Father and son

Parents have always had to find ways to talk about tough topics with their kids: sex, drugs, money. Now there’s a new topic to tackle: climate change.

Dan Thiem is a campground owner in California and father of two boys. He’s passionate about helping his nine and eleven-year-old sons learn how to reduce carbon pollution.

So he teaches them the connection between their energy use and climate change – and then helps them remember to turn off the lights. He also encourages the boys to walk to school when the weather permits, and to use reusable water bottles and compostable lunch bags.

Thiem advises parents who want to talk about climate change with their kids to keep it simple:

Thiem: “Focus on those things which you and your family can do now, rather than trying to overwhelm them with the enormity of the problem and its complexity.”

He says this creates a foundation of knowledge to build on as kids grow.

Thiem: “I think it’s like anything with your children – the more honest and open you can be with them about the problems facing not only them but the world, the more likely we are to educate our kids in ways that they can help us start finding solutions.”

Reporting credit: Rosie Simon/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Youth