Plus, when kids learn about climate change, their parents can start to care, too. “For all of us, but especially for young people, it is important to understand the role we each can play so that the feeling of being helpless and afraid can turn to action and hope for the future.
That might not prevent every kid from getting scared—after all, the teacher in Big Little Lies was essentially telling his class that skipping the sausage would reduce their environmental footprint—but it does show them “there is a way forward and hope,” Ghiso told me in an email. “For all of us, but especially for young people,” she wrote, “it is important to understand the role we each can play so that the feeling of being helpless and afraid can turn to action and hope for the future.
Maria Ghiso, who runs the Rainforest Alliance’s education program, suggests offering solutions to kids whenever you do bring up the topic of climate change.
Though topics like sustainable seafood and emissions came up, the most interesting theme this episode delved into is how learning about climate change can impact a child’s mental health.
And the show raised an important question: Is there such a thing as “too soon” to talk to your kid about climate change?
And while not every kid will react this way, Amabella’s reaction is a very real one, said Aleta Angelosante, a clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “A child who’s going to have a more extreme response is probably a child who is more anxious generally,” she told Earther. “Whereas other kids, that’s not really how their brain works.
Later, when Amabella is talking to a therapist about the incident, she admits learning about climate change in school is freaking her out.