How do we address children’s concerns over climate change?
The anxiety children face over climate change is a challenge carers increasingly encounter. A keynote in the upcoming Climate Pastoral Care conference will address this ever-relevant topic.
Merle Conyer is a Sydney-based psychotherapist and clinical supervisor, whose work aims to address interpersonal, institutional, political, cultural and environmental trauma.
On Friday, 31 July she will deliver a keynote address to the 2020 Climate Pastoral Care Conference. The address will deal with the subject, “Responding to children and young people who are experiencing anxiety about our warming world.”
“The session will support caregivers (who may be parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, pastoral carers, community members, etc.) to engage with and support children and young people who are experiencing anxiety and worry about climate change,” she said.
“Eco-anxiety responses can be varied and may become amplified when they feel uncertain and unsupported. This is where adults have an important role to play, to be the people they can turn towards for help with this.”
According to Ms Conyer, the session will include practical approaches for helping children and young people make sense of their feelings, “so that, in time and with our support, they can feel resourced to pro-actively engage in ways that sustain resilience and hope.”
“Examples of positive responses to the climate crisis will also be shared that can help to sustain faith in humanity. Tips will also be provided for talking about climate change in age-appropriate ways and a set of resources has been compiled to assist with this.”
“My hope is these ideas will inform and support adults to engage in meaningful ways with children and young people around the climate crisis as it is they ultimately who will carry the legacy of our choices around this.”