We Need To Teach Our Kids About Being Good Global Citizens Without The Doom And Gloom

by Holly Garcia
Originally Published: 
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Being a good global citizen is extremely important. Literally, the survival of our planet — and our future — depend on it.

Don’t get me wrong. We’re not trying to scare our kids into thinking the world will end sooner rather than later, or that the world as they know it will cease to exist if they don’t recycle everything or get their monthly waste down to the size of a Mason jar. But, it’s still important to arm them with the knowledge they need to make wise decisions when it comes to conservation.

Focusing on teaching our kids about being good global citizens will help them throughout their lives. And getting them excited is all about how we talk to them about the future. Having positive conversations about conservation and global warming will educate them without scaring them into becoming doomsdayers.

Make Being Good Global Citizens Fun And Exciting

If you’ve lived on this planet, like ever, we’re all aware that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. And yes, we’ve got a long way to go when it comes to taking care of our world. Teaching our kids about how to be good global citizens begins with explaining why we take the actions we do. And as we said, even though the rose-colored glass might be off, the reality of the situation doesn’t have to be all about gloom and doom.

Allowing kids to actively participate in conservation efforts will get them interested and excited about the concept. There are tons of things we can do with our littles to encourage participation in conservation. For example, making sure we turn out all the lights in spaces we aren’t using. Or making sure we recycle materials that can have a second life. And teaching them about “energy vampires” that they can defeat.

Sometimes, it’s simple as using both sides of scratch paper. Other times, recycling things can ever be turned into crafting. But if crafting is not your jam, we totally understand. The bottom line? It’s important to let the kiddos know that even the smallest actions they take can help our planet’s overall wellness. After all, it’s all part of being good global citizens.

Use Positive Language When Talking About Conservation

Honestly, for every kiddo that gets excited about being good global citizens, there are skeptic and downright doomsday-obsessed adults right around the bunker. I mean, corner.

All jokes aside, it is likely our kids will encounter negative rhetoric about conservation. So as parents, it is important our conversations frame this topic more positively. The next time you want to talk about climate change or global warming, recognize the consequences of failing to make changes, but also encourage and empower the littles to take interest.

Instead of talking about how doomed things feel, reframe your language. For example, focus on ways we can help to change the future by being good global citizens, instead of all the mistakes that have been made along the way. Of course, it may not always be easy to take an optimistic tone, especially at the rate at which things feel like they are falling apart, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your best shot.

Kids are like sponges, meaning they absorb everything. This includes your attitudes toward conservation, hope for the future, and how seriously you take conservation and preparation measures. Like, let’s not talk about spending time in nature because one day outdoors will look like a barren wasteland that’s uninhabitable; instead, focus on the tranquility nature provides and the importance of keeping it clean and healthy so that future generations can enjoy it too.

Play Outside Every Day, Except When It’s Raining — Then Read Books

One of the best ways to get kids into a conservation mindset is by getting them outside every day and making sure they play. Playing outdoors decreases screen time (read: less access to all that negative jazz about doomsday prepping), and more time experiencing nature as it was intended.

Of course, Mother Nature is bound to drop precipitation at some point or another. Never fear! There are plenty of good reads for your little global citizen to check out in the meantime. Like We Are Water Protectors by Carol Lindstrom, inspired by the Indigenous-led movement to protect one of the earth’s most valuable resources. Or one of my kid’s personal favorites, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. While the setting and characters might be magical and whimsical, the message is the same: we have to take care of our planet if we want to keep living here.

Conservation is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be a fear-mongering conversation. Even though many grown folks are exhausted about having the same eco-friendly conversations again and again, doesn’t mean our kiddos aren’t excited to finally get it right. So let’s help them be the best global citizens they can be. After all, this is their future.

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