Thongchai Thailand

ECO ANXIETY OF CHILDREN

Posted on: January 19, 2022

TRANSLATION: HOW TO USE THE CHILDREN TO SELL THE CLIMATE

LINK TO SOURCE: https://lifestyle.livemint.com/smart-living/innovation/this-week-in-tech-from-wordle-to-the-new-oneplus-10-111642313534874.html

PART-1: WHAT THE SOURCE ARTICLE SAYS

How do you help your child cope with eco-anxiety? A recent study has revealed that climate change leads to increased anxiety, hopelessness, worry and fear in children. Children are worrying about climate change too. Mumbai-based Sujata Nayak was questioned by her son about what he can do to stop Mumbai from drowning and being submerged in the next 20-30 years. She was stumped, she says, and didn’t know how to respond. Instead, she asked her son where he came across this information. He was researching the impact of pollution on the ozone layer and came across a YouTube video about how cities, including Mumbai, will be submerged eventually. A similar incident occurred in the Bhatia household where 11-year-old Kiara Bhatia asked her unsuspecting mother whether they would run out of water over the next few years. “I didn’t have an answer to that and was flabbergasted to see that she was worried and scared at the same time,” says her mother.Climate change, it turns out, isn’t just scaring adults all over the world. Our children too are aware and educated about the impending doom that the planet will face due to climate change, leaving them worried, scared, anxious and helpless. A December 2021 research study published in the Lancet medical journal confirms as much. According to the study, children and youth across ten countries, including India, were either very worried or moderately worried about the impact of climate change on their lives. Moreover, many of the research respondents, including children, said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily lives and functioning; many reported negative thoughts about climate change. Now termed as eco-anxiety, this condition, coupled with dissatisfaction with government responses, is widespread in children and young people in countries worldwide and impacts their daily functioning. Experts talk about managing this anxiety and what parents can do to channel it in their children positively. Is eco-anxiety real? Dr Sanjay Garg, a mental health specialist in Kolkata, says that eco-anxiety, though not a medical diagnosis, is being seen more and more frequently, especially in children. With globalisation, media awareness and easy internet access, the youth are significantly more aware and conscious of the environmental effect on the earth and its future. The sense of loss, hopelessness, and anger due to climate change can thus have a significant effect on children’s mental health. Dr Meghna Singhal, a PhD in clinical psychology a certified positive parenting coach, says that climate change can affect the entire developmental trajectory of a child. In early childhood, children are vulnerable to environmental stressors, and the resulting physical health problems can interact with and increase vulnerability for mental health issues. In adolescence, adverse environmental events can compromise mental health resilience. If you go to a hill station and you wake up to clear skies, your mental state is different as opposed to waking up to a smog-filled day in any metro city, accoring to Dr Debmita Dutta, a parenting consultant. She further illustrates a picture of how, when the environment is affected, our mental health gets impacted. We may choose to ignore what’s going on in our external environment and choose to move on with our lives, but the impact is here to stay. There are now contaminants present everywhere, in the air, food and water. Before we know it, it will affect the energy levels in our body and affect our productivity, motivation and enthusiasm levels. The study throws light on an important issue, on which there has been surprisingly little research. The study offers evidence on how the effects of climate change place children at risk of mental health consequences, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, phobias, sleep disorders, attachment disorders, and substance abuse. It is important to remember that a single climate event does not lead to mental health consequences but rather, it is the additive and cumulative effects of adverse environmental stressors that can compromise children’s mental health. Managing eco-anxiety in youth requires multi-stakeholder input. “Governmental policies, societal responsibility and large corporations can play a major role in leading efforts for climate change. Visible and sustained initiatives are required to allay fears of eco-anxiety,” he states.On the other hand, Dr Dutta has a different point of view. According to her, using positive reinforcements to address the anxiety can help channel it for a better purpose. “Anxiety stems from the need to change one’s circumstances. If we push our children to take action and change the existing scenario in even small ways, their anxiety will be managed better. We need to teach them to take small actions and not think that taking care of the environment is someone else’s job.” She says that cultivating a holistic perspective and teaching kids about the ‘Power Of One’ can make a huge difference. “They should see how one person can bring about change. Also, parents must remember that children are the agents of change and at no point should they absorb our helplessness. We should always empower them and tell them that they can change anything and everything. Parents play an essential role in raising environmental crusaders children. Managing eco-anxiety entails taking proactive steps. Eco-anxiety really happens because a person feels empathy and compassion for what they witness in the world as er inculcate eco-friendly habits from an early age. We must teach our children not to waste water brushing teeth and reuse and recycling items such as clothes and toys. We must show them the way by being meticulous about segregating garbage, not wasting food, taking public transport, avoiding over-packaged products, and so on. We must educate our chldren and encourage them to seek environmentally sustainable change.

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

HERE WE HAVE YET ANOTHER PIECE OF EVIDENCE THAT THE CLIMATE ACTION MOVEMENT AGAINST FOSSIL FUELS BEING WAGED BY CLIMATE SCIENTISTS IS NOT GOING WELL AS SEEN FOR EXMPLE IN THE FAILURE OF THE COP26 AND THE SO CALLED “PARIS AGREEMENT” DESCRIBED IN RELATED POSTS ON THIS SITE:

LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2022/01/18/how-to-make-human-civilization-sustainable/

LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2022/01/01/did-climate-change-die-at-glasgow/

LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/06/05/the-paris-agreement/

IN THEIR DESPERATION, CLIMATE SCIENCE HAS FOUND THAT IT IS EASIER TO SCARE CHILDREN AND SO THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT USES CHILDREN IN THIS WAY IN THEIR FAILED CLIMATE ACTION MOVEMENT AGAINST FOSSIL FUELS AS SEEN IN THE DOCUMENT LINKED BELOW.

LINK#4: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/04/28/the-new-climate-science/

Swedish activists led by Greta Thunberg march to protest climate change.

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