The environmental practices children adopt, the environmentally friendly decisions they witness, and the time they spend learning to love and appreciate the outdoors will shape their future.
Air and water pollution, global warming, smog, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and deforestation are some of the environmental concerns facing humanity today. today. In such a scenario, it becomes a parent’s responsibility to ensure that the world your children inherit is healthier. The first step in achieving this is to give your children the knowledge they will need to deal with the environmental concerns of tomorrow. It involves parents instilling in their children a love of nature and all living beings. So, let’s look at how climate change is affecting your children and how you can teach them about the environment to help make the world a better place to live.
How can climate change affect your children?
Air pollution impact
Climate change leads to poor air quality, which can cause respiratory problems in children, especially those with asthma. In addition, air pollution is the leading cause of death for approximately 6,00,000 (approximately) children under the age of five each year.
Adverse Events in Children (ACE)
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are potentially traumatic events that occur before a child reaches the age of 18. Such experiences can interfere with a person’s health, opportunity, and stability throughout life and can even affect future generations. The toxic stress caused by disasters has negative consequences on health and, in addition, above average temperatures have an impact on a child’s ability to learn.
weak immune system
As the temperature rises, it impacts crop quality and production, jeopardizing food security by driving up food prices and making them unaffordable for the poor. As a result, this leads to malnutrition and other health issues such as stunted growth, weakened immune systems, and long-term developmental issues in infants and young children.
Mental health problems
As the climate changes, extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods and wildfires could become more dangerous. During a natural disaster, families are forced to abandon their homes and possessions. They may have difficulty obtaining food and drinking water, or they may be forced to leave their homes permanently. These traumatic events can lead to mental health issues such as sadness, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children.
What role can you play as parents in educating your children about the environment?
Read relevant storybooks to your children
You can educate children about the effects of climate change and encourage them to make a small effort each day to make a big, long-term difference. You can do this by reading books and stories about the importance of environmental protection. For example, Merlinwand’s Climate Ninja is a custom story (where you can choose the name, avatar, and story) about an alien named Rumpus who seeks refuge on Earth when his planet Mootza is destroyed. Rumpus’ interaction with the protagonist is portrayed in such a way that the child does not perceive it as a social science lesson.
Use visuals to teach children about the environment
“A picture is worth a thousand words; this adage is suitable for children. You can use the Internet to find photos that support your conversation or search for examples. In addition, films such as Ice Age: The Meltdown and Happy Feet Two are fantastic ways to introduce young children to the concept of global warming, and documentaries like An Inconvenient Truth and The 11th Hour can encourage older children to help save the planet.
Share your personal experiences
Talk about your own childhood experiences. Tell your kids about the weather in the 1970s and 1980s when you were a kid. Is it true that it rained during the summer? Did you really need an air conditioner? This will encourage your children to re-evaluate their actions and how they might affect the environment.
Teach them how to save energy every day
Teach your child simple energy-saving techniques, such as turning off lights when not in use, quickly closing doors to prevent heat loss, and walking or biking instead of driving. Here, leading by example is the best bet for children – so practice what you preach.
Children represent a large part of the population and they have the power to move society towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient future. The environmental practices they adopt, the eco-friendly decisions they witness, and the time they spend learning to love and appreciate the outdoors will shape their future. It is important to start educating your children about the environment at an early age. So, as parents, you need to talk openly and honestly with your children about climate change so that they gain the knowledge and emotional resilience they will need to achieve environmental sustainability.