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Just For Parents

JUST FOR PARENTS

JUST FOR PARENTS

Parents desperately want our planet to be habitable for our grandkids. We want our kids to be ancestors to future generations. Having a child is our ultimate act of hope for the future. 

Yet, most of us are overwhelmed, and terrified of the future predicted for our kids. Whether we’re homeschooling, working, or paralyzed by the news cycle, many parents don’t know where to start when it comes to addressing our climate crisis with our kids. 

We know that for our kids to be the awesome grown ups we want them to be, we have to model that behavior at home, even if it’s in toddler steps.

Because we’re busy and exhausted, we need to trust that the smartest minds on the planet are doing amazing work to ensure our kids have a habitable planet. Unless you’re going back to get a PhD in how to capture carbon, as parents, our work is to raise good humans by modeling the values we want our children to embody.

Start small

Kids need to learn about the issues without scaring them. A 2019 study identified the need for climate change education that directly involves young people in a participatory way. 

There are plenty of resources for teaching children about climate change, including those compiled by the Sierra Clubwebinars on ocean and climate sciencelesson plans from the California Academy of Science, and fun stuff like Zoos and Aquarium livestreams. Another great teaching resource for children is climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe’s YouTube channel, Global Weirding with Katherine Hayhoe, and National Geographic Kids, with tons of engaging content.

Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change: “with every degree of warming, a child born today faces a future where their health and well-being will be increasingly impacted by the realities and dangers of a warmer world.” And children are aware of the serious issues, with more experiencing eco-anxietyThe New York Times has suggestions on how to talk about it with your children.

One of the best ways to teach and support our children is to live sustainably and take action. To combat the feeling of overwhelm, we love this newsletter for parents about how to find hope through direct action. Find ways to make a difference on CCR’s Take Action page for Individuals — as we live by example, we engrain habits into our children. The NRDC offers plenty of tools to raise an environmentalist. 

Parents and Teachers Want Climate Change Taught in Schools

THINGS PARENTS CAN DO TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Illustrations by Kathleen Founds

NEWS

How to support climate change education in your state’s schools

By Glenn Branch 06/04/24
Climate change education is a critical component of any plan for responding to the disruptions caused by a warming climate. Today’s students will spend the rest of their lives on a hotter planet, mainly owing…
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New book helps parents have ‘the climate talk’ with kids

By The YCC Team 10/24/22
“We decided to put our heads together to try and think about what is the best way to tell young people about climate change,” says Jeremy Wortzel, a psychiatry resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital…
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A West Philly couple wrote a children’s book to help parents have ‘The Climate Talk’

By Elizabeth Estrada 02/18/22
There’s a lot to cover, from the basic science of what is happening to the planet to why it’s happening, who’s responsible, and what can be done about it. Not to mention, the emotional reactions…
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Tips for talking to kids about climate change

By YCC Team 12/22/21
As a parent, it can be hard to know when and how to introduce the topic of climate change with your kids. But it’s already on many young peoples’ minds.
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How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change

By Krista Langlois 06/26/21
When my daughter was a few weeks old, a wildfire broke out near our home in southwest Colorado. The previous winter had been one of the driest on record, and the fire quickly burned out…
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How climate changed my life

By Sofie Mohanty Hviid 05/26/21
For most of my life I have been in complete denial of climate change. Then I became a mother and everything changed.
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Every Parent Needs an Electric Cargo Bike

By Katherine Martinko 05/25/21
Whenever I hear friends talking about how they need to get a new car to carry their growing children and accompanying heaps of stuff, I want to say, "Think about getting an electric cargo bike…
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Women scientists launch ‘Science Moms,’ a climate campaign aimed at mothers

By YCC Team 05/07/21
Sixty-six percent of Americans are worried about global warming. Among moms, that number is even higher.“We know that climate change is a threat to all people, and in particular our kids,” says Melissa Burt. Burt…
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Plant a Love of Nature in Your Kids

By Michelle Nijhuis 04/16/21
Around 1954, when 8-year-old Stanley Temple began tagging along on Audubon Society field trips near Washington, D.C., he befriended a quiet, dark-haired woman who introduced herself as “Miss Carson.” To his delight, she treated him…
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Female scientists focus on a secret weapon to fight climate change: Moms

By Sarah Kaplan 01/12/21
A new group of parent scientists is launching Science Moms, a $10 million educational campaign to engage other mothers
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Millennials & Gen Z Afraid To Have Kids Because Of Climate Change, Says Study

By Jennifer Corter 12/03/20
A new study has found that Gen Zers and Millennials are afraid to have children because of the ever-changing climate of the earth. Climate change is scary, and who knows where we will be in…
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How Parents Can Tame the Stress of Climate Crises

By Ariella Cook-Shonkoff 11/17/20
My 3-year-old awoke recently, chirping happily in her bed while it was still dark outside, so I was surprised to see that the clock read 7:45 a.m. Normally, the autumn sun in Northern California would…
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KEY RESOURCES

It’s Our Kids’ Future. Let’s Act Like It

09/11/23
Dad’s are in a unique position to affect change for the better, for our families, our communities, for "the economic integrity of the planet”, upon which all our futures depend.

