How to talk to children about climate change and beat eco anxiety
It’s difficult to know how to talk to children about climate change. Eco anxiety is basically caused by concern about ecological disasters and the risk to the natural environment. People suffering might have concerns about their own mortality, the mortality of their loved ones and how the environment will impact their future. It can cause sleepless nights, intense bouts of worry and, in severe instances, may also lead to drastic shifts in people’s behaviour.
Eco anxiety is increasingly being felt by children and young people, many of whom are feeling a pressure to fix the crisis. A survey by environmental charity Global Action Plan revealed one in three teachers saw high levels of eco anxiety in students and over three quarters of students said thinking about climate change made them anxious.
Nearly 19% of the children surveyed for a BBC Newsround survey admitted to having a bad dream about the climate crisis, while 17% said they have had their sleeping and eating habits affected by their concerns.
But there are simple ways to address this and talking to children openly about the climate and ecological crisis is a good first step. Here are five ways to talk to children about climate change: