This below is a repost from an excellent blog called “The Learning Planet.” What do MCFly readers with young children have to say? We’ve added a “starter comment” from a good friend…
This is a very brief post because I want to know what you think. I’m very interested in the question: At what age do we start talking with children about the unfolding environmental catastrophe? Do we cover it up and make life as good as we can for now, or do we start to prepare them, in a combination of therapy, practical survival skills and enlisting them in active resistance? How do we overcome our own denial, however constructive it is, and listen to the alarm bells ringing with our children?
Please comment below….I have no clear answers. I do have some thoughts which can partly be seen in this post Children and the Olympic Century.
Also, click on the Comments link to reveal them and read them, as they are all really interesting.
The photo is of an adult & young child watching one of Feral Theatre’s Funerals for Lost Species, which mourn irretrievable extinctions of iconic species.
A final quick note: It looks as if this organisation, the Climate Psychology Alliance, may add some useful resources on how not to overwhelm children but to give them agency. They are calling for resources and articles so if you have anything to share with them, get in touch.
From the MCFly reader:
I think they make good points on building up the interest, the awareness etc, but I’m very conscious that the terrible doom scenario is rather too oppressive for young minds who have not created the problems, don’t see the connections between cause and consequence at global levels yet, and have to deal with understanding themselves as well as figuring out the meaning of life and the rest of what society is throwing at them.
I’m extremely aware of the fact that the leading cause of death in 12-34yrs old is suicide for all sorts of “can’t cope” reasons already- is adolescence the time to give another hook for their internal despair?
So I have the same approach with it I have had with everything else: here are the reasons why I do x and y , here is what I have heard/read/know etc. answer their questions if any, relates their actions to the same and leave it at that. They will reach their own conclusions, but if you’re lucky you’ve also given them ideas on how to slow/ change / act on the problems too.