Helping kids deal with climate anxiety

The threats of climate change can be upsetting to children. Here’s how to ease their fears with empowering solutions.

Lisa Cohn’s 12-year-old son Michael has always been a big animal lover—but he especially loves polar bears. Over the past few years, though, Cohn has noticed that he becomes sad and frightened when he reads about them. He’ll talk about how the ice is melting—something he understands is caused by climate change—and how polar bears are drowning because they're forced to swim longer distances.

“I try to focus on what we can do to help fight climate change [and] avoid presenting a doomsday picture,” she says. For example, Cohn drives an electric car, and Michael understands that this reduces their family’s carbon footprint compared to driving a gas-powered vehicle.

The Cohns aren’t alone. 2020 was a rough year for our planet. It was the second hottest year on record, Australian bushfires wiped out billions of animals, the strongest super typhoon in history slammed into the Philippines, and the United States set a new record for billion-dollar natural disasters.

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