Zion Lights book cover and image on parenting

Climate change can be a big and frightening topic, but there are ways to help children understand.

Lights: “They can actually have a really good grasp of issues that adults might have more difficulty kind of processing.”

Zion Lights
Zion Lights

That’s Zion Lights, author of “The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting” — a book based on scientific evidence and her own experience as a mother. Lights encourages people to teach their children to observe nature, reduce waste, and reuse materials in creative ways.

For example, instead of lecturing her 5- and 2-year old daughters about carbon emissions, Lights starts with tangible things. Their compost heap can get them talking about waste reduction. Or a fallen tree might inspire them to learn about sustainable logging.

And when the kids ask about current events — like the California wildfires — she tries to answer them honestly.

Lights: “I very much follow their lead, listen to what they’re saying, watch what they’re doing and basically just answer their questions.”

In the process, Lights says the children often get excited about solutions.

'I very much follow their lead, listen to what they're saying, watch what they're doing.' Click To Tweet

Lights: “Instead of dwelling and panicking and everything else that people kind of feel when they think about climate change, I think it’s really great to actually instead keep asking questions: What are the solutions, what can we do?

So Lights says talking with kids about climate change can inspire parents as well.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Topics: Communicating Climate, Youth