The Best Way to Deal with Climate-Anxiety is with Positive Action

New research released yesterday by BBC Newsround found an increase in the number of children who are affected by climate-anxiety. The survey questioned 2,000 eight to sixteen-year-olds. The Newsround survey found that young people are feeling frustrated and anxious about the state of the planet, and one in five had a bad dream about climate change.

World Vision Ireland, an international humanitarian aid charity, said that the best way to deal with climate-anxiety is with positive action. World Vision Ireland said that parents and teachers should talk to their children about their climate change concerns and teach them different ways to take positive steps to tackle the climate crisis, to make help them feel empowered.

The Best Way to Deal with Climate-Anxiety is with Positive Action

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“The climate crisis can be a challenging topic for parents to discuss – especially with younger children, as we don’t want to cause anxiety but rather set a positive example for what can be done on a day-to-day basis.” Niall McLoughlin, CEO of World Vision Ireland, said. “Things like replacing your old lightbulbs, buying local products, walking or cycling instead of driving, shopping without buying plastic packaging, turning off appliances, reducing the thermostat, recycling and reusing can all be done while explaining why you’re doing it to your children. It is today’s children who will face the challenges of global warming head-on, more than any other generation before them. Discussing these small and achievable behavioural changes with our own kids can go a long way towards instilling a sense of personal interest and responsibility for the planet.”

World Vision Ireland has launched a climate change essay competition, which they hope will be a good tool to start the climate change conversations in homes and in schools across the country, in a positive and creative way.

“To tackle climate change, we need drastic action globally from every single pocket of society including governments, businesses, communities and schools. This includes educating kids across all age groups and levels of schooling to prepare them to be able to live more sustainable lives.” Fiona O’Malley, Director of Communications at World Vision Ireland, said. “Education can play a key role in innovation and investments in environmentally-sound technologies and infrastructure, sustainable livelihoods and lifestyle choices. Schools play a pivotal role in teaching students how to be environmentally responsible. Today’s children are tomorrow’s business leaders, decision makers and politicians. They will be the ones shaping the future of the country, our economy, and our transport; so it’s important that they are equipped with the knowledge of the impact of global warming, and how to tackle it. We can only ever be the holders of today. Our children are the finders of tomorrow and it’s our job to shape and mould them to make sure that is a better tomorrow.

“Climate change is sometimes not taught enough in schools, sometimes it’s just skimmed over.” Fiona continued. “It is important for the youth to understand the astronomical damage global warming is doing to our planet, and the positive actions we need to take at a rapid rate, like planting million and millions of trees. It can be a heavy subject for children to take on but there can be positive feelings when they take active steps to be part of the solution, like tree-planting. The essay competition is a great way for children to reflect on the fact that whilst time is pressing, we can still fix our fractured planet. It’s important to balance the negative issues we face with positive actions that children can take, because it’s not a topic we can ignore, and hope will go away. Children today will have to deal with the impacts of climate change, more than any previous generation. As a parent, guardian, teacher, or caregiver, we all have a responsibility to do our best to make sure they’re ready.”

World Vision Ireland’s Climate Change essay competition 2020 is opened until the 31st March for children between the ages of 8 and 18. The entries will be narrowed down to the final 10, and celebrity judge Ryan Tubridy will choose the winning essay. The winning essay writer will get the chance to meet Ryan Tubridy in the RTE Studios and will also win a €500 Smyths toy voucher. Essays should be entitled ‘How We Can Save Our Planet’. The word count is 800 words or less. The essay entries should be sent, with the €2 application fee (€2 per essay entry) to: Essay competition, World Vision Ireland, The Mews, Garland House, Rathmines Park, Dublin 6.

For further information on how to enter the climate change essay competition go to – https://www.worldvision.ie/essay-competition

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