Mothers Out Front

08/30/23
There’s no such thing as a typical Mothers Out Front leader. We’re unified by the drive to protect all children from the climate crisis that impacts their health today and a livable climate for them…

How To Talk To Kids About Climate Change

08/16/21
A few months ago, I was standing at the sink in the kitchen. Suddenly my daughter, who's seven, said, "You're lucky you got to have your adulthood before the planet was completely destroyed by climate…

‘How to Talk to Your Kids about Climate Change’ (Book Review)

03/01/21
Becoming a parent can be a rewarding experience, but with it comes tremendous responsibility. These days, that responsibility includes the unenviable task of explaining the climate crisis to children, and breaking the news to them…

Your Guide to Talking With Kids of All Ages About Climate Change

07/06/20
Sex. Drugs. Global extinction. When difficult subjects come up, it’s not easy being a parent—especially when that subject is climate change. But a parent, teacher, or caregiver is often the first and best source of…

MORE NEWS

Parents have a role to play in youth climate strikes, advocate says » Yale Climate Connections

07/09/20  
Kubit says that parents who are concerned about climate change can attend a strike or another event with their kids. She says an adult’s presence can help keep strikers safe, and it’s an act of…
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Homeschooling during coronavirus: five ways to teach children about climate change

By William Finnegan   04/07/20  
Schools around the world have closed in reponse to the COVID-19 pandemic, so many families are finding themselves thrust into homeschooling. Parents are figuring out how to teach their children subjects like mathematics and grammar,…
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Keeping Our Kids Curious and Engaged at Home

By Sierra Club Climate Parents Team   03/20/20  
A few tips about how to talk to your kids about hygiene from Deborah Farmer Kris, a writer, teacher, parent, and school administrator who has worked on parenting projects for PBS.
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How to Raise Climate-Resilient Kids

By Tim Lydon   02/23/20  
Parents today must brace kids for both the direct physical impacts of climate change and the humanitarian crises they will trigger, which may be worsened by human behaviors. Whether kids experience the events personally or…
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Parents can’t fix climate change with life hacks — but here are ways to make a real impact

By Caitlin Gibson   02/18/20  
The climate crisis is so monumental, its symptoms so horrific — acidifying oceans, raging wildfires, vanishing wildlife — that it’s easy to feel paralyzed in the face of it. For parents raising the children who…
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How climate experts think about raising children who will inherit a planet in crisis

By Caitlin Gibson   02/14/20  
In the midst of a winter that hasn’t felt much like one, as the coldest temperatures retreated to the highest latitudes, Jedediah Britton-Purdy carried his 5-month-old son, James, outside their home in New York City…
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So Your Kids Are Stressed Out About the Climate Crisis

By Mary Democker   01/25/20  
When my nephew, Sam, was four years old, he said to his mother one night before bed, “Mom, I don’t want to be alive anymore.” His mother pulled him onto her lap and asked, “Why?”
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Talk to your children about climate change

By Jillian Mock   01/17/20  
Last month, young people around the world skipped school to join global climate strikes. Children of all ages marched, chanted and carried signs with slogans like, “You’ll die of old age, I’ll die of climate…
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Eco-anxiety is robbing young people of their childhoods – adults must teach climate change responsibly

By Carol Chandler-Thompson   01/09/20  
Children need to be informed, now more than ever, about what climate change is and how their actions can make a difference. But it needs to be done in a healthy and constructive way
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Climate Change Poses Threats to Children’s Health Worldwide

By Kendra Pierre-Louis   11/13/19  
The health effects of climate change will be unevenly distributed and children will be among those especially harmed, according to a new report from the medical journal The Lancet.
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NPR

How To Talk To Kids About Climate Change

By Anya Kamenetz   10/24/19  
A few months ago, I was standing at the sink in the kitchen. Suddenly my daughter, who's seven, said, "You're lucky you got to have your adulthood before the planet was completely destroyed by climate…
Read more

‘They’re scared’: parents back child climate activists with hope

By Rachel Savage   09/28/19  
The Climate Psychology Alliance, a UK-based group of psychologists, has warned children are increasingly suffering anxiety and grief about climate change, and advised parents to acknowledge their fears and offer them support in taking action.
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Psychologists Warn Parents, Climate Change Alarmists Against Causing ‘Eco-Anxiety’ in Children

By Benjami Fearnow   09/17/19  
Researchers at the University of Bath and members of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) in the United Kingdom say children are commonly being subjected to a barrage of concerns about the future of the planet…
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The latest consideration for would-be parents: Climate change

By Laura Paddison   07/02/19  
There were many things I expected to experience when I became a parent. Love, a fierce sense of protection, exhaustion, bone-crushing tedium. What I didn’t expect was so much fear — not so much about…
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PBS

What’s the Big Deal With a Few Degrees? | Global Weirding

05/11/19  
What's the big deal about a few degrees anyway? Find out in the last episode of Global Weirding. We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way.
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How to Raise an Environmentalist

By Jordan Davidson   04/19/18  
Kids have a natural connection to the earth, as well as a drive to heal it. And that may be our saving grace.
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How to Talk to Kids About Climate Change

By Ronit Feinglass Plank   01/22/19  
It’s possible to be straightforward about climate change with our children and protect their emotional well-being. Here are some ways to help children be part of the team that mitigates the impact of climate change,…
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Climate Change Is Scaring Kids. Here’s How to Talk to Them.

By Laura M. Holson   06/27/19  
Psychologists say the way parents and teachers talk about climate change with children has an effect on their young psyches.
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A Dose of Reality: How Climate Change Affects Our Kids, Straight from a Pediatrician

By Dr. Susan E. Pacheco   04/08/19  
Dr. Susan Pacheco is a pediatrician and Climate Reality Leader – and she’s made it her life’s work to raise awareness about the impact climate change has on public health, especially the health of children.
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