Some of the environmental issues that humanity is dealing with today include air and water pollution, global warming, smog, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and deforestation. In such a case, it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that the world your children inherit is healthier. The first step is to provide your children with the knowledge they will need to deal with tomorrow’s environmental concerns. This entails parents instilling in their children a love of nature and all living things. So, let’s take a look at how climate change affects your children and how you can teach them about the environment so that they can help make the world a better place to live.
How will climate change affect your children?
The Effects of Air Pollution
Climate change causes poor air quality, which can cause breathing issues in children, particularly those with asthma. Furthermore, air pollution is a leading cause of death for approximately 6,00,000 (approximately) children under the age of five each year.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur before the age of 18 in a child. Such experiences can have a long-term impact on a person’s health, opportunities, and stability, even affecting future generations. Toxic stress from disasters has negative health consequences, and higher-than-average temperatures have an impact on a child’s ability to learn.
Immune system deficiency
As temperatures rise, harvest quality and production suffer, threatening food security by driving up food prices and making it unaffordable for the poor. As a result, it causes malnutrition and other health problems in infants and small children, such as stunted growth, weakened immune systems, and long-term developmental issues.
Problems with mental health
Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires may become more dangerous as the climate changes. Families are forced to abandon their homes and assets during a natural disaster. They might have difficulty obtaining food and safe drinking water, or they might be forced to leave their home permanently. These traumatic events may result in mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children.
What role can parents play in educating their children about the environment?
Read appropriate storybooks to your children.
You can educate children about the effects of climate change and encourage them to make small changes every day that will add up to make a big difference in the long run. This can be accomplished by reading books and stories about the significance of environmental protection. For example, Merlinwand’s Climate Ninja is a personalised story (you can choose the name, avatar, and story) about an alien named Rumpus who seeks refuge on Earth after his planet Mootza is destroyed. Rumpus’ interaction with the protagonist is portrayed in such a way that the child does not see it as a social science lesson.
To teach children about the environment, use visuals.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” as the adage goes, and this is especially true for children. You can use the internet to find images that support your point of view or to look for examples. Furthermore, films like Ice Age: The Meltdown and Happy Feet Two are excellent ways to introduce young children to the concept of global warming. Documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth and The 11th Hour may inspire older children to help save the planet.
Please share your personal experiences.
Discuss your own childhood memories. Tell your children about the weather when you were a kid in the 1970s and 1980s. Is it true that it rained all summer? Did you really require an air conditioner? This will inspire your children to reconsider their actions and how they may be affecting the environment.
Teach them how to save energy in their daily lives.
Teach your child simple energy-saving techniques such as turning off lights when they are not in use, quickly closing doors to prevent heat loss, and walking or biking instead of driving. Leading by example is the best bet for kids in this situation, so practice what you preach.
Teach them about the three R’s
A clean environment is a healthy environment. Teach your children about the appropriate waste discard methods. They must be taught to segregate plastic from glass. Teach your children about proper waste management at an earlier stage. A child learns a lot from their parent so, always follow what you say and stay actively alert about what instructions you give out to your children. The process of Recycle-Reuse-Refuse is catchy and easier to learn, one can teach their children by creating new poems and tunes to keep them interested in learning about waste management.
Children constitute a sizable proportion of the population, and they have the potential to lead society toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Their future will be shaped by the environmental practices they adopt, the environmentally friendly decisions they witness, and the time they spend learning to love and appreciate the outdoors. It is critical to begin teaching your children about the environment at a young age. As a result, as parents, you must discuss climate change openly and honestly with your children in order for them to gain the knowledge and emotional resilience required to ensure environmental sustainability. It is essential for parents to teach their children about sustainability and environment protection.
With the rise of global warming we are decades away from a complete crash in the climate so, grooming our future generation lies in nobody else’s but our hands. Children are impressionable and learn a lot through creative and visual articulation of information. We can expand our horizons and teach our children more about the importance of environment instead of gluing them in front of a television wasting hours on irrelevant shows or movies. We are capable of soaring skies and mountains but parenting seems to be the hardest of them all, a child could go from good to bad in a split second. So, teach your children well and keep them close to reality ,avoid creating fake realities and teach them to contribute in new and creative way of keep our environment alive.