Talking to Children About Climate Change is a paid collaborative post with Worcester Bosch to celebrate the launch of their children’s storybook A Robot called B4. Climate change and the climate crisis is in the news a lot at the moment and is hard to avoid (not that we should as parents), however, it can be a lot for children to understand and also can feel very scary and hard to deal with for them.
As a parent, I am a big fan of talking about things in the news. I like to tackle the issue before the news and playground chat becomes my children’s main source of information. I find that opening lines of communication with them is easier and it helps reassure them and me. Plus I get the opportunity to correct any misinformation and inform the narrative. and we all know our children best, don’t we?
With the COP26 coming up in Glasgow (2021 United Nations climate change conference – COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’). Climate change is increasingly on the agenda and some of the facts and figures are terrifying as an adult, so I can only imagine the fear that it must strike into younger children.
This is where Worcester Bosch‘s storybook A Robot Called B4 really comes into its own. It really is a gentle introduction and full of wonderful conversation starters. It is aimed at 7 to 11 year olds and age-appropriate. You are already thinking about how can a boiler company be interested in climate change, well they were one of the first manufacturers to create a hydrogen boiler (which is better for the planet). They understand that it is important to be sustainable and also to help educate others on how to be more sustainable. As a brand Worcester Bosch hope to help family life be as comfortable and warm as possible.
How to talk with kids about climate change
As a parent, it is our natural reaction to want to protect our children from harsh and scary things, however, ignoring this problem won’t make it go away, for some climate change is already at their front door. For others, who are privileged enough to have evaded the direct impacts so far, seem to be struggling to deal with the constant barrage of anxiety-provoking news about the environment. So we need to support them and talk to them about climate change in an open, honest and age-appropriate way to help them stay resilient and find meaning through climate change.
Basic Facts – We need to tell children the truth, but in ways that they can understand. Try to relate it to their local environment as well as further afield (it’s not just polar bears that are at risk). By giving our children basic facts that are age-appropriate and not too graphic or upsetting we are being proactive with simple facts that they can understand and act on.
Empower Them – By showing them that they have a powerful voice, but do not put the burden of solving this problem on them. It’s not their responsibility to fix your mess. Avoid the ‘your generation will fix this’ narrative as this can put extreme pressure on them. Come up with small solutions you can do at home together.
Focus on Feelings – Climate change raises quite a lot of anxious feelings in some children. After watching a documentary on plastic in our oceans my youngest got really upset that no amount of litter picking they did on the beach would be enough. As a parent, I need to acknowledge their feelings are valid and work on having a toolbox of comforting activities to try when my children are feeling anxious or low. For us, this includes spending time with people who we love and care for, doing positive activities and spending time in nature.
Give Hope – By focusing on small solutions that you can do as a family you are showing that changes can make a big deal and that there is hope for all our futures.
Also, check out Kids Climate Action Network, they have some brilliant resources and information.
Order your Free Book
Why not order your own free copy of A Robot called B4. I am really looking forward to reading 9-year-old Samuel Debenham sequel to A Robot called B4 which is “A City Called L8R”.