How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change

How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change

Here are some ways to have a healthy dialogue about climate change and inspire your child to protect our planet.

As your child begins to better understand the world around them, they might have questions about what climate change means. They might open the news article and see reports about the rising water levels and record level heat, along with long-term impacts to human health. Curiosity and anxiety might set in, as it brings up concerns about what it means for their future. In fact, your child might fall into the trap of climate doomism, and fear that there is nothing that they can do about it. For the next generation, climate change is one of the most continually pressing issues.

But there are steps that you can take to help your child better understand the issue and take action to feel engaged in impact in a positive way. With the release of the Alltruists Love Our Planet series, here are three steps you can take to teach your kid the importance of protecting the planet we live on and maintain a hopeful and optimistic perspective. 

Teach Basic Scientific Principles Behind Climate Change

At the core of climate change comes the basic facts that explain why climate change is here, and real. Take time to sit down with your child and ask them what they might know about climate change—you might be surprised to find that they know more than you think!

One tough discussion you might have is about those who deny the existence of climate change. They might question why so many people, especially adults in power, refuse to acknowledge the reality of the issue. It’s a hard thing to bring up that not everybody will believe in what you believe, and it’s important to emphasize that climate change is backed by science and grounded in research. Go ahead and research together some common misconceptions of climate change, and recognize that learning about the issue is a process that takes time.

Just as you’re explaining the root of the issue, explain also what we’re currently doing to solve the problem. Tell them about some of the coolest climate advancements, such as the Inflation Reduction Act that was recently passed, or some awesome scientific inventions helping to reduce waste and pollution. Encourage your child to see the bigger picture of climate issues, and that while there are many, there are also inspiring people working toward a better and brighter future for all of us. Invite them to dream about how they might be one of them.

Adventure Into Nature

No matter where you live, nature is all around us. That’s why children must understand natural ecosystems if they want to gain a greater understanding of the climate crisis.  Find opportunities to engage with nature locally and immerse your child in what surrounding ecosystems have to offer, and why we need to protect it.

Exploring the outdoors can mean many things. Have an outdoor garden full of delicious fruits and vegetables? Take them to see how the plants grow with the right soil, water, and sunlight so your child can learn about plant growth. Have a nearby mountain terrain? Take them on a light hike across the landscape to see the wondrous natural beauty at sunset. Look at animals and little critters as you’re making these treks with your child, and encourage them to think about how they co-exist with one another in the greater natural ecosystem.

After venturing out, take time to reflect about the experience, and why these areas are so important to not only other creatures, but humanity as a whole. It builds more empathy and compassion for the planet and those who are affected by climate change.

Put Your Thoughts Into Action

Finally, encourage your child to be the change they want to see. Social change can come in many different routes, so research opportunities to engage in climate activism and volunteerism. This can include attending a protest advocating for climate policies to be passed, or going on community excursions to clean up local ecosystems. 

In fact, the Alltruists Love Our Planet series provides impact kits that will educate, equip, and empower your kids and families around the complex issue of climate change. This includes:

  • Trees Impact Kit: An opportunity to plant pine trees and make a “Thank You for Adopting Me” card for a newly adopted tree, created in partnership with City Plants.
  • Oceans Impact Kit: An opportunity to make a “No Plastic Please” card for dining out and participate in an empathy building activity for sea critters, created in partnership with Heal the Bay.
  • Public Lands Impact Kit: An opportunity to head outside and clean up a park or natural shared area in your neighborhood, created in partnership with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.

  • At the end of the day, protecting the earth means protecting our future, and we need to take the necessary steps to not only educate, but empower our kids to take action and nurture resiliency. Climate change is one of many beasts to tackle in a world full of battles, but with kindness and compassion for the land we inhabit, we can show our kids that there is hope in our choices, our actions, and relationship with our planet.

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