacting with kids:-
Your children might feel worried or sad or helpless
or even angry about climate change. It is also quite
likely that children are confused about the facts and
do not know if they are personally threatened.
Responding to Children’s Anxiety & Climate issues can be helpful:
• Give them opportunities to talk about things that
worry or concern them in general.
• Ask them what they know about climate change
and listen for their feelings as well as their
• Show them that you understand that they feel that
way and validate their feelings (E.g., “It makes
sense that you feel worried when you think about
climate change – I do too”).
• Let them know that talking about how they feel,
rather than holding it inside, can be good for them.
• Help them to put words to their feelings.
• Use personal stories to show how you have come to
learn about climate change, why you think about it the
way you do, and how you try to deal with the difficult
feelings that come up. (For more examples of how to
do this, see the section below on ‘hope’.)
• Practice with them a range of ways of calming
themselves down when they are upset, like slow
breathing, self-talk (E.g., saying things to themselves
like “take it easy”), or tensing muscles like a robot then
relaxing them like a rag doll. This is an important skill
called emotion regulation which can be useful in many
aspects of life.
Children’s Anxiety & Climate Action
Children who talk often with their parents about
climate change are more concerned about climate
change but are also better at coping with it. One of the
best antidotes to anxiety is action – plan some
specific activities that your child can do to help prevent
(worse) climate change